What Is AI? — A Primer for Marketers
The first step is to understand AI and its opportunities
The Rate of Change Is Accelerating
You may not realize it yet, but your job and career path as a marketer are drastically changing.
Little by little, day by day, AI is getting smarter due to accelerating advancements in data accessibility, computing power, and deep learning (an advanced form of AI).
For marketers, this means that the technologies you use to plan and run your advertising, analytics, communications, content marketing, customer service, ecommerce, email, sales, SEO, and social media are getting smarter too.
AI Benefits for Marketers
AI enables marketers to achieve outcomes not possible by just humans alone.
In our 2022 State of Marketing AI report, we learned that marketers see a near-term intelligently automated future and believe AI will be essential to their success. Yet, understanding and adoption are slow to take hold due to a lack of training and education.
So, What Is Artificial Intelligence?
In the words of Demis Hassabis, AI is the “science of making machines smart.”
AI is the umbrella term for the algorithms, technologies, and techniques that make machines smart and give marketers superhuman capabilities.
What makes AI different from traditional statistics and computer science is that AI-powered machines continue to evolve and improve based on new data. In other words, they get smarter on their own.
In your personal life, you enjoy the benefits of convenience and personalization made possible by AI on a daily basis:
- YouTube suggests videos.
- Gmail finishes your sentences.
- Facebook targets you with ads.
- Spotify learns the music you love.
- Alexa and Siri answer your questions.
- Amazon predicts your next purchases.
- Netflix recommends shows and movies.
- Google Maps routes you to your destination.
- Apple unlocks the iPhone by scanning your face.
- Tesla Autopilot steers, accelerates, and brakes your car.
- Zoom automatically transcribes your recorded meetings.
And in marketing, AI has implications in every area where data lives, including analytics, automation, advertising, content, emails, sales, search, social, and websites.
Prepare for AI's Impact on Marketing
The most common marketing applications are in language, vision, and prediction. AI continues to have major breakthroughs in three key areas that affect every marketer:
- Understanding and generating language
- Analyzing and producing images and videos
- Predicting outcomes and human behavior
Within those categories, there are dozens of AI applications that can be used to make marketing smarter. And within those dozens of AI applications are thousands of use cases that can drive efficiency and performance in your business.
The marketers who take the initiative now will create a massive competitive advantage. While the early adopters will struggle at times, they will also learn, and so will the AI. That learning will compound over time. AI, and the exponential growth it enables, won’t wait for you.