Crossing the chasm in AI-led marketing transformation

By Gyanendra Pati

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly emerged as a game-changer in various industries, and marketing is no exception. By leveraging the power of deep learning algorithms, generative AI has opened new possibilities for businesses to adopt transformative marketing strategies to create business value and ensure customer delight. AI holds huge potential to help marketers augment their creativity, help create precise segments to go after, personalize their message, orchestrate focused campaigns, and create compelling and personalized marketing content that can strike a chord with its customer. And that is why it should be among the top priorities for any chief marketing officer (CMO) to unravel the possibilities of AI. 

Customer-centric sectors such as fintech, and e-commerce have already started piloting AI strategies while many other sectors are expected to slowly follow the same path. But undoubtedly, AI will usher in a new paradigm in marketing as the experts will now be able to focus primarily on customers’ behavioral patterns rather than operations, and of course better targeting. 

The global artificial intelligence market size was estimated at $136.6 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 196.6 billion in 2023, which is expected to rise to $2 trillion by 2030.

In a nutshell, let’s see how AI can be used for marketing. From crafting engaging campaigns that can resonate with target audiences, and drive personalised conversions, generative AI can transform the way marketing is being perceived today. 

How AI can revolutionize branding

Till date, the AI that was so far integrated with marketing strategies was just the tip of the iceberg. For instance, we have seen how companies have been using chatbots to automate customer service. Now, going forward we will see how chatbots can personalise the conversations, help the customer with precise answers and so on. This can change marketing strategies for industries such as travel, healthcare, and e-commerce, to begin with. 

Secondly, visuals play a crucial role in capturing the audience’s attention and conveying brand messages effectively. Generative AI can be employed to create stunning graphics, illustrations, and even videos that resonate with the brand’s identity. AI-driven tools can quickly generate artwork, logos, and other design elements based on specific brand guidelines, ensuring cohesive and visually appealing marketing materials.

In today’s age, in the sea of brands, personalisation plays a key role to strike a chord with the customer. Understanding which cohort of customers and their preferences is crucial for the success of a marketing campaign. Generative AI algorithms can analyze customer data, behavior, and preferences to craft highly personalized experiences. From tailored email content and product recommendations to dynamic website interfaces, it enables businesses to connect with consumers on a one-to-one level, thereby increasing engagement and conversions. This can help brands to a large extent with their customer retention. 

AI-powered tools can also analyze social media data to identify trending topics, relevant hashtags, and optimal posting times. Moreover, generative AI can assist in crafting engaging social media posts that align with the brand’s tone and resonate with the target audience.

According to a survey by Salesforce, 51% are already experimenting with generative AI or using it at work already. Further, it also says that marketers estimated that generative AI could save them 5 hours per week — that adds up to over one month a year. Additionally, AI tools are also helping to analyze the data and make the right decision as 41% of business leaders cite a lack of understanding of data because it’s too complex or not accessible enough. 

Privacy matters

Recently, the National Software and Services Company (NASSCOM) body – Nasscom has released guidelines for the ‘responsible’ use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) by developers and researchers. Although, since the industry is still nascent, these guidelines will keep evolving from time to time looking at the dynamics of the technology. 

However, what remains pertinent is a customer’s data. While industries will implement AI in various ways, it remains crucial to safeguard a customer’s personal data especially such as financial data, healthcare records and so on. 

Going forward, each sector should draft its own guidelines taking into consideration the challenges that AI brings to the existing data privacy laws. However, this maturity will only come as we see the advanced use cases of AI. 

Impact of AI on marketing costs

So far, buying data was a major cost for marketers. To put it in perspective, to run a targeted marketing campaign, every company would buy bulk data from that cohort. Depending on the quality and accuracy of the data, the price varies. 

However, with AI, companies are being tactful. As it is still nascent, companies are taking it slow and still understanding how to implement it. Several companies have also started hiring and looking out for data analysts who can join the marketing team for this purpose. At the same time, companies are also training their employees on AI tools to fill the gap. Soon, we will see several roles being created for such requirements. 

Are you falling behind?

It is understood that adapting AI will have its own set of challenges, like other newer technologies. From privacy to talent, these are areas where efforts from bigger companies will slowly pave the way. While Google, Meta have already started investing heavily on AI, it is inevitable that smaller companies are taking time to understand how to approach this strategy. 

Scaling of AI across organisations will also vary and can turn out to be a challenge. From finding out its use cases to the implementation, the process will be difficult, especially in larger organisations. 

However, what remains definite is there is no looking back for any organisation. If the companies are not finding ways how to integrate AI into their daily operations, it will be obvious that the competition is a step ahead. From content to researchers, every role needs to find out how they can amplify their work with AI, starting today. 

The author is senior director – global head of marketing and communications, Acuity Knowledge Partners

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