2019 is set to be a year of exciting developments in the wonderful world of marketing – clients can expect interesting developments in personalisation and interaction. After having a read of Forbes’s Agency Council predictions for the year, one thing stuck out to us – Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Love it or hate it, AI will increasingly become a part of our lives over the next year and beyond. From homing in the abilities of voice searches on our Alexa’s and Google devices, to increasingly sophisticated personalisation algorithms, we’d better get used to a robot telling us what it is we want. Not that we’re complaining, if they can tell us what to have for dinner or what to wear we’d save hours of our time!
So, what can AI help SME businesses with?
- Creating and generating content
Yes, you read that right, machines can now assist with your content creation. Now, they can’t write the whole thing for you, there’ll still be a copywriter huddled over a cup of tea writing the main bulk of your content, but they can help. Using information and data, AI can write reports and simple news – the tools currently on offer include Articoolo and Quill. And they aren’t to be sniffed at, some big names are already using them from the BBC to CBS.
- Curating content
Oh yes, AI can’t only help with the creation of your content, but also the curation! It can ‘connect’ with readers and point them towards better, more relevant content for them. Think of the suggested items on websites such as Amazon or the suggested shows on Netflix – we know you’re all guilty of falling down that rabbit warren! But this isn’t only for the big players, small businesses can use AI to point clients towards relevant blog pages, products and services in order to keep them engaged.
- Email Marketing
We know the pains that some SME businesses can feel with email marketing, you spend ages creating the perfect content for your audience for them to go unopened or unanswered – AI can help! Using data and information of client interactions with your emails, it can suggest the best times of day to contact prospects, how frequently to send marketing material to them and what they might actually want to receive. Using tools like Phrasee, you can also reduce human error and allow it to help you with A/B testing, it can even generate subject lines and cognitive content!
- Digital Advertising
Personalised adverts, whether you find them creepy or crazily helpful, they’re here to stay and why not? They’re handy! By analysing information such as your interests and what demographics you fall into, they allow companies to get right to their target audience and best asses what exactly to send them. Why not look into something like Google Ads to see what digital advertising can do for your business?
- Web Design
Tired of the to and fro between yourself and web developers or programmers? There’s AI that can help with that too! You can now use apps, such as Huula, to develop and build websites dependant on certain criterion such as images, text and call to actions quickly and often for a lot cheaper.
We’ve all been there, aimlessly scrolling around a website trying to get in touch with the business to help us only to have to wait for someone to come back to you. Chatbots can help here, by having an automated system in place, customers can get a more immediate response and hopefully solve their issues quickly and effectively.
So, let’s look at the Pros and Cons:
- Personalised and relevant –
Let’s face facts, many of us are time poor so any time we do have is precious. The right personalised marketing can be relevant and helpful to us, businesses must understand that customers want content tailored just to them, not for the masses. By having marketing material that is personalised and targeted towards a certain target audience or customer issue means that wants and reassurances can be solved quickly, saving you and them time and money.
- Streamlined marketing efforts –
Programmes can use customer data to quickly find prospects that are more likely and ready to convert, meaning that you don’t spend limited time and money chasing after improbable leads.
- Personalisation –
It’s been proven that customers prefer personalisation and AI can help you to achieve this seamlessly – no one will feel spammed if marketing material is clearly relevant and can help them or improve their lives.
- Chatbot scepticism –
Users don’t like clearly unsophisticated chatbots – especially older or less techy savvy users. When it is obvious that there isn’t a human anywhere on the other end of the conversation people can become untrusting.
- Still a need for humans –
Creativity is an inherently human trait – robots can’t develop thoughts/ concepts, make creative decisions or use their (non-existent) imaginations.
- Algorithms can be wrong –
We all know that tech does go wrong, just think of those annoying bugs you get in apps or the times you’ve been told to ‘just turn it on and off again’. Humans are complex and not everything can be solved with an equation and a robot.
So, in our opinion, it is clear that it is worthwhile having an open mind when it comes to AI. At the end of the day, like with everything in life, you never know what will work for you until you give it a try. But like many new trends, this won’t solve everything for you – humans, with their curious and creative minds, are still needed to drive the AI world.
If you feel that you would like some guidance in finding your way around the world of marketing, or if you just want to chat about what is potentially out there for you, then get in touch. Call: 01392 796702 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.s. no robots were harmed in the writing of this article; the copywriter was well watered with tea.