Artificial intelligence (AI) is the hot topic not just in business and technology but also in marketing and communications. Last month I was a panelist at AI conference discussing AI’s impact on marketing and communications. There was intrigue as well as apprehension about the implications of AI. Being replaced by a bot or a robot is every person’s nightmare.
Here are my thoughts on how AI is transforming marketing and communications.
The AI revolution is spurred by the availability of affordable and accessible data analytics tools. Marketers and Communicators have started realizing the power of data-driven approaches to decision making.
I sharpened my tech teeth during the dotcom era. The world then and now is dramatically different. Technology has now transformed our lives, it has both improved and disrupted it. It has transformed the way we work and communicate.
The rise of AI will further cause disruptions and create opportunities. AI will replace certain type of jobs we have been managing for decades for sure. This has already begun.
Will AI hurt us more than help us?
AI is already here, alive and kicking! AI is virtually becoming an indispensable tool. Here’s few examples of it.
• Deep learning: Deep learning is the technology behind marketing AI. It teaches a computer diverse skills, like how to understand text, speech, and recognize photos, and then apply it’s learning to deliver answers, clarify queries and offer suggestions. For example, deep learning is part of Facebook's efforts to improve filters on the posts and ads we see.
• Content curation and recommendations: AI is already profoundly impacting what news we are shown on our Facebook feeds and Google News via news recommendations. We are more likely to see and click on ads and news reports that correspond with our thoughts and opinions. The news we are receiving is already tailored for us. These recommendations are based on deep learning and AI, where machines analyze large amount of data about people's behavior on the web, analyze and determine their likely next actions.
Another example, The Associated Press is taking advantage of AI with machines that are writing full earnings reports -- more than 3,500 each quarter for U.S. companies. It's also working to generate AI-written articles for 10,000 minor league baseball games per year.
• PR and AI: For a Public Relations professionals isn’t it extremely laborious and exhausting to engage with stakeholders on social media, liking, replying, following, searching in real time daily? Wouldn't it be fantastic if we can automate several of these tasks, generate reports and create dashboards! Saving our time for creative work and decision-making activities.
AI backed automation is already helping us perform basic yet fundamental tasks, such as research, gathering media lists, creating customized daily news reports, news (message analysis), competitive analysis, and measuring media reach and outcome, and press releases distribution.
With improved insight into consumers wants, the messages being delivered are precise and direct more than ever before. AI backed automation is making PR function more data-centric than before.
This is enhancing our ability to measure, analyze and predict PR outcomes.
• Product recommendations: Besides content, marketers are also leveraging deep learning to make product recommendations. A visit to any eCommerce website today displays how AI is used to recommend products based on the products we click and buy.
• Chatbots: Chatbots enhanced with AI is used for quick and effective communication. For example, Facebook is offering 11,000 chatbots through its Messenger app that enables its users to do many things, from ordering and paying for a pizza, to finding the right movie to watch.
Many marketers already using chatbots to interact with humans - to answer routine questions, respond to customer queries, assist with purchases, book travel and much more.
In future, AI will take over many of those functions. AI will free us from mundane tasks enabling us to focus on innovation and creativity.
· Dynamic pricing: The travel industry pioneered this, dynamic pricing - it sets product prices in relation to demand and availability. Dynamic pricing has grown beyond travel industry, spreading to eCommerce and Sharing Economy. Leave an item in your shopping cart on Amazon, next day you will find the price changed. When we see a price surge of Uber cab service know that you are experienced dynamic pricing at work.
AI is becoming indispensable quickly.
AI today is enabling us to analyze large data and engage customers and other constituents more efficiently and effectively than ever before.
Creativity Marketing and Communication
I believe we humans, will continue to drive the creative and strategic aspect of our function. I don't buy the argument that automation of creative role has begun. We, humans will continue to lead in the automated future, it is necessary to look for areas where human intelligence and emotions are vastly superior to AI.
AI will have least or no impact on the EQ element of our work that has a profound and immediate impact on our professional outcomes. Emotional Intelligence plays a critical role in conversations and negotiations leading to creative outcomes. Can a machine learn emotional intelligence of human beings? For example-
• Read between the lines and understanding what’s not said. AI or chatbots will never be able to develop a sensibility to distill social meaning from everyday encounters. Reading between the lines is vital to comprehending developing situations, understanding potential, and existing conditions that are necessary for expected outcome.
• Understand the contextual meaning of a situation. AI will never be able to do things with human understanding. It will never know when to pause or when to sneer. It will also never do the irony.
• Interpret a situation. To understand a situation, it is not enough to simply read the text, it happens by understanding what is mentioned, consider a different point of views and the degree of significance. Understanding a situation is a must before we interpret it to develop a point of view or a strategy.
• Understand the social culture, local customs, and traditions. Consumer buying decision is deeply influenced by it.
Values and attitudes vary between people, markets, and nations. They differ even within nations. Take countries like India and China there is enormous diversity. It also depends on level and nature of education. If we are planning to take a product or service it is imperative to have a good grasp of the social culture besides business and economic situations before we enter the market. Undertaking this is a human activity.
Social organization, how a society is organized. For example, what is the role of women in a society? It’s political system, how is the country governed – centralized or devolved? The level of influence of a certain class or caste upon society shouldn't be overlooked.
AI will be a tool for marketing and communications. I believe doing what machines and AI can’t perform will elevate the profession and our expertise to a higher level.
Marketing and Communications professionals are constantly on the lookout for ways to make quicker and more informed decisions that drive results. AI brings about changes by improved understanding and better insight of the digital landscape. This will empower decision-making by giving us practitioners the most in-depth and comprehensive look at problem-solving.
Big data and AI will help the industry better understand readership’s core attributes.
Caution, Understanding AI, and its powerful potential to shape marketing and communications is critical. Preparation and optimism are required to manage the changes AI will bring. Ramifications of AI is not all about doom and gloom.
The future looks promising, especially for those of us where creative input, craftsmanship, and human judgment will remain superior to machines.
watch this video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5vxRC8dMvs