27 December 2018

Artificial Intelligence and Marketing

When we talk about Artificial Intelligence, our mind transports us to science fiction films and to a scenario where machines and robots revolt against humans. But far from this fiction, have you ever thought about how Artificial Intelligence and Marketing are nowadays walking side-by-side?

The reality in which we live is not that of Star Wars, but there is no doubt that technology is present everywhere today and is part of our daily life, sometimes in an almost subtle way.

But what is Artificial Intelligence anyway?

The definition of Artificial Intelligence is related to the ability of machines to think as human beings, being able to learn from experience, to reason, to perceive and to decide. Therefore, its main purpose is for machines to simulate the human ability to think, make decisions, understand and solve problems quickly and intelligently.

Artificial Intelligence goes through a set of algorithms capable of performing tasks and solving specific problems, simulating human behaviour, in a fast and predictable way. This term covers a diversity of elements, ranging from the simulation of human intelligence to semantic searches, through Machine Learning.

Although it may really seem to many a cinematic scene, anyone who closely follows the development of technology, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI), knows that, despite great challenges, there are already many advances that have occurred in this area. The current wave of enthusiasm for AI is mainly related to technologies that allow computers to learn from data, avoiding comprehensive programming on all the details of a given procedure. This area, often referred to as Machine Learning, allows you to use large volumes of data produced by modern information systems to train systems that recognize standards and make decisions based on them.

And if we look around us, these innovations make more of our reality than we ever imagined. Robots suitable for advanced work are already on the market, such as The New York Times robot Blossom, which chooses 50 daily news out of hundreds that publishers have to put in Social Media. Or Yahoo's robot, WordSmith, who writes news about finance and sports. Although the pieces may lack human creativity, they are well written, objective, and capable of making the reader believe that they were actually written by a human being.

Thus, thanks to the reach and the tons of data that we are leaving behind during Internet navigation, AI consciously and unconsciously has a great potential in the area of Marketing. Artificial Intelligence is moving more and more alongside Marketing, allowing the optimization of its strategies at various levels, since it has the capacity to receive data, analyse them, apply them and get the best insights from them.

This way, due to its multiple faces, Artificial Intelligence can be used to automate tasks in an efficient and scalable way, from recognizing faces to images, differentiating patterns, predicting consumer behaviour, optimizing sales cycles or even choosing what products a particular person will see the next time they visit an e-commerce store.

Artificial Intelligence has several strands and one of them, extremely relevant to Marketing, is Predictive Analytics, which operates by exploring patterns found in the data the company collects about customers. Generally done with Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics looks to the past to understand the future and we easily realize how this may reflect an improvement in the customer experience.

If we look around, Artificial Intelligence is no longer a futuristic concept and has been used by several companies with whom we interact daily. There are already many companies using virtual assistants, chatbots and even applications that manage communities. And the tendency is that the use of AI is even more frequent in direct contact with the consumer and in much more advanced ways than the current ones.

The so-called technological buzzwords as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Internet of Things have attracted a lot of attention among Marketing professionals. More than a trend, these technologies are setting a high standard of efficiency because they let you know your customers better than ever before, which provides a clear increase in ROI and an optimization of the company's Marketing strategy.

Carla Fonseca
Marketing Director