What’s Next for Digital Marketers
While it’s impossible to predict everything about the future, one thing is certain: the future of digital marketing will involve artificial intelligence (AI). Data-driven marketing bolstered by AI that allows real-time advertising and marketing customization is already beginning to become the expectation online, rather than the exception. From more attuned chatbots to better calibrated “you may also like” suggestions, digital marketing combined with AI is creating more sales and more engaged customers.
Any business that isn’t investing in this technology and applying it to their digital marketing strategy is already falling behind. In the technology arms race to gain market share, there will soon be a stark delineation between the haves and the have-nots. And this trend line is increasing every day. The educated guesswork of the past just won’t get it done anymore.
Today’s digital marketing needs to be precisely targeted and increasingly personalized or it will be ignored.
Future of Digital Marketing: Get smart(er)
AI is becoming as prevalent as laptops in homes. It’s practically everywhere, doing so many things to invent new technology and dramatically improve what’s possible. The security industry, as an example, has gone from passive cameras shooting black and white to real-time motion-detecting high definition and even crime-prediction software.
Robots are collecting data, analyzing probabilities and reducing crimes.
The same kind of predictive analytics can help marketers determine who is ready to make a buying decision, what they want to buy, when, and where. Instead of simply bombarding people with the same ad on social media, often for something the person already bought, digital marketing tech is getting smarter, better at parsing data and using current decisions to predict future decisions.
A competitive advantage
Smart marketers are already looking at how to introduce or expand AI in their businesses. They know the competition has their focus there as well. In a 2017 survey conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group, more than 80% of executives believe AI offers a distinct competitive advantage, and three out of four said integrating AI will open up new streams of income and allow them to move into additional markets or sectors.
The same survey revealed that most decision-makers, more than 70%, understand that new businesses are being built from the ground up with AI as a key component in their marketing efforts, and nearly 70% of current businesses are expanding or retrofitting their current operations with artificial intelligence as a key factor in their marketing campaigns going forward.
The reasons for this shift are clear: AI has the power to better analyze customer behavior, to see what they’re looking for, as well as when and how, in order to predict why and make causal connections that lead to more sales. And, as chatbots get better, more interactions can be done in real-time, without involving personnel and making customers wait for engagement. A chatbot can guide customers through the entire sales funnel quickly and seamlessly, then recommend complementary or additional products.
AI also helps marketers more easily personalize communication including emails, autoresponders, greetings and transactions. Consumers perceive a more personal and customized experience, giving them a more positive impression of the brand, and it’s all automated.