The idea of artificial intelligence (AI) usually conjures the Hollywood image of machines rising up to overthrow their human masters.
In reality, however, the technology is far from this and is quickly becoming established as one of the most exciting business and data-analytics tools on the market.
From gaining customer insights, to new methods of customer engagement through chatbots, there is no industry left that is not contemplating how it will make the best use of AI.
So, the question is, can AI give performance marketing the revolution it has been waiting for?
The answer is yes(ish) and it is really more about whether this technology will bring an evolution or a revolution to the industry.
At Webgains, our take is that AI is an evolution in terms of business models – we’ll still track and report – but it is a revolution in thinking about the way we work and how we use more intuitive technology to give business leaders the insight to know what they can do with the information they have.
AI is a human enhancement, not a replacement
One of the main concerns – if not the biggest concern – whenever the topic of AI comes into the conversation is that the technology is so advanced, or will become so, that it will start to take jobs away from humans.
This however is far from the point of AI and is not something that will ever happen in practice. A computer can’t make a decision for instance based on instinct, only interpret data.
It is that capability to interpret masses of data in real time which is where the real benefits of AI actually lie, helping everyday people to make better and more informed decisions about their businesses.
AI is best used when it is being fed with lots of data and can make simple and predictable conclusions or advise on simple requests. For example, requests for certain types of business information could be collated and analysed by an AI platform, which could then respond to similar requests automatically.
Human operators will always be required to take on the more complex, or emotionally charged, exceptions.
The new breed of customer engagement is an AI platform which can assist a customer with as many simple requests as possible, before handing off to a human to help with the more complex aspects of an enquiry.
AI is about creating the workflow that people need to deal with in the real world, providing assistance to a point and then providing a place for actions or results to be inputted back into the digital system to inform future work.
Data driven engagement
Using AI is essentially about learning a different way to engage with an audience and using the information it gives you to inform future decision making.
AI platforms also provide the opportunity to engage with audiences on a more personal level.
A clothing brand, for instance, would be able to tailor advertising and put it in front of the consumer when they check a weather app.
Another brand, Campbell’s soup is already running this kind of app based engagement, placing ads for its products within a user’s weather app when the temperature reaches a predetermined ‘optimal level’.
Data is king when it comes to the modern business world, and AI will ensure businesses get the opportunity to make the best use of the data as and when it is collected to inform the best possible decisions for growth and expansion.