Artificial Intelligence Takes Root in the Strategies of Marketers
Just another sign of AI becoming even more cemented in our lives
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Early this month in London, tech investor and inventor Elon Musk joined UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to discuss all things related to artificial intelligence (AI). This was the crowning moment of a two-day tech summit on AI and safety. While conversation touched on the benefits of AI, with Musk saying that an AI friend would be great for his son as he has trouble making friends, the most memorable soundbite was Musk’s warning of the potentially ruinous impact it could have on traditional jobs.
“We are seeing the most disruptive force in history here,” Musk said before soothsaying: “There will come a point where no job is needed. You can have a job if you want one for personal satisfaction, but AI will do everything. It’s both good and bad—one of the challenges in the future will be how do we find meaning in life.”
While this prospect seems quite a stretch away, amid this philosophizing lies a pertinent point—AI is here and is encroaching in many areas of business. You only need to look at the amount of column inches devoted to the rise of ChatGPT this year to see how this technology has shaken things up. And ChatGPT is but one of many content-generating AI platforms proliferating in the tech space.
AI-generated copy aside, there are many practical areas in which AI has been deployed effectively—from static image recognition and tagging to the prevention of cyberattacks. And, as our recent study shows, while the power of AI is resonating with providers for direct marketing communications, there’s plenty of scope for it to be more strongly ingrained in their campaigns.
What AI Means for Marketers
Earlier this year, Keypoint Intelligence published research based on a survey over 300 senior-level business professionals (working in a marketing or customer experience capacity). It showed that only 3% of firms had not engaged with AI on any level. However, those that indicated they did use AI, a sizeable proportion of business respondents (44%) said they had just brought it onboard or had fledgling use for it right now. Up to a third were using it regularly to improve outcomes. For marketers, it’s opportunity galore to educate themselves on AI and how best to leverage the technology in their business.
To What Extent Is Your Direct Marketing Toolset Currently Using AI?
When asked about the level of impact they expect AI will have on direct marketing activities over the next two years, 76% agreed that it will be significant or transformative. But how?
- Tailoring your message: AI can personalize marketing communications for more effective campaigns. It can snap analyze data on your customers’ purchasing decisions, browsing history, email engagement, and so on. AI algorithms then predict what type of products or services they will be more receptive to. All of this and more boosts the chances of a successful campaign.
- Successful segmentation: Knowing exactly who your audience is remains pivotal to an effective campaign. Segmentation breaks down an audience into groups based on certain traits, desires, or needs. Broadly, segmentation can be based on geographical (urban, rural) or demographic (age, sex, income-related) lines. AI delivers improved targeting by drilling into audience data and predicting which segments are likely to respond to a particular message.
- Learnings: AI can analyze the effectiveness and reach of direct mail campaigns by tracking response rates to marketing messages. This is invaluable as firms can adjust their campaigns and strategies and improve the effectiveness of their efforts going forward while potentially saving costs and increasing profitability.
- Content creation: ChatGPT is a prime example of how AI can help automate processes and free up human resources. AI can be used to generate direct marketing copy, source artwork, and images to accompany your blog posts and mailings as well as create viral content such as videos (i.e., crunch long-format videos into bitesize 1-2 minute clips for social media).
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
While conversations and op-eds abound speculating what AI means for businesses and peoples’ livelihoods in the long run, the technology looks set to be the heart of most direct marketers’ business strategies. Our research shows that respondents’ confidence in AI lies in its ability to improve what is the key concern for most campaigns: customer experience (CX). With its ability to analyze data, segment target audiences, automate tasks, and personalize content at scale, it will undoubtedly be transformative.
However, most of our respondents were cautious about giving free rein to AI—citing that human intervention was still required to make business decisions. Bringing it back to Musk’s vision, I would counter that there should always be a place for human creativity and decision-making in business, and that marketers should embrace AI but not see it as competition.
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