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13 min read

AI in marketing: A paradigm shift

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This article originates from Ray’s talk at the Revenue Marketing Summit in San Francisco, 2023. 

Catch up on this presentation, and others, using our OnDemand service. For more exclusive content, visit your membership dashboard.

As we stand on the brink of a new era in marketing, one question looms large: How will AI change the marketing landscape? 

Will it serve as a replacement for the roles we've carved out for ourselves, or will it become a tool to enhance our capabilities? I’m Ray Beharry, Senior Product Marketing Manager at IBM and former Head of Marketing at Onyx by J.P Morgan. 

In this article, I’ll share my insights into the world of AI in marketing.

The role of AI in marketing

AI has been a buzzword for years, but its impact on marketing is only becoming more pronounced. At its core, AI involves machines or software performing tasks that would typically require human intelligence. This definition often sparks fears of job replacement, but let me put those fears to rest. 

AI isn’t here to usurp our positions but to bolster our efforts. It offers a suite of tools designed to automate mundane tasks, sift through data, and facilitate smarter, real-time decision-making.

Consider the potential of AI to transform our understanding of customer behavior, preferences, and needs. This deeper insight allows us to craft more effective marketing campaigns and create experiences that resonate on a personal level with our audience. 

The benefits of integrating AI into marketing strategies are manifold, including increased efficiency, cost savings, improved accuracy, and the ability to deliver personalized customer experiences.

The power of AI lies in its ability to process vast amounts of data swiftly and effectively, enabling marketers to make informed decisions quickly. This rapid data analysis can uncover trends and patterns that might go unnoticed by the human eye, allowing us to adapt our strategies in real time to meet the evolving needs of our customers

AI algorithms play a crucial role in personalizing customer interactions. By analyzing customer data and behavior, these algorithms can help us tailor our messaging and offerings to match individual preferences, thereby enhancing the customer experience.

The evolution of AI in marketing

The integration of AI into marketing isn’t just a fleeting trend; it's a transformative movement that's reshaping the very fabric of how businesses connect with their customers

AI's role in marketing hinges on leveraging machines to perform tasks that traditionally require human intellect. This encompasses the analysis of customer data and behaviors to unearth insights that drive marketing strategies

By identifying key patterns, optimizing ad copy and targeting, and even automating customer service interactions, AI is revolutionizing marketing efficiency, accuracy, and customer experiences.

The journey of AI in the marketing domain is both rich and enlightening. AI's application in marketing isn’t a recent phenomenon – its roots can be traced back to pivotal moments that highlight its evolving utility and impact:

  • 1998: Amazon pioneers the use of collaborative filtering to offer personalized recommendations, setting a new standard for customer service.
  • 2013: Yahoo leverages Automated Insights to generate 300 million pieces of content, showcasing AI's capacity for content creation.
  • 2014: The rollout of programmatic advertising begins, automating the ad-buying process and making it more efficient.
  • 2015: Google introduces RankBrain, enhancing search results' relevance through AI, and marking a significant leap in search technology.
  • 2016: Voice recognition and response technologies, as seen in Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Siri, open new avenues for interaction and advertising, signifying the growing importance of voice in digital experiences.

These milestones underscore the transformative journey of AI from a novel technology to a cornerstone of modern marketing strategies.

Today, the application of AI in marketing spans various activities, including search engine optimization (SEO), paid search advertising, email marketing, and social media advertising. This wide-ranging use of AI enables businesses to target customers with unprecedented accuracy, tailor experiences to individual preferences, and enhance operational efficiency.

Platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Spotify, and Netflix utilize AI to recommend friends, content, music, and programming, respectively, illustrating AI's deep integration into our daily digital experiences. 

These applications not only improve user engagement but also offer businesses innovative ways to connect with their audience.

As AI technology becomes more accessible and powerful, its role in marketing continues to grow. From the early days of collaborative filtering to the latest advancements in voice recognition, AI's evolution in marketing reflects a broader shift toward more personalized, efficient, and data-driven marketing strategies. 

Written by:

Ray Beharry

Ray Beharry

Senior Product Marketing Manager at IBM

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AI in marketing: A paradigm shift