The Business Model
Seeing is believing, the ROI of AIWEB is incremental and substantial
By Daniel J.
When people think of artificial intelligence (AI), they might envision an evil supercomputer or a lifelike robot plotting to overtake its owner.
The reality of AI isn’t that dark. In fact, you are probably using it already. Salesforce, Gmail and even Netflix utilize AI in some capacity. AI also plays a large role in marketing. Algorithms can now process data to optimize the best marketing strategy for lead generation.
There are valid concerns that AI will encroach on human productivity and make certain jobs obsolete. However, it is AI’s very ability to streamline business processes that will allow people to greater harness their creative and intellectual strengths.
Despite some alarming predictions of AI putting people out of work, I feel optimistic about its impact. As with any new technology, integrating AI requires a well-thought-out strategy. In my opinion, it can assist marketing efforts in two primary ways.
Automation And Augmentation: AI offers solutions through automation and augmentation. With the right mix of context and data, AI can conduct repetitive and straightforward workflows successfully. This is the least expensive form of AI technology and it typically results in a quick return on investment (ROI). In terms of augmentation, AI can help people work better, faster and smarter.
Evolution Of Creativity: The human brain can hold as much information as the entire internet, while only using the power required for a light bulb. In contrast, a computer requires “a whole nuclear power station” to have the same memory and processing power. Despite this capacity, so much of our brainpower is used on repetitive and simple tasks. One of the biggest opportunities that AI provides marketing professionals is more time to devote to creativity and innovation.
At AIWEB, my priority is to harness AI for my clients’ businesses and our agency’s operations. Here are my takeaways for those in the marketing community who are looking to harness AI.
The Importance Of Oversight
AI applications need to be trained, just as new employees do. Companies face strategic questions in determining when these applications can be fully operationalized and the level of human oversight required. The most important determinant is the level of tolerance companies and their customers have for mistakes. For marketers, the stakes are a lot lower than for self-driving car manufacturers. However, without appropriate oversight, AI can do serious damage to brands and bottom lines. For example, Microsoft’s chatbot Tay was pulled offline after 4chan members taught it to tweet offensive statements.
Companies can protect themselves by testing for more than technological performance and including the insights of social science and social media researchers. In addition, initial beta testing, which is often manual, can be supplemented by embedded testing and automating continuous testing.
Automating Data Analysis
While big data can offer plenty of information relevant to marketing campaigns, humans are often unable to produce meaningful results from it. This is a good place for AI to add value. While most data analytics are generated online, AI can be used to integrate offline data and create a more comprehensive view of customers. For example, Amazon collects and analyzes data offline to see how long customers interact with a product.
Software such as AIWEB can generate reports of data from Salesforce, Facebook, Shopify and Square that clients can use to better understand customer preferences and product performance. These reports can enable a company to place more time and emphasis on analysis, resulting in better targeting and increased revenue growth.
Another application of AI is natural language generation (NLG) and natural language processing (NLP). These automations are already being used by media companies to convert data into intelligent content related to news, sports, finance and, most importantly, marketing. With these tools, companies can respond almost instantly to new trends, creating timely and relevant stories for their clients.
Real estate site Trulia optimized its usage of NLG to generate location descriptions by applying thresholds, rankings, information retrieval (TF-IDF) and seed sentences. Most importantly, they conducted blind tests of AI and human-generated content and found the quality to be comparable.
Content creation technology might be best suited for analyzing data in similar formats, as opposed to data from varied sources, such as a combination of documents, experiments and interviews. And companies will also have to apply human intelligence to these content-creating algorithms. Human oversight is critical for content that suggests the reader take action (e.g., investment advice) or reports sensitive data, such as health results to a patient or caregiver.
AI offers marketers the tools to fine-tune campaigns and create original and impactful messages for their target audiences. It can analyze data more effectively, providing actionable insights to improve ROI.
Daniel offers a powerful success story. After employing autonomous digital marketing tools, Daniel was able to identify new audiences and high-performing ad types it had underutilized or hadn’t considered. The transformation of their marketing strategy resulted in increased conversions and revenue.
Yes, management will have to make some changes to adopt this new technology. Yes, staff members will have to undergo training to use it effectively. Yes, you will have to reassure your team that they won’t be automated out of a job. But after some growing pains, AI will open up a realm of possibilities for your company, employees and clients.