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8 Key Facts on AI Marketing

AI marketing, in which our digital marketing activities become increasingly empowered by machine learning, seems inevitable, especially in search. Google’s rate of publish for AI papers hockeysticked three years ago and shows no signs of slowing. And China, in its bid for global economic supremacy, is betting big on creating $1.5 trillion in AI-related revenues by 2030.

With untold sums of money and influence at stake, the race for more powerful AI — and more powerful AI marketing — is on, so we’ve put together a reading list of some of the most interesting AI marketing facts to come out of the last year.

Are Marketers Ready for Artificial Intelligence?

It’s understandable, if somewhat worrisome, that more than a third of marketing execs say AI is the trend they feel most unprepared for.

Execs feel unprepared for AI marketing

Five years ago, barely anyone knew what a “neural network” was, and now we’re supposed to be integrating them into our daily workflows. It can feel overwhelming, to say the least — especially since AI is expected by some to revolutionize marketing within two years.

If you’re like those marketing execs, take a look at this list of the top trends, facts, and developments in the world of marketing AI to get a feel for where things stand — and where they’re going.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Neural Network

  • According to Boxever, nearly 80% of marketing execs believe consumers are “ready” for AI marketing. A similar percentage believe customers are “excited” about chatbots, which are thus far one of the most widespread and customer-facing uses for artificial intelligence. This shouldn’t be too surprising, given that the tech giants with whom consumers interact on a daily basis all seem to be doubling down of machine learning.
  • Chatbots are set to save business $8 billion by 2022. Given that some market leaders say customer experience is set to eclipse cost as the primary brand differentiator sometime soon, it makes sense that a major investment in these cost-saving, customer-delighting bots is set to rise.

AI marketing can stick the landing.
Perfect landing.

The Upsides and Downsides to Marketing with AI

  • 54% of retail marketers use AI marketing to personalize customer experience across channels. Though relegated to the retail sector at this point, that kind of omnichannel management is likely to be hugely beneficial to brands with long sales cycles.
  • But not all implementation of AI goes smoothly — in a cautionary tale for any marketer looking to leverage artificial intelligence, one hedge fund found the process much longer and more difficult than anticipated. (paywall)

AI marketing can be tough, like building a robot dog.
Can’t win ’em all.

AI Marketing is Our Gateway to Relevance

  • Google views AI marketing as an opportunity for marketers to create personalized relevance at scale for customers. They’ve already doubled down on this for their own customer base with tools like Google Assistant, and think the technology will help all marketers do the same.
  • DoubleClick’s Custom Algorithm tool already uses AI to try and serve ads to a more relevant audience. Google used this tool in its marketing campaign for the Pixel phone and impressions on premium inventory tripled.
  • A UC Berkeley professor argues that AI won’t take your job — but it will change it.

A robot dances to celebrate AI marketing.
Here’s to a fruitful collaboration with our robot overlords.

Which marketing trends are top of mind for today’s executives? We break it down in our full report, Inside the 2018 Strategies of 500 Marketing Executives.

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