Jan 10, 2019
Widespread artificial intelligence (AI) was once a far-fetched notion dreamed up in sci-fi stories, but it’s now a living, breathing part of our everyday reality.
The AI market is expected to be worth $36.8 billion by 2025, and as this autonomous branch of digital technology continues to evolve, we expect to see a host of incredible initiatives and developments to emerge in the not-so-distant future.
While AI has been proven to improve our daily consumer lives with the adoption of autonomous vehicle technology, fitness devices, voice assistants and smartphones, it has also served to enhance the digital marketing efforts of businesses across many industries.
A recent study discovered that, when AI is leveraged strategically, 34% of people will spend more money online. And of those respondents, around 49% confirmed they are incentivized to shop more frequently online when they know AI is present in the customer journey. Yet, despite this inherent consumer hunger for AI, a mere 15% of enterprises are using AI.
If utilized tactically and creatively, AI technology has the potential to help you connect with your audience on a deeper level than ever before, resulting in ongoing business growth.
To put this notion into perspective, here we explore some quite different but equally inspiring uses of AI in digital marketing.
“What all of us have to do is to make sure we are using AI in a way that is for the benefit of humanity, not to the detriment of humanity.” Apple CEO Tim Cook
In today’s consumer-driven world, people value the feedback of their peers over traditional forms of advertising. In fact, almost 95% of shoppers read online reviews before buying a product or service.
A cutting-edge AI-driven sales and marketing optimization platform, xSellCo utilizes autonomous technology which helps brands to source, target, publish and curate positive customer reviews across sales platforms to help enhance brand reputation, provide social proof and encourage sales.
To date, xSellCo has helped to facilitate a total of $8.1 billion in sales through positive reviews. Speaking of the platform’s power, Glastonbury’s Indigo Herbs confirmed: “Using xSellco we have increased our feedback across Amazon and eBay to over 400 positive reviews per month, maintaining a 99% positive seller rating.”
Understanding the power of AI early on, thriving cosmetics brand Sephora has utilized chatbot technology to offer its audience the most personalized, informational customer experience possible.
After conducting some extensive consumer research, the brand realized that many customers found Sephora’s extensive choice of products overwhelming, having to browse through a host of pages to find something suitable in certain categories.
In response to this, Sephora launched an interactive quiz to help guide its users through the shopping process, led by chatbots which offer tailored tips and suggestions based on specific answers or responses. Due to the success of the initiative, Sephora now offers its very own chatbot-powered shopping service via Facebook Messenger as it continues going from strength to strength.
A forward-thinking brand that has successfully enriched its in-store shopping experience, Lowe’s has introduced its very own AI development – the LoweBot – to offer its consumers personalized suggestions and tailored information as they browse its colossal US stores.
Not only does its AI-driven technology help to give its customers a seamless shopping experience, but by automatically tracking stock and inventory in real-time, the store’s rolling kiosks provide its marketers with invaluable insights on consumer shopping trends.
Speaking about the brand’s technological triumph, Josh Shabtai, Director of Lab Productions at Lowe’s Innovation Labs, explained: “We utilize our stores as living labs to rapidly test our prototypes and gather real-world feedback on the new experiences we’re delivering to demystify home improvement.”
Netflix, the world’s leading SVoD content streaming service, needs little introduction. However, not many people know that it’s possible to attribute a great deal of the platform’s success to its cutting-edge approach to AI.
As we know, user experience (UX) is paramount to the ongoing success of any business, regardless of its industry – and when a customer has a positive experience with a brand they're likely to share it with their peers online.
To enhance its overall UX and tailor its service to the individual user, Netflix uses AI-driven machine learning technology to provide personalized content recommendations based on a user’s preferences in addition to what they’ve enjoyed in the past. Moreover, Netflix uses an AI development to automatically optimize streaming quality and avoid any quality or buffering issues.
Over 80% of the shows people watch on Netflix are now based on its personal recommendations platform – a testament to its power in a time where people demand more value than ever from the brands they’re willing to invest in.
Voice technology is on the rise, and those who embrace its possibilities early on stand to reap great rewards in tomorrow’s world. Starbucks is no exception.
To offer its audience an additional layer of consumer value, the coffee colossus integrated one its most subscribed apps with Amazon’s Alexa technology. In doing so, its customers can now use their very own ‘My Starbucks Barista’ service to place and modify orders, as well as confirm a pickup location for maximum convenience – a seamless blend of voice and chatbot innovation in action.
Boasting around eight million paying mobile customers to date, it’s clear that initiatives like this are driving incredible levels of growth and engagement across the globe.
The Economist is a widely-respected digital publication but in recent times, its audience has been dwindling.
To tackle this issue, the publication leveraged the process of AI-driven programmatic advertising to its advantage, buying and selling targeted adverts autonomously. By using this process to capture data and analyze consumer data in detail, The Economist was able to identify a segment of its audience that it considered to be reluctant readers.
By analyzing web and app usage autonomously, they drilled down into specific reading habits or preferences and, as a result, found better ways of approaching their prospects online. Also, by focusing on matching cookie, subscriber and additional data sets to discover new segments and create lookalike audiences, the publication managed to yield a host of positive results that have served to boost its readership levels once again.
In summary, the campaign encouraged 3.6 million new readers to engage with the publication, achieving an overall return on investment of 10:1 from the initial wave of revenue generated from these prospects. That’s no small feat in an ultra-competitive digital environment.
If utilized creatively and with the consumer’s wants, needs and desires at heart, the use of AI in digital marketing offers incredible rewards in terms of growth, evolution, development and ongoing success in an increasingly competitve digital landscape.
These six inspiring uses of AI in digital marketing offer an insight into the sheer scope of autonomous technology in modern society and, as technologies progress, these examples are probably only the tip of the iceberg.
Embrace AI today and you’ll enjoy great rewards tomorrow and long into the future.
“Our intelligence is what makes us human, and AI is an extension of that quality.” French computer scientist Yann LeCun