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AI for Marketing: Usually Helpful, Sometimes Annoying

If you’ve read, heard, or watched any developments in Artificial Intelligence, you’ve probably heard the paranoid whispers that one day an army of AI robots will rise up, take over the world, and enslave the human race. That’s crazy, right? Maybe not.

What if… I mean…what if? What if the paranoid whispers come from someone with inside information? What if world governments are in cahoots with the AI robots? Maybe there will be an AI zombie apocalypse, but instead of regular zombies, there will be AI zombie robots who resemble Bill Gates. I’m not saying it will happen, but hey, let’s keep alert, right?

Back To Basics

“AI is often confused with automation,” says Dr. Mark Nasila, FNB Chief Analytics Officer. “But they are different. AI mimics human intelligence decisions. Automation streamlines repetitive tasks.”

Corinium, a marketing insights firm, says with AI, machines are given access to data and then can learn from it and do something about it.

Cash registers and computers are machines connected to marketing. Customer interfaces like Alexa and Siri receive questions or orders, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Within seconds the machines (computers) to which they’re connected are generating answers to your questions, submitting your orders and scheduling delivery.

How AI Helps Marketing

Artificial Intelligence can handle a number of marketing functions faster and more accurately than humans. Those functions may be data analysis, research, media buying, content generation, and even personalized customer messages.

Marketing Evolution, a performance measuring firm, says AI provides risk reduction, increased speed, greater customer satisfaction and ultimately could lead to increased revenue. AI can predict sales, enable chatbots, and even become  first-line customer service reps. They give consumers immediate and accurate answers.

AI also has the ability to increase campaign ROI, improve customer relationships, provide real-time personalization, enhance marketing measuring and allow for faster decisions.

Costs and Next Steps

Smaller businesses may not have the budget for full-blown AI software and hardware solutions, but there are plenty of smaller steps in between that can benefit your organization. Now is the time to get started and get ahead of the competition. The first step is knowledge. Learn all you can. Sign up for seminars, read sales materials, websites and more.

The Flip Side (AKA Reality)

As helpful as AI can be, it can also be annoying. Alexa, in particular can be a real “witch” from time to time.

Here is a true story: Last night, as part of the research for this article, I asked my Amazon Echo Show a simple question: “Alexa what can you do for me?”

Alexa replied: “I’m glad you asked. I can help with morning activities, relaxation, education, entertainment, health and fitness and more…Which would you like to explore?” My response was, “None.”

I thought the conversation would end there, but Alexa had other plans. She continued with seven more pitches, each starting with, “I’m glad you asked. I can help with…” then listing multiple tasks, games and activities.

After eight non-stop announcements, with no sign of her stopping, I became frustrated and blurted out, “Alexa, for the love of God…”

Within seconds, Alexa said, “Here’s ‘For the Love of God’ by Steve Yai from Amazon Music”  and began playing the 1990 song.

I won’t tell you how annoyed I was, but I will tell you that, if I ever see a real AI zombie robot, I’m going to point to Alexa and say, “Take her, please.”

About The Author

  • Author | Mike McKay

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