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How AI is Changing Marketing in 2023

Posted by Nikki on 01-Jun-2023 10:40:17
| 11 Minute Read

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) is making a profound impact on marketing strategies, presenting both opportunities and challenges for CMOs, Marketing Directors, and even CEOs everywhere. AI technologies are revolutionising the way businesses engage with customers, optimise campaigns, and deliver personalised experiences. It’s also affecting the way consumers search.

The Growing Impact of AI In Marketing

From leveraging chatbots and automated content creation to enhancing email marketing and transforming web development, AI is reshaping the marketing landscape in unprecedented ways. And as we begin to navigate this AI-powered frontier, understanding the potential of AI tools and best practices becomes crucial for building successful, data-driven strategies that drive growth and competitive advantage.

In this blog, we’re going to look at how using AI tools effectively in the main marketing channels can unlock new levels of efficiency, personalisation, and customer engagement that can help your business to thrive in the digital age.


Why Understanding and Leveraging AI Should Be Important to Your Business

In today's digital landscape, understanding and leveraging AI tools effectively is not just a competitive advantage; it has become an imperative task for CMOs, Marketing Directors and Marketing Managers.

AI technologies are transforming the way businesses operate, interact with customers, and deliver personalised experiences. By harnessing the power of AI, businesses can better optimise marketing campaigns, enhance customer segmentation and targeting, automate time-consuming tasks, and gain valuable insights from vast amounts of data. From improving customer experiences and increasing engagement to driving revenue growth and gaining a competitive edge, the impact of AI on the business is felt across various facets of marketing.

Businesses who embrace AI intelligently and integrate it strategically into their marketing strategies by also being aware of the risk AI tools bring will be poised to thrive in the digital era. However, those who fail to adapt, or who ultimately use the tools too carelessly may risk falling far behind their competitors.


Understanding How AI Is Impacting the Different Marketing Channels

AI is revolutionising all the core marketing channels, altering the way businesses engage with customers and optimise their strategies. For example, in search engine optimisation (SEO), AI is shifting the focus towards optimising for chatbots, while also addressing the rise of zero-click searches. In pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, AI is enabling more effective ad creation and asset optimisation, although challenges remain in fully automated campaigns. In email marketing and customer relationship management (CRM), AI is facilitating automated data cleansing, personalised content generation, and even email writing. AI is also accelerating content creation and ideation across text, images, and videos, empowering marketers to produce high-quality content at scale. And in web development, AI is making its mark by aiding in code creation and helping review code for efficiency and accuracy.

But what are the caveats that marketers need to be aware of as AI continues to improve? We’ve taken a deep dive into the pros and cons of AI across every marketing channel.

I. Optimising for Chatbots and the Changing SEO Landscape

The shift from search engines to chatbots in customer interactions

The shift from search engines to chatbots in customer interactions is being significantly impacted by AI, and it presents marketers with both challenges and opportunities for long-term strategy development.

AI-powered chatbots are transforming the way businesses engage with customers by providing instant, personalised, and conversational interactions. Chatbots offer a seamless experience, delivering relevant information and resolving queries efficiently. However, marketers must exercise caution in optimising their marketing strategies to include chatbots. While chatbots prioritise immediate responses, it's important to maintain a fine balance between automation and human touch, particularly in complex or sensitive interactions that require empathy and understanding.

SEO specialists must also consider the impact on the future of search engine optimisation (SEO) as chatbots may shift the focus from traditional keyword research driven SEO strategies to those which are based on more conversational optimisation. However, by incorporating AI-driven chatbots strategically into their customer interactions, marketers can enhance their engagement, improve customer experiences, and build long-term relationships.

Read more about how AI is impacting search in our deep-dive blog.

Understanding zero-click searches and their implications

Understanding zero-click searches and their implications is crucial for businesses to be able to adapt their organic marketing strategies effectively. Zero-click searches refer to search engine results pages (SERPs) where users find the information they need without clicking through to any specific website. As AI algorithms improve, search engines aim to provide immediate answers and information directly on the search results page, impacting traditional organic traffic.

Ultimately this means that zero-click searches will limit website visibility and reduce click-through rates, affecting organic search rankings and traffic. To offset this, marketing strategies should aim to provide concise, relevant, and optimised information that addresses users' queries directly to maintain visibility and establish their website as a trusted source.

It is important to closely monitor search engine trends, continually optimise content, and diversify marketing channels to mitigate reliance on organic search alone. Striking a balance between optimising for zero-click searches, while maintaining a strong presence across multiple touchpoints, is key to maximising the marketing impact of any business in this evolving digital landscape and as the future of search begins to evolve.


Potential SEO challenges with AI-written content

The emergence of AI-written content brings both opportunities and challenges for marketers in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO). AI can generate content efficiently, but there are caveats to consider.

One challenge is ensuring that AI-written content adheres to SEO best practices and aligns with the brand's voice and messaging. Any content generated by AI should be carefully reviewed and edited to maintain quality, authenticity, and relevance.

Additionally, search engines prioritise unique and valuable content, so relying solely on AI-written content may result in duplicated or generic content that could be penalised in the future by search engines.

When it comes to content, AI should be leveraged only as a tool for content ideation and creation, and human creativity and expertise should be heavily incorporated to enhance the output. Finding a balance between AI-generated content and human input is essential to produce high-quality, SEO-friendly content that resonates with audiences and drives organic visibility in the long run.

2. PPC Advertising and AI: Leveraging Data and Automation

The limitations of fully automated PPC campaigns

While fully automated pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns driven by AI offer efficiency and optimisation potential, there are limitations that CMOs should be mindful of when implementing such strategies.

One limitation is the lack of granular control and transparency in campaign management. While AI algorithms can optimise bids and placements, paid specialists may have limited visibility into the decision-making process. It's crucial then to strike a balance by combining AI automation with human oversight to ensure strategic alignment and control over campaign objectives.

Additionally, fully automated PPC campaigns may not account for nuanced factors such as brand reputation, industry-specific nuances, or evolving customer preferences. It’s recommended that paid search experts should continually monitor and fine-tune campaigns to align with changing business objectives and customer dynamics.

Setting clear campaign goals, establishing KPIs, and leveraging AI automation to optimise bid management, while retaining human involvement for strategy formulation, ad creative, and ongoing monitoring will enable businesses to maximise the effectiveness of their PPC campaigns.

Using AI to create effective ads and assets

AI does offer paid advertising experts the opportunity to create more effective ads and assets for their campaigns. By leveraging AI, various aspects of ads, including ad copy, headlines, and visuals, can be optimised to maximise their impact. AI algorithms can analyse large volumes of data and consumer insights to generate compelling ad variations that resonate with target audiences.

However, businesses should exercise caution in relying solely on AI-generated ads, as they may lack the human touch and emotional appeal that can connect with customers on a deeper level. It's important to combine AI-generated recommendations with human creativity and strategic thinking.

Conducting A/B testing to assess the performance of AI-generated ads against human-generated ones, incorporating customer feedback, and continually refining the ads based on real-time data and insights will enable paid advertising experts to ensure they align AI generated ads and assets with core brand values and the correct messaging.

Find out more about the power of paid advertising in our comprehensive guide

3. Enhancing Email Marketing and CRM with AI

Automated cleansing and maintenance of CRM databases

AI can play a pivotal role in automating the cleansing and maintenance of CRM databases, providing sales teams with clean and up-to-date customer data. AI-powered algorithms can efficiently identify and remove duplicate or outdated records, standardise data formats, and enrich customer profiles with additional information from external sources.

However, it is important to be mindful of the potentially disastrous caveats associated with automated data cleansing. Chief Data Officers should exercise caution and implement safeguards to ensure that critical customer data is not inadvertently removed or modified. Regular monitoring and human oversight are essential to maintain data accuracy and quality.

Best practices include implementing a comprehensive data governance strategy, defining data quality standards, and establishing validation processes to minimise errors. Additionally, protocols must be established when handling sensitive data, ensuring compliance with privacy regulations.

Personalisation opportunities through AI in email marketing

AI presents marketing managers and directors with exciting opportunities to enhance personalisation in email marketing campaigns. By utilising AI algorithms, email marketers can quickly translate vast amounts of customer data, including browsing behaviour, purchase history, and preferences, to deliver highly targeted and personalised email content. AI can also automate the process of segmenting audiences, crafting personalised subject lines, and dynamically generating email content tailored to individual recipients.

But there are drawbacks to consider. Email marketers should be cautious of over-reliance on AI-generated content, as it may lack an emotional connection that may not resonate with certain customers, especially if the product or service itself is particularly emotive. It is also crucial to strike a balance by combining AI-driven personalisation with human creativity and strategic thinking.

Our recommended best practices include regularly monitoring and refining AI-generated content, conducting A/B testing to assess its effectiveness, and incorporating customer feedback to fine-tune customer segmentation. Compliance with data privacy regulations and transparency in personalisation strategies should also remain crucially important. But by using AI intelligently in personalised email marketing strategies, businesses are capable of deepening customer engagement, driving improved conversion rates, and fostering long-term customer loyalty.

AI-powered email writing for efficient and engaging communication

AI-powered email writing offers email marketers an effective tool to create efficient and engaging communication in email marketing campaigns. Through powerful AI content creation, email marketers can automate the process of generating email content, saving time and resources while maintaining consistency in messaging. AI can help craft subject lines, body text, and calls-to-action that are tailored to individual recipients based on their preferences and behaviour.

However, it's still essential to combine AI-generated content with human editing and refinement by conducting thorough quality checks, carefully reviewing the tone and style of AI-generated content, and ensuring it aligns with the brand's voice and values.

Email marketing specialists should also be mindful of potential risks, such as the inadvertent use of inappropriate or misleading language and implement safeguards to mitigate such issues. By harnessing the power of AI-generated email creation effectively, there is still potential to streamline email marketing processes, improve efficiency, and deliver compelling and personalised communication to their target audience – provided it has had human editing.

4. Transforming Content Creation and Ideation

Speeding up content creation using AI for text, images, and videos

One of the first uses of AI in marketing was to offer content marketing experts in particular the potential to accelerate the creation process for text, images, and video content. AI-powered tools can now generate written content, design visuals, and even produce videos at a much faster pace than traditional manual methods. This speed can help content marketers meet the increasing demands for fresh and diverse content across various platforms.

However, limitations remain. While AI can expedite content creation, there may be challenges in maintaining a balance between quantity and quality. Content generated by AI may lack the nuanced understanding, creativity, and emotional connection that human content creators bring.

Content marketers should always use AI as a complement rather than a substitute for human input, leveraging its capabilities for generating initial drafts or providing design suggestions. Content marketers should thoroughly review and edit AI-generated content, ensuring it aligns with brand guidelines and resonates with the target audience. AI-generated content sources should also be checked because while AI can assist in content creation, validating AI-generated content helps mitigate the risk of inaccuracies, biases, or inappropriate language that could negatively impact the brand's reputation or audience perception. In addition, copyright issues within AI arise due to the potential for AI algorithms to generate content that may infringe upon existing copyrights, necessitating careful consideration and adherence to intellectual property laws and regulations.

Additionally, content marketers should monitor the impact of AI-generated content on engagement metrics and customer feedback to refine and improve their strategy.

Generating creative ideas and optimising content through AI tools

AI content creation tools also have the capability to generate creative ideas and optimise content, offering content marketers valuable assistance in their content marketing strategy. AI content writing tools can analyse vast amounts of data, consumer insights, and trends to generate innovative content ideas, identify emerging topics, and suggest optimisation strategies. By incorporating AI, content marketers can streamline their ideation process, ensuring a steady flow of fresh and engaging content.

However, AI-generated ideas may lack the human touch, originality, and intuition that is found in human creativity, which is why it is recommended that content marketers only use AI-generated ideas as a starting point, allowing room for human input to refine and enhance them. In addition, content marketers should also leverage their storytelling skills to add levels of depth and originality to the content.


5. AI in Web Development: From Code Creation to Code Review

Benefits and considerations when incorporating AI in web development processes

AI's role in generating code from scratch, as seen from GPT-4 creating a website from coding written on a napkin, has the potential to significantly impact web developers and their workflows. AI-powered tools can automate the coding process, helping developers expedite development cycles and handle repetitive or mundane tasks.

But just like any AI tool, AI-generated code may still lack the same level of precision, optimisation, and adherence to best practices as code written by experienced developers. It is crucial for web developers to carefully review and validate the generated code to ensure its quality, security, and compatibility with different platforms and browsers.

For web developers, using AI-generated code as a starting point or a tool for inspiration, rather than relying solely on it, should be the recommended best practice. Web developers should use their expertise to refine and enhance any AI generated code, optimise its performance, and address any potential issues.

Whilst collaborating with AI tools can enhance productivity, developers should retain control and maintain a deep understanding of the codebase to ensure its integrity. By striking the right balance between AI-generated code and human expertise, web developers will utilise the benefits of AI whilst still delivering high-quality, efficient, and reliable web development solutions.

Using AI to assist in code review and quality assurance

Finally, AI can play a valuable role in assisting web developers with code review and quality assurance processes. AI-powered tools can scan code for potential errors, security vulnerabilities, and adherence to coding standards, providing developers with efficient, automated feedback and suggestions for improvement. This can help expedite the code review process and ensure much higher code quality.

However, it's still important to acknowledge computer generated drawbacks when working with complex coding requirements. AI tools may not catch all nuanced issues or edge cases that human reviewers can identify, which is why web developers should only use AI-powered code review as a supplement to human expertise, rather than relying on it solely as a replacement. Developers should actively engage in the review process, critically assess AI-generated suggestions, and leverage their domain knowledge to make informed decisions. Regular training and fine-tuning of AI models based on real-world feedback can help improve their accuracy and relevance over time.

But, by effectively integrating AI into the code review and quality assurance processes, web developers can enhance efficiency, catch potential issues, and deliver robust and reliable web applications in a much more efficient timespan. Just recently, Samsung banned their developers from using AI tools due to losing ownership of an important part of their source code when it was uploaded to ChatGPT – subsequently making it the ownership of Microsoft. To mitigate security risks and maintain ownership of your final output, it is important to exercise caution and refrain from sharing sensitive data with AI tools during the content generation process.

Leveraging AI in 2023 - A Summary

In conclusion, AI presents CMOs with a wealth of opportunities to revolutionise their marketing strategies. From optimising SEO and PPC campaigns to enhancing email personalisation and content creation, AI tools can streamline processes, improve efficiency, and drive better results.

However, it remains crucial for CMOs to maintain a balanced approach that combines AI-driven insights with human creativity and expertise. It’s important to recognise the limitations and caveats of ever-evolving AI-generated content so that marketing experts can refine and enhance outputs to ensure they align with the businesses brand identity and target audience.

For CMOs, marketing managers and directors, it is also essential to stay informed about the latest advancements and best practices in AI marketing to make informed decisions and stay ahead in a rapidly evolving landscape. As businesses begin to navigate the growing complexities of integrating AI into their marketing strategies, partnering with a marketing agency can provide invaluable guidance and expertise.

Expertise to Maximise the Benefits of Your Use of AI

With vast marketing industry knowledge and an organisation-wide AI research and training programme, Innovation Visual is exceptionally well placed to help businesses adapt their strategies by harnessing the power of AI safely and effectively. Our team of specialists in different areas of digital marketing have been building their knowledge and experience of AI for months now. We bring this expertise to our clients to help them use AI to gain competitive advantage in the most efficient ways. We will continue to help them achieve their business objectives in this fast-paced AI-driven era that we are heading into.

To discover how to truly embrace the potential of AI in the marketing and sales areas of your business, book a free consultancy call with our team. We can answer your immediate questions and discuss opportunities for you to use AI to gain competitive advantage and not be left behind by your competitors.

Topics: SEO, Technology, Content, Strategy, Digital Marketing, Content Strategy & Planning, Lead Generation, Artificial Intelligence (AI)