Like with any other modern industry Artificial Intelligence has begun to make its impact on publishing industry too. Artificial Intelligence or AI is an umbrella term for technologies that aim to imitate human intelligence, we have machine learning, neural networks and deep learning which are inter-related terms collectively representing an endeavor to make machines replicate intelligent tasks performed by humans. The amount of data produced in last few years constitutes over 90% of the total data available today and only a minuscule portion of it is analyzed by marketers. To analyze and gain meaningful insights from this huge data is no feat we can achieve manually.
Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, says mixed reality, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing are three path-breaking technologies that will “shape” the world in coming years. “The currency of our times will be the ability to collect data but, more importantly, to reason over it to create intelligence,” he said referring to AI as one of the three technologies that will “shape the years and decades to come.
Content marketing is one field where AI is making the first impact. Marketing automation tools have been around for over a decade which automates email campaigns and generate insights. These tools reduce human efforts to a large extent but whether they really bring true automation in the process is an open question. They can achieve scale in the volume of the campaigns but they still need continuous human intervention in decision making. Artificial Intelligence is not just about marketing automation, it’s machines approaching the state of being conscious, in AI induced marketing the amount and aspects of achievable automation could be game changing.
AI works on a great amount of data, algorithms parse the data and make predictions and decisions, they check for accuracy and constantly learn and improve their accuracy based on their own computation. AI based marketing tools could read and understand the content and eventually could even be able to create content. Using deep learning based on the data on user behavior they could make more precise product recommendation, Facebook’s news feed is an obvious example, Facebook also uses deep learning, an AI subfield in face recognition in the photos we upload. AI based tools can detect patterns at granular level, providing accuracy in delivering personalized product recommendations.
For content marketing, AI has a long list of applications, based on user behavior marketers can make content recommendations, and based on the first interaction they can recommend and implement campaign strategies. Besides, they can be used for other marketing related activities like customer segmentation based on behavior and intent, lead prioritization, sales strategy, and retargeting. Presently publishers use marketing automation tools, up to a certain level these tools are of value, but how would you gain valuable insight from that great amount of data on millions of customer, make correlations between subsets of data and act on the insights, imagine 1000s of ebooks downloaded which originated from different channels, how would you send personalized emails to each of them, and make recommendations the customer would likely buy.
Salesforce, the cloud computing company which specialises in customer relationship management is going deep into AI, Marc Benioff, CEO and founder of Salesforce in an interview with Fortune said, “We’re in an AI spring,” Benioff said “For our company, and I think for every company, the revolution in data science will fundamentally change how we run our business because we’re going to have computers aiding us in how we’re interacting with our customers.” In today’s competitive market businesses who don’t understand their customers will less likely survive, the kind of data available per customer, per demography, per geography is perplexing to a human. When everybody is vying for a share of the pie building personal relationships with customers is key, Artificial Intelligence in coming years will become a necessity for businesses to survive.