In today’s time when everything changes with a blink of an eye, it is ideal to action things quicker. Similarly, marketing teams across the world firmly believe in striking when the iron is hot. With an aim to reach the masses, marketing companies send across a lot of bulk mailers, messages, pamphlets and a lot more. They also perform various monotonous tasks such as social posting, reputation management, and other website actions. It was in 1999 that digital marketing came in the picture and back then things worked much at their own pace. But with faster and better software and technology in place, it has become essential that actions speed up. Various tech advances have come up with simplification of marketing actions such as bulk mailing and messaging, social media posting, messaging bots and a lot more. These developments are referred to as automation. Unlike the ’90s, marketing professionals do not have to send across emails to 10,000 individually. They do not need to wait for Sundays to send across a social post. Customer engagement can be tracked and reverted within a minute. Every response can be recorded with just a swipe. With this automation introduced, it becomes easier to deal with a lot of tasks that consumed man hours.
Although the study for marketing automation started in 1992; it’s in the middle of the 2000s that the marketing automation industry started taking shape. In the past few years, marketing automation has become a $1.62 billion industry from a $225 million industry garnering over 142,700 users worldwide. With the introduction of marketing automation, advertising companies decided to automatically capture data rather than manually collecting it. This initiated the development of cookies to help agencies who could now target potential customers. In simple words, marketing automation developed as a result of an amalgamation of much-needed marketing technology.
Along with various other advances, there were automation tools or platforms created that could help marketers promote their communications. While some platforms give free access, others give valuable insights with paid access. Some of the best marketing automation tools as per global ranking are as follows:
- Hubspot (36.3%)
- Infusionsoft (24.3%)
- Marketo (11%)
- Pardot (8%)
- Eloqua (7.8%)
- Act-On (6.5%)
- Silverpop (2.8%)
- Ontraport (1.9%)
- Sharpspring (1.3%)
When we consider automation, the next milestone for marketers was now to invent something that could easily resemble a human activity. So ideally when a customer engages with your brand, he/she must not identify if the response was from an automated system or an individual. The aim was to not only wipe out the difference between bots and humans but also to polish up marketing activities and controls. With the idea of personalization, AI widely known as artificial intelligence came into the picture. With artificial intelligence in place, it becomes easier to not only revert back within minutes but also make it personalized. With artificial intelligence infused with automation in place, the generated reply with not only revert with a smart message but also personalize with a ‘Hi’ along with the person’s first name. Just like the name Artificial Intelligence acts like an artificial human brain to make things look real. While in automation, even though the replies are auto-generated, it doesn’t give a smart and personalized effect. It gives out standard responses or set outputs for any and every input that it receives. This may make the user or potential customer feel less engaged with. Personalized reverts not only generate interest for the end user but also makes the lead feel like the company personally has taken efforts towards them. While Artificial Intelligence setups may be a costly affair, it does not only make the end experience delightful but also cuts down on the human hours from the company. With Artificial Intelligence in place, professionals can use their time for better strategic inputs and better outcomes. Artificial Intelligence has more to it than just giving personalized solutions. It has an ideal functional replacement for a human brain. Therefore, David Parnis rightly said, “Artificial Intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers” both eliminate the purpose of a living being.
With ever increasing development in Artificial Intelligence, digital marketing is soon to see a new light. Although not all the future development may happen immediately with AI in place, the below few are sure to be foreseen.
1. Automated Transport
The one thing that AI will seamlessly change is an automated commute. With driverless cars and motors already on track, we may soon see self-driven public transports. This may be a technological advance for the society but this also increases the chance of skyrocketing the rates of unemployment. Further much, with automated transport in place, we may see the need to support an increase.
Although this one has already started, it is yet to see its advancement. The next replacement of humans in form of body and structure is robots. With increasing tasks at invention, a helping substitute for humans could be introduced. These may serve as the substitute with a decision making power just like a human. They could be of great help for people who need medical care, guidance in the parental absence and various secondary activities that need help.
3. Improved Problem Solving
The invention of artificial intelligence may incur various situational benefits right from rescues to appointment bookings. With a solution to different problems, AI can help with better results. Be it Google searches or helping your kids with their homework, everything could be done at just a command.
Even though the invention of AI has been termed to be risky for the human race, Edewede Oriwoh rightly said: “Artificial Intelligence may be a fundamental risk but, we must not be scared and instead be aware of it.”
AI can serve as a new era in the marketing industry. Just like CRM and sales are now synonyms, future of marketing seems to be towards the fusion of AI and marketing automation.