Another day, another mountain of marketing tasks to tackle—such is the work-life of a small business owner. But advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are starting to shift this story, as machine learning capabilities and large language model “writing assistants” like ChatGPT are allowing professionals of all sorts to outsource and scale marketing activities like never before. Here’s an overview of AI marketing strategy and some AI-powered marketing tools that may turbocharge your own marketing efforts.
What is AI marketing?
AI marketing is an approach in which some marketing tasks once assigned to humans are performed by artificial intelligence. An AI marketing tool uses technology including, but not limited to:
- Natural language processing (NLP): A computer’s ability to understand human speech.
- Machine learning (ML): Machine learning uses statistical techniques, including algorithms, to enable computers to learn from data and make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed. Deep learning, which involves layering algorithms to understand data better, is closely related.
- Large language models (LLMs): Software-based neural networks that can generate human-sounding text. This is a subtype of machine learning.
AI marketing software harnesses these technologies to perform tasks ranging from customer segmentation to generating marketing copy.
Benefits of AI marketing solutions
AI marketing solutions can offload manual tasks from team members so they can focus on bigger things. The benefits of AI marketing include:
They save your team time
AI-enabled marketing tools can help you automate manual tasks and increase productivity. Or, you might use AI to quickly come up with variations on ad copy for different audience groups—a task that might otherwise take you hours to complete.
They increase your team’s capacity
When AI handles low-level tasks, you and your human employees are freed up for higher-level work, such as creative ideation and strategy.
AI marketing platforms use information to produce outputs that are grounded in data—data that would take humans a long time to process. For example, you can use machine learning tools to analyze customer behavior to create audience segments for email campaigns or to generate personalized product recommendations.
They can improve over time
AI tools that are powered by machine learning have the potential to get smarter over time. Some AI marketing platforms also employ machine learning to power predictive analytics. For instance, your AI tool can process past marketing campaign data and help you design future campaigns based on what worked in the past.
7 types of AI marketing tools
- Generative tools
- Virtual assistants
- Recommender systems
- Predictive analytics and forecasting
- Customer segmentation and marketing automation
- Sentiment analysis and social listening software
AI tools help you scale your operations and magnify the output of your human team. Today’s AI marketing software can power:
Today’s conversational chatbots combine multiple AI technologies—including machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and large language models (LLMs)—to generate human-like dialogue. They’re a well-known resource in customer service, but they can also be incorporated into your marketing website and checkout flow to answer questions about product details.
2. Generative tools
Generative AI marketing tools use Deep Learning to produce human-like prose or realistic imagery. Businesses use generative AI tools to create blog posts, images, website copy, emails, and internal documentation, like meeting notes and team memos. Generative tools need both good inputs from humans and careful review of the output by humans, as current tools are known to produce content with errors, inaccuracies, and biases.
3. Virtual assistants
Most virtual assistants are humans who help business owners with tasks including note taking, follow-up, communications, and scheduling. Today’s AI technology is advancing to cover many of these same duties. One example is Fireflies, an AI virtual assistant that supports meetings, performing tasks such as scheduling and transcribing conversations. These tools can increase the efficiency of marketing teams.
4. Recommender systems
An AI recommender system, or recommendation system, uses machine learning, content filtering, and context filtering of your data in order to surface personalized product recommendations to users (which it might base on data like demographic information and search history).
5. Predictive analytics and forecasting
Through machine learning, AI systems can analyze sales data to predict market demand, allowing you to strategically schedule campaigns. They can also help you set up a dynamic pricing system based on real-time user behavior, global supply and demand, and competitors.
6. Customer segmentation
AI marketing platforms can use algorithms to segment your customers based on geography, demographics, and purchase histories. You can target these segments in your digital marketing efforts, with specific messages for specific groups of people. For instance, you might send an email about bathing suits to customers in Hawaii and a different email about snow pants to customers in Wisconsin.
7. Sentiment analysis and social listening software
AI software can use natural language processing to monitor comment threads and social media posts. Its capacity to understand human syntax continues to grow, so it can more effectively summarize user feedback now than before.
Best AI marketing tools
Entrepreneurs in search of AI marketing tools can start with these popular platforms:
This free AI tool can generate copy based on your inputs—you instruct it on what to write about and what voice and tone to use.
This AI writing tool, which is powered by ChatGPT, can help with SEO marketing because it conducts keyword research and scans your competitors’ sites and search engine results. Pricing starts at $29 per month.
An AI social media assistant that allows you to search hashtags to monitor trending topics and track your brand. It can also provide content suggestions for your posts. Pricing starts at around $14 per month following a seven-day free trial (prices are listed in pounds, this price in USD may change).
An AI chatbot that can answer frequently asked questions and assists with lead qualification. Pricing starts at $14.99 per month.
An AI-powered email marketing tool that helps you create custom messages and delivers them when readers would be most likely to engage. Pricing starts at $64 per month.
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How to implement AI marketing
- Think about when to use AI
- Choose your tools
- Learn best practices
- Maintain ethical standards and transparency
Using AI technology can greatly expand your marketing capabilities. Here’s how to implement AI into your digital marketing strategy.
1. Think about when to use AI
AI tools can’t self-direct—they need prompts and information from humans in order to deliver value. As such, AI can augment the capabilities of your human team, but it can’t replace them or be employed without human supervision. Ask yourself where work is getting bottlenecked by resource constraints, or where you’d like to scale up but haven’t had the capacity to do so. Maybe you want to test variations of marketing copy on your website or in emails but don’t have the time to draft them and analyze the results. These could be areas where investing in AI might have a high return on investment (ROI).
2. Choose your tools
Pick platforms or tools that align with your business needs, whether that’s to create content, implement chatbots, or analyze data at scale.
3. Learn best practices
The success of an AI tool depends on your ability to adopt it and use it to its fullest potential. Educate yourself on best practices for utilizing AI tools and if you have a team, facilitate training for them.
Remember: Generative AI is pretty new, and users are still in the process of figuring out how to get maximum value from it. Stay up to date by reading about how other business owners or marketing leaders are using it, how it’s delivering value, and any challenges they’re encountering.
4. Maintain ethical standards and transparency
All AI tools require you to input data, so if you’re inputting customer data, make sure your technology providers uphold the highest privacy standards. If they don’t, your data could leak across the internet.
While some AI technologies have been around for a while, generative AI is a new frontier, and early adopters must use it responsibly. You also need to be transparent with customers about when they’re interacting with humans and when they’re interacting with a machine. This promotes a culture of trust between business and consumer.
AI marketing FAQ
How does AI marketing help with customer segmentation?
AI technology can rapidly scan customer profiles and user behavior to group people into unique customer segments and then generate marketing language personalized for each one.
Can AI marketing replace human marketers?
While AI marketing solutions are powerful, they can’t fully replace humans in the marketing world. Businesses still need workers—from chief marketing officers to copywriters—to lead teams, make strategic decisions, and supervise the input and output of AI marketing tools. As such, marketing AI can complement and aid, rather than replace, human workers.
How can I ensure the ethical use of AI in marketing?
Do not intentionally mislead customers by suggesting that an AI chatbot is a human. Disclose when they’re chatting with a chatbot. Use the same ethical standards to apply to content generated by a machine as that generated by a human. Accurately represent your products and services in all your marketing materials. Do not input sensitive customer data into AI tools.