Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have been massively hyped over the years. These days it seems every company is an AI/ML company.
If we’re going to leverage the full benefits of AI and ML, it’s important to first understand the technology and discern between the facts and fiction of how it works today. Only then can we understand what is real, how this technology can be transformative, and how machine learning and AI can enable creativity and strategic thinking for marketers.
Machine learning starts with data
Without the ability to analyze data, identify patterns, and put it to use, data is effectively useless. Machines are ruthless optimizers that can organize data on a level that is impossible for humans to replicate. However, machines today cannot replicate the creative thinking and strategies that humans can generate and act on. The data-optimized through the machine with machine learning provides marketers with a supercharged ability to make the most informed decisions and implement a creative strategy to achieve target outcomes.
Machine learning for marketers
The things that matter to companies and individuals are decisions and actions. Businesses should ask themselves: What decisions do you wish you could make smarter and faster? Are you structurally set up as an organization to make those decisions?
Solving marketer’s problems with machine learning
Which category of problems can machine learning help us with? It can give marketers superhuman capabilities to find patterns in data to deepen our understanding, optimize delivery against well-defined goals, react to changes rapidly and rationally, and execute our ideas predictably, with less friction and more feedback.
Enabling customer interactions in real-time
For marketing, much of the information and patterns that are useful relate to customer behavior. Not only does real-time data ensure that campaigns are reaching the right people, but it also allows marketers to respond to changing market conditions. By combining machine learning with real-time data, marketers can see results live, instead of waiting for results at the end of a campaign.
This means brands can detect and capitalize on current trends in the market.
While machines can take care of analyzing data around demographics, web browsing behaviors, and past purchases, having the right creative marketer — who can connect current trends to campaign goals and ensure the right questions are being asked of the machines — is what distinguishes a good campaign from a great one.
In addition to helping us get deeper insight and understanding of audience behavior, great technology should also make it simple for marketers to react to this information by getting new creative ideas live in minutes, rather than months.
Something to ponder
Can ML predict the future? Machine learning technology combined with real-time data can enable marketers to understand emerging trends and behavioral shifts as they happen and make it easy to react to these changes by getting automatically optimized campaigns live in minutes and see if they are working within hours and days.
Machine learning will create an impact by bridging the gaps between marketing strategy, insight, idea, and execution and by allowing us to understand more deeply and quickly, be more creative, test ideas more confidently and easily, and measure impact more effectively.