AI in Marketing: What to Expect in 2019 and Beyond
AI is one of the most important tools available to enterprises today. Despite this and its limitless potential, it remains woefully underutilized where marketing is concerned. We’ve discussed at length the current reality of artificial intelligence in marketing automation, but the future holds a great deal more for the technology, more than we can realistically be sure of at the moment. What we can do is make some educated predictions based on the current state of the technology and where it is currently headed.
Here are some developments to watch for in marketing AI as we head into 2019:
Chatbots are on the rise with no stop in sight. More and more enterprises are adopting them as a means of managing customer relationships, marketing, and service-related needs. As chatbots often store critical customer/enterprise data, they become extremely enticing targets for hackers and other third parties with malicious intent. As recently as this past April, companies like Delta Air and Sears were victimized by chatbot hacks that compromised the credit card information of thousands of customers.
These stories will grow progressively more common as we trudge into the future. The answer isn’t to shy away from the technology, but to invest further in it. Marketers should flock toward more secure bot options created in conjunction with cybersecurity professionals. They can also invest in the development of more advanced bots. Regardless of the course of action, marketing teams going forward need to be more concerned with the security of their chatbots.
In the months and years to come, AI will provide deeper insights into customers and their proclivities. An AI-powered insight essentially analyzes everything about a lead in the interest of predicting how they will proceed. For example, smart insights may tell the story of how a given individual has previously interacted with your brand. Or maybe it makes purchase predictions based on their geographic location, profession, or age demographic.
Insights like the ones described above help match customers to products better served to them, give marketers better ideas which lead should be included in campaigns, and generally understand their base on a deeper level. Currently, this is a feature offered by a relatively small number of vendors but prudent developers will be working on producing similar insight technology to give their users the same edge.
Customer Journey Revolution
The customer journey is the backbone of the marketing and sales process. It is the process through which leads go on to become customers. Over time, the public has come to expect a certain level of customization in marketing and that will have to go through some changes to keep the rest of the body thriving. Enter the AI-curated customer journey.
A growing number of leads to market to means more personalized journeys. At a certain point, custom-fitting each customer experience will become overwhelming, especially for smaller teams. In the next year, AI will be much more engaged with creating unique experiences for customers to better engage them, using previously obtained data and smart insights to create personalized customer journeys consistently and at scale.
Any marketer worth their salt wants to know how their brand is being perceived on the web. A sufficiently advanced AI is one of the only ways to accomplish that goal realistically. An image recognition AI can scrub the internet for images related to a brand and allow marketers to get a sense for how they’re being interpreted the world over. Tech giants like Google and Amazon are already utilizing image recognition to great effect, but enterprise level success does not preclude smaller enterprises. Certain vendors are implementing recognition algorithms so that anyone can benefit from this exciting new AI application.