If someone said the words ‘artificial intelligence’ to you, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You wouldn’t be blamed if thoughts of Blade Runner style robots taking over the world popped into your head (after all, Hollywood has given us a certain sense of doom when tackling the matter of AI). But in the fast paced world we live in, does AI hold the key to new digital marketing advances?
For those now wondering what AI is exactly; a brief summary: AI refers to decision making and rational thinking carried out by man made machines instead of natural intelligence displayed by animals (most dominantly humans).
Now when placed in the context of digital marketing, AI can have some incredible upsides. Companies such as Facebook and Google are paving the way in AI marketing by putting it to work targeting potential customers with personalised targeted ads. The way in which it works is fairly simple. Have you ever clicked ‘Accept Cookies’ and not given much thought to what exactly happens behind the scenes when you do? Well once you hit that ‘accept’ button, your actions across a website are tracked and the owner of that site can see the products, services or any other number of things you look at (scary I know). AI tools then use a collection of that data, as well as further metrics such as customer profiles and past ad analysis to effectively target any customer with personalised ads. As if that wasn’t enough, AI can then also determine an entirely new potential customer list based off of common trends it finds.
But let’s not just take a look at large corporate companies, the everyday implications are more easily identifiable by delving into the AI marketing of a single Harley Davidson dealership in New York City.
With two bike sales a week, it’s clear to see how the manager of NYC Harley Davidson was unsatisfied with his branch and thought a change in marketing strategy was needed. Enter AI marketing. AI got straight to work identifying new potential customers that traditional methods hadn’t yet found and targeted them with personalised ads that suited their lifestyle. In the first three months, sales had increased by 2,390%. The new sales were such an increase on previous numbers that a new call centre was set up to deal with the increased traffic alone.
Now if you’re on your way to the next Hell’s Angels meet up on your new Harley, you might fancy stopping for a coffee on the way! If you do, you might like to know that Starbucks are using AI in their marketing as well. By installing the Starbucks app, you again are being tracked so that AI can help increase sales for the company. However, unlike Harley Davidson who are trying to sell you one large product, Starbucks utilises AI in a slightly different way. By tracking your order history as well as your time of purchase and favourite stores, AI uses predictive analytics to give each customer personalised messages. These messages include new offers similar to your regular order, upsold products you might not know you need and can even send you these notifications when it knows you’re near one of its stores. All of that data is readily available, but is put to effective use in the hands of AI.
AI may still sound like a scary prospect to many, but for large corporations, single retail stores or even self employed workers, AI can help propel and revolutionise the way your marketing strategy works for you. So next time someone mentions AI in any capacity, try not to think of Blade Runner and global domination, but instead of Harley Davidson, and what is now one of their most profitable stores in the US.
If you would like more data-driven decisions in your campaigns, contact us at Lynn email@example.com.
This article was written by Ross Singleton, Digital Marketing Executive at Lynn.