Marketers on the Lookout for Artificial Intelligence in 2018

March 28, 2018
March 28, 2018 Ricky Costa

The hype around artificial intelligence continues to bubble within the advertising industry, but the technology is still not well understood by most digital marketers – although many want to use it. While companies are finding difficulty in applying the technology in-house; agencies seem to be even more in the dark about supplying their clients with AI capable solutions.

According to Adobe and Econsultancy’s recent report ”Digital Trends 2018”, 41% of companies and 61% of agencies worldwide report that lack of knowledge for AI applications is a prime reason for non-adoption. But for those who have adopted the tech, rates diverge based on company performance; 28% of top-performers vs. 12% of mainstream companies have implemented the tech. This lack of AI knowledge and adoption hasn’t stopped the curiosity for experimentation, and marketers have high hopes for 2018.

The Need For Speed

Recent research from BrightEdge investigated the future trends of artificial intelligence, its benefits, and challenges for today’s digital marketer. In their February survey, 26% of marketers believe AI is the 2nd most popular trend in marketing, followed by voice search with 21% – which also leverages the nascent technology.

According to the survey, 42% of marketers responded they are somewhat likely to use artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning to develop their content marketing strategy in 2018. “Despite some of the hype surrounding artificial intelligence, this survey shows that AI is very real and marketers are adopting AI-first technology in search and content marketing sectors faster than most,” said Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge.

Let’s not forget about the most sought marketing tactic for digital marketers: consumer personalization. Enterprises want to personalize the customer experience and chatbots have been advertised as a logical next step. While adoption remains low for chatbots, PointSource investigated how consumers would be willing to interact with them – if given the chance. When comparing whether a consumer preferred a chatbot vs. human; the preference changed based on the complexity of the task. For example, when it came to simple automation such as delivery, tracking or fulfillment; chatbots hold an edge. When it depended on more complex tasks such as insurance policy browsing, asking questions while in-store or customer service post-purchase – a human was desired.

Bottom Line: Marketers want AI capable solutions such as prescriptive data analysis from multiple sources, ad optimization, and personalization for the consumer. However, many still lack the knowledge to execute AI applications on their own. Chatbots although low in adoption, have more to offer when accomplishing simple tasks that accentuates the customer experience.

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