Which is an ominous way of saying that artificial intelligence-based marketing has been growing steadily in the past few years, as the technology behind it continues to improve. With each advancement, more and more organizations have been turning to AI-first marketing, but is that really the way to go?
What is AI-First Marketing?
In short, AI-first marketing means using artificial intelligence and machine learning to lead the way in marketing strategies. Machine learning analyzes data and patterns to determine key insights that help marketers target demographics and even individual consumers, and artificial intelligence tools such as virtual assistants help customers along the buyer’s journey.
Marketers are rarely at a loss for customer data, as any and all information about a consumer can help determine their buying habits and how to best market to them, although sorting through all the data to create actionable knowledge is another story. AI, however, can analyze the data and discover important insights automatically, creating key marketing information without the need for human intervention.
Marketing organizations are getting on-board with AI-first marketing at an impressive rate. 87 percent of marketers believe that AI and machine learning technology will grow from being useful enhancements to playing vital roles in marketing within the next three years, so it’s clearly an advancement worth watching.
Pros and Cons
As with all technologies, there are both benefits and drawbacks to AI-first marketing. As the technology improves, the drawbacks may diminish, but they should all be looked at when making marketing decisions.
The pros are quite clear: artificial intelligence can analyze vast amounts of consumer data without bias and determine patterns and buyer habits that one might otherwise overlook. This minimizes the need for marketers to spend large amounts of time on repetitive work, thus making them more productive at tasks that AI cannot yet replicate.
Additionally, AI provides actionable data, as well as contextualized information on individual consumers, allowing marketers to target key consumers on a personal level.
However, AI should be there to enhance marketers, not replace them. While machine learning provides the data and patterns, it’s up to the people receiving that information to determine the best ways to utilize it.
Although AI marketing can provide logical, tested suggestions to utilize the data it pulls, there’s no substitution for human creativity. Innovation can only come from the human mind, and while AI will speed up the process, it cannot replace true inventiveness (at least not yet).
AI for App Marketing
When it comes to mobile apps, marketing is a slightly different beast. App Store Optimization (ASO) is key to ensuring that apps get noticed by users who are browsing the App Store, and to ensure they download it.
There are a few different steps to ASO, which artificial intelligence may or may not be able to help with.
Finding high-volume keywords is essential to strong ASO, and that’s where AI can come into play. With machine learning, artificial intelligence can gather and sift through massive data sets on commonly searched terms and determine which ones are seeing high levels of searches, and which aren’t worth using.
It can even find patterns in consumer behavior, seeing when they start shifting away from one term to another, and alert the app designers to update accordingly. If new kinds of app features start growing in popularity, like social feeds or online streaming, AI can notice these emerging trends so developers can be right at the edge of consumer progress.
However, this does not change the fact that while artificial intelligence can gather and present the data, and even provide suggestions on how to use it, the true creative aspects cannot be replicated. Relying on formulaic designs may provide decent results at first, but it will inevitably result in identical designs that consumers will grow tired of.
There are some aspects of ASO that cannot be done by machines. While a program can ensure that keywords are used in App Store descriptions, it still takes an inventive mind to write a creative, appealing description that will catch users’ attention and draw them to the app. AI is great for analyzing and determining the efficiency of those descriptions, but that is a tool to enhance the human creator, not replace them.
Similarly, an AI can analyze creatives such as the screenshots and videos of the app to tell if it meets certain aesthetic requirements, but it takes an artistic human to actually design them. The artificial intelligence we have today is not true machine sentience, so the creative aspects can still only be done by humans.
So, is AI-First Marketing the Answer?
Yes and no. AI-first marketing is an amazing tool for marketing organizations. It can analyze data faster than any human and find emerging patterns as soon as they appear. However, it is not a replacement for human ingenuity, so it will not become the end-all of marketing.
Like all technology, artificial intelligence is a tool. If utilized well, it can be a great benefit for marketers, and enhance their ability to reach users and appeal to them. “Enhance” is the key word, because as great as the technology can be, there are some things only humans can do.
Is AI-first marketing the future? Yes, but so are we. The future of marketing isn’t machine or human, but rather both.
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