Artificial intelligence is poised to permeate all aspects of business and marketing, and it’s only getting bigger. The top ten tech companies, including Google, Amazon, and Apple, have invested $8.6 billion in acquiring artificial intelligence start-ups since 1998, and AI investments will only grow from there.

Staying head of the game, or least in the game, will require investment in AI. Even if you’re not purely a ‘tech’ company, whether you’re a retailer, food service company, telecom provider, or a health-care organization, if your company isn’t using artificial intelligence yet, your competition is or soon will be. The implications for marketers are endless, and disruptive retailers are already using AI tools for manufacturing, logistics, and payment.  

This Harvard Business Review post describes how the best applications of AI will help you grow your brand by focusing on one of three purposes.

  1. Process automation has high ROI because it frees up human time. Rather than shuffling administrative papers back and forth, allowing AI to handle these tasks lets people put their time and focus back on people.
  2. Engagement AI helps employees communicate more quickly and efficiently with their customers. Chatbots and voice assistants can handle quick and simple queries allowing their human counterparts to take the time to really listen and attend to the problems that need human care and attention.
  3. Insight AI detects patterns in vast quantities of data to learn about and predict customer needs. What used to be dealt with as simple digital analytics, web analytics, or big data can now be dealt with far more efficiently and accurately using AI.

Disruptive brands aren’t just talking about AI. They’re creating customized, proprietary AI tools right now, many of them focusing on the Engagement AI purpose. Chatbots are among the most simple forms of artificial intelligence, allowing brands to interact with consumers 24/7. They also add personality to what would otherwise be sterile digital interactions. Chatbots are more engaging, allow more intimate conversations on sensitive issues, and can even be used to gather consumer insights. H&M offers a chatbot as a personal stylist, Sephora offers a product recommendation chatbot, and many other global companies have now implemented chatbots to improve their customer experience.

AI is the next technological evaluation in marketing and it will succeed. It’s up to us as marketers to ensure we stay ahead of the curve and create positive experiences for both consumers and brands.

Are you ready for AI?

Click here to download the 2017 Sklar Wilton Canadian Artificial Intelligence Paper

Our 2018 AI white paper is now available. Download it here: The Sklar Wilton & Associates Marketer’s Guide to Successful AI.