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The pace of AI technology is ramping up and it is already transforming the way the world operates. From digital assistants to self-driving cars, humanity is moving forward faster than ever while businesses are becoming more agile and efficient. With all of AI’s accomplishments, what does this means for the marketing industry?

The answer is slightly complicated.

In the AI in Marketing report by Business Insider, 51% of marketers used some form of AI technology or tool while 27% plan to add it to their campaign in the future. While the numbers presented a somewhat positive outlook, different sources suggested otherwise. In a survey by online media monitoring company Meltwater, it found that “54% of marketers don’t feel like they understand AI” and another 54% “believe their company is overlooking the capabilities of AI”.

The reality is that many marketers are aware of the significant impact of AI if it is being used in their marketing activity. Even marketing experts have long championed the need for personalization, omnichannel integration and dynamic engagement. Yet, despite all the talk and advancement in marketing technology, few strides were made towards the adoption of AI in marketing.

While this technology has taken various industries to greater heights, the disruptive nature of AI made marketers more risk-averse. Instead of embracing personalization, they sacrificed it for MarTech and marketing automation. This means limiting AI’s vast capabilities to only performing repetitive actions such as sending out emails and managing social media platforms in order to simplify their operations.

Furthermore, in an age where everyone is addicted to their mobile devices, consumers are always online and they are becoming ever more demanding. They expect personalized experiences, instant engagement, simplicity and value. Businesses are no longer steering their customers’ purchasing journey as it is the customers who are in control of their voyage – from discovery to checkout.

Luckily, things are different now. AI and data are readily available as the catalysts to spark a new marketing transformation. While customer expectations are soaring, so too are marketing opportunities. With AI marketing, machine intelligence and human creativity come together to understand people as individuals, engage them on a hyper-personalized level and produce timely communications, thus, creating new consumer interactions that are more relevant.

As a modern marketer, putting your customers at the center of everything is a given. By augmenting this basic understanding with AI, brands will be able to adapt, react and predict customer preferences in real-time. Your marketing campaigns will be able to evolve alongside your target audience thanks to the insights generated based on the digital breadcrumbs left by consumers – replacing manual guesswork with AI-backed decision making. As a result, marketers can expect their data-driven campaigns to deliver exponential accuracy and better outcomes.

In addition, AI can help brands fully realize personalization and more importantly, relevance at scale. As consumers expect businesses to fully understand their needs, AI will be able to gather, analyze and disseminate data to deliver authentic products, services and experiences that are wholly relevant when it truly matters. This is an end-to-end marketing optimization as businesses will be able to plan their creative messaging all the way to the retail experience. Marketers will have the ability to consider not only superficial values like color and aesthetic preferences but also purchase histories and customer motivations.

It may seem like a lot of work but modern brands are no longer driven solely by revenue. They are looking for other indices such as better engagement, enhanced loyalty, improved satisfaction, and community building and fostering. Over time, AI marketing and informed creativity will be able to bring these values to a company via tailored offerings, optimized customer journey, demand prediction and personalized recommendations – pushing innovation on all fronts.

As it stands, marketers have yet to fully embrace AI as part of their marketing strategy. However, it is slowly becoming a priority as the influx of data exponentially increases, so too have their jobs become more complex. With AI solutions, marketers will be able to craft content that resonates more deeply with their audience. Instead of trying to persuade consumers with their marketing efforts, marketers will also be able to listen to what their customers want. Until AI’s full potential is unleashed, they are merely on the verge of an explosion of storytelling.

Think of it this way; advances in technology always go hand in hand with opportunities for storytelling and marketing. During a time when TV and radio dominated the tech sphere, it brought an era of mass marketing as everyone’s eyes and ears are glued to their tubes. Right now, the easy accessibility of the Internet and mobile devices has brought a whole new level of contextual targeting. As a result, AI technology will be the impetus that reinvents customer engagement, kicks off exponential growth and ultimately, revolutionizes the way marketers tell their stories.