Writer: ADEOLA ADEJOKUN
Imagine a marketplace buzzing with activity, where vendors seemingly read your mind, offering you exactly what you need, even before you articulate it.
Does this sound like a page ripped from a science fiction novel? Remarkably, it’s not. This is the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in modern marketing. But how did we get here, and what’s the roadmap for the future?
Before the dawn of digital technology, marketing was a game of chance.
One would place adverts on billboards and TV, wondering if they ever hit the target audience. So, what has changed? The answer lies in artificial intelligence – it uses data and pattern analysis to make predictions and decisions.
This unsung hero has shifted marketing from a game of darts in the dark to a guided missile.
Intelligent algorithms are learning and adapting in real time, effectively turning marketing into a science.
How Is AI More Than Just a Tool?
You might ask, what do the nuts and bolts of AI in marketing look like? AI is more than just a tool; it’s a storyteller. Through data analytics and machine learning algorithms, it deciphers consumer behaviour and market trends, converting this data into actionable insights.
For example, based on their viewing history, Netflix uses AI to recommend movies and TV shows to its users. In addition, it can identify the cause of sales dip, whether it is market saturation or consumer preference shift.
Let’s take Ibironke, a typical Lagos resident and a digital native, as an example. She’s looking for eco-friendly cleaning products. When she formulates her search, AI algorithms – aware of her online behaviour – populate her social media with relevant adverts. And it doesn’t stop there.
They continue engaging her even after she’s made her purchase, perhaps recommending complementary products or sharing sustainable living tips. So, what’s the difference between this and traditional marketing? Simple, this isn’t a transaction; it’s a relationship.
What Makes AI-Driven Marketing So Personal?
Isn’t personalization just a buzzword? Not in the AI-driven landscape. Gone are the days of generic, one-size-fits-all marketing strategies. Everything is customized, from the emails you receive to the ads on your browser.
For example, based on their viewing history, Netflix uses AI to recommend movies and TV shows to its users. Companies are now not just faceless entities; they’re like that neighbour who knows you like your coffee black and your conversations short. The personalization is so fine-tuned that it can identify and cater to needs you didn’t even know you had.
AI has the potential to be used to track people’s online activity and create detailed profiles of them, which could then be used to target them with personalized ads.
This raises concerns about privacy and consumer surveillance.
In addition, AI could be used to create personalized ads targeting people’s vulnerabilities or exploiting their biases. AI could also be used to develop discriminatory marketing campaigns that exclude certain groups of people.
Does AI Influence the Timing of Marketing Efforts?
Absolutely. One of the lesser-discussed merits of AI is its ability to enable businesses to be proactive rather than reactive.
It anticipates trends, helping companies to position themselves strategically before a market shift occurs. When you realize you want a particular product, odds are it’s already in your ‘recommended’ list.
Imagine a world where AI algorithms anticipate your basic needs and read human emotions. That’s not a far-off reality. Already, there’s talk of AI algorithms capable of understanding emotional nuances, promising to make customer service and user engagement more empathetic and efficient.
The immediate future of marketing isn’t just more personalized experiences but hyper-personalized ones that adapt to mood, context, and even emotional state.
How Can Marketers Prepare?
Act now if you’re a marketer wondering how to stay ahead of the curve. Begin by investing in AI education and encouraging a culture of data-driven decision-making.
Experiment with today’s AI tools and understand how they fit into your marketing strategies. Ignoring AI is no longer an option; integrating it is the new imperative.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The quiet revolution led by AI in marketing is both subtle and monumental. It’s not an overnight change but a steady evolution, enhancing human capabilities rather than replacing them.
It’s making every interaction more meaningful and producing every product feel custom-made for you.
The algorithms aren’t just number-crunchers; they’re storytellers, and their narrative redefines marketing.
In this intriguing era, the question for marketers is no longer whether to adopt AI but how to wield it effectively to create compelling, resonant narratives. Are you prepared for this new chapter in the fascinating story of marketing evolution?
Adeola Adejokun, a communication professional, tweets from @OgbeniAdejokun.
[Featured Image Credit]