Marketing spend 5 min read

How artificial intelligence will impact digital marketing in 2020

Michael Deane

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been disrupting different industries, including digital marketing, for quite some time. You've already heard this countless times, and this shows no sign of slowing.

New technology is already making digital marketers’ lives much easier. And we can expect that further developments will improve the AI tools and systems that are already in use. In other words, AI is only getting better.

Some of these changes will be seismic, and as an early adopter, you gain a competitive edge.

Here’s how AI is set to impact digital marketing in 2020 and what that means to you.

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Advanced customer profiling

Knowing your target audience and understanding their needs, interests, and preferences is essential for the success of your digital marketing efforts.

Having an accurately defined ideal customer profile and buyer personas lets you segment your email and content marketing and personalise your marketing messaging and content.

Research says that such an approach results in a 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue.

But, with AI, you’ll be able to take all this to the next level.

Collecting, analyzing, and processing huge sets of data is what AI does best. And in 2020 this technology gives you access to advanced customer profiling. In other words, you’ll gain a deep understanding of your prospects’ spending habits and purchasing motivations.

It would be virtually impossible for humans to crunch all the numbers and understand how consumers behave when purchasing and what exactly makes them tick. AI algorithms leverage billions of data points and can build sophisticated and detailed customer personas almost instantly.

Some of these data points include:

  • Geo-specific events
  • Previous interactions with customers
  • On-site behaviour
  • Similarities between types of prospect or customer

This kind of intelligent tracking of customer actions and behaviour gives you valuable insight into what they want and expect from you. Needless to say, such precise profiling lets you deliver the right and highly personalised content, email campaigns, product recommendations, or assistance to your audience and boost conversions.

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Thanks to AI, it will be much easier for brands to:

  • Identify which customer segments should be added or removed from campaigns
  • Show their customers exactly the products they're likely to use
  • Avoid promoting certain products to customers who return items all the time
  • Uncover new buyer personas within audiences.

Conversational chatbots for increased loyalty and retention

Your prospects expect all the support they can get from the very start of their customer journey.

It’s crucial to offer your prospects answers to any questions they might have regarding your product or services as that can be a make-or-break factor to purchase. Similarly, once they decide to opt for your product, they'd like to start using it right away. Meaning they'll be frustrated if they don’t understand how a certain feature works.

That’s why superb customer support and onboarding play an important role in positive user experience, which results in increased loyalty and retention.

But no matter how great they are, your customer support agents are only human, and can take only one call at a time. Besides, having someone available 24/7 to assist your prospects from different time zones is pretty expensive.

AI-powered chatbots will change the customer support landscape tremendously. We’re not talking about simple algorithms capable of generating some predefined answers and canned phrases, but complex bots that respond based on what your customers are actually asking.

These conversational chatbots can solve almost any dilemma your prospects might have and help them start using your product to the fullest. Such a tailored approach to onboarding will ensure that your prospects can plan according to their own schedules and their own pace.

For example, instead of trying to squeeze new customers within your support center working hours, let them to schedule their onboarding sessions whenever it fits them. Even at night, when your human agents aren’t available.

Plum is an AI-powered money-saving assistant. Upon registering, a chatbot offers new users a tour of the tool in which it explains how the app works and showcases different features.

Bank of America’s Erica is another example of a helpful chatbot. It educates users about how to save money, helps them with simple transactions, and ensures that they make smarter decisions. It also sends them educational videos and other content on finances.

It’s even expected that these intelligent machines will be so effective in chatting that it will be hard to distinguish them from human customer support agents.

Visually-appealing design

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Aesthetics are an important part of digital marketing - it’s crucial to leave a memorable first impression. And because the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text, it’s clear that your digital marketing efforts have to be visually appealing.

This means that you need a designer to create everything, starting from your website, landing pages, and ads. And that’s expensive, not to mention time-consuming.

Again, with the help of AI, you'll be able to make many of these designs on your own, even if you’re not particularly skilled. There are different AI-powered tools that can pick up the slack and make sure that your designs are beautiful, functional, and attractive. It won’t be possible to tell that you have created them with a simple drag-and-drop functionality.

Wix is an intelligent website building tool that allows its users to create functional, visually-appealing websites even if they’re not skilled coders. The AI part of the equation refers to this platform’s ability to personalize websites based on their intended purpose. This means that Wix offers a number of different website types such as blog, e-commerce, business, portfolio, to name just a few.

Similarly, some tools let you to convert your blog post to videos, thus optimising your content for different needs and purposes. AI will make these tools even more powerful, meaning that it will use machine learning to understand the text and provide relevant imagery for every scene based on the context.

Lumen5 is an intuitive video maker with which users can transform their blog posts into colourful videos. Besides gifs, images, and short clips, it’s possible to add background music and create complete, engaging videos for different social media platforms.

Venngage is another good option, used to make infographics easily. It makes smart suggestions and guides the user based on data.

Social media listening tools

Building and protecting your good business reputation is of critical importance. That’s why you need to respond to every customer comment or review in a timely manner, and be helpful and decent even if the feedback is negative.

Of course, you can’t do much about preventing people from talking behind your back and sharing their opinions about your company on the internet. But what you can do is use social listening tools and spot a potential PR disaster in the making.

AI will additionally enhance the capabilities of these tools. At the moment, they can spot brand mentions across the internet and let you know what customers are talking about your company. But, in 2020, you can expect these tools to become really powerful and use text analytics to identify how users actually feel about your brand.

Tools like Mention offer sentiment analysis, recognise the tone of voice and identify key themes, which means that a brand can spot if there’s a surge in negative (or positive) comments. You can take action and prevent a PR disaster before it develops.

The latest image recognition functionalities give these tools the ability to monitor images and videos too, and spot whenever a brand logo appears in an Instagram image or YouTube video.

This will help you stay ahead of the curve, notice even some undertones that might escape traditional social media listening tools’ notice, and prevent damage to your reputation.

AI-powered content creation

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Artificial intelligence can already generate meaningful content. That doesn't render content writers useless - at least not in 2020 - but it will be used to create reports and other formulaic content pieces that can be automated.

For example, the Washington Post already uses Heliograf, its own in-house content generation tool. Although it’s currently in charge of covering high school football games, gubernatorial races, and creating simple tweets, it’s expected that this and similar tools will be given some more serious tasks in the future.

There are even attempts to create advanced tools that will produce creative fiction. For example, a computer wrote a Jack Kerouac-inspired novel about a cross-country road trip.

Conclusion

The future is here for digital marketing and in 2020, we can expect that even more tasks will be automated and streamlined, as well as that as a result, customer experience and satisfaction will be tremendously improved.

More than ever, marketers should take advantage of the smart tools available on the market to get the most from their hard work. 

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Michael Deane

Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.