October 16th, 2023
7 minutes

Will the use of artificial intelligence be marketers’ new best friend?

As you will have noticed, not a day goes by without a deluge of news in the media about AI. They often include figures that make your head spin, e.g. Microsoft acquires Nuance, an AI specialist, for $19.7 billion (source https://www.businessinsider.com). This year in 2023, thanks to Cloud offerings supplemented by artificial intelligence, companies around the world will generate $2020 billion in revenue and are expected to create 11.6 million additional jobs. And by 2030, AI’s contribution to the global economy could reach an extraordinary $15,700 billion (source Bank of America). But do you know what AI, this new catch-all buzzword of the moment, really is?

But what exactly is AI?

Historically, the idea of artificial intelligence appeared as early as the 1950s when Alan Turing wondered if a machine could “think” in his article “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”. The scientific foundation was laid in 1956 at the Dartford workshops with this statement: “Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it” (source Stanford University). So, it’s really a matter of coding cognitive patterns, but without enough structured data and the right technology, the idea remained just that – an idea, although a significant step forward was taken in 2012 with artificial neural networks.

But it was the explosion of networks and Cloud infrastructure 10 years later, allowing colossal amounts of information to be collected, that was to succeed in efficiently training these artificial neural networks. Then at the end of 2022, a new form of algorithm popularized the concept, namely generative AI, a notion referring to a subset of artificial intelligence models capable of creating new and original content from the data that they have available. Instead of simply analyzing and responding to information as most AIs do, generative models can “devise” or “compose” elements such as images, text, music, and even videos.

How can we use AI in marketing in practical terms?

As regards marketing, this means that generative AI can be used to create advertising content, to design visual components for campaigns, generate texts automatically, or even to compose music for commercials. This technology therefore offers immense flexibility and can help increase both the efficiency and the speed of content production, while enabling personalization on a large scale. However, its use requires some ethical thought to be given to ensure the resulting output is authentic and to avoid misinformation or misleading content. Indeed, in a report entitled “ How People Create and Destroy Value with Generative AI », le Boston Consulting Group (BCG) a analysé l’intérêt des outils dopés à l’IA pour 750 de ses consultants. BCG’s research offers some astonishing key takeaways on the results of this study (source Boston Consulting Group): Around 90% of the consultants improved the quality of their work when using GenAI (GPT-4). But only when GenAI is used in the right way for the right jobs. Performance increases by 40% on tasks described as “creative ideation” (an example would be finding ten new shoe designs) when generative AI is employed. However, it falls by 23% on complex problem solving (such as which shops to invest in). ».

For when it comes to complex problems, people have a tendency to be easily swayed by “persuasive content”, notes BCG, highlighting the technology’s failing in that it always delivers an answer even when it doesn’t have the data to do so. “Those who perform best without technology are less able to capitalize on their advantage when everyone is using GPT-4. There is a risk of a lack of collective diversity of thinking,” says Jean-Baptiste Bouzige, CEO of Ekimetrics, a digital services company specializing in data.

So… is AI a friend or a foe?

Loss of value isn’t the only practical issue; the loss of jobs is equally significant, as the French employees of Onclusive learned the hard way. Indeed, the French division of Onclusive announced large-scale redundancies in Sept 2023, with 217 of the 383 employees of the French branch, based in Courbevoie (NW of Paris), due to lose their jobs in the following months. That’s more than half of the French workforce, and 15% of the company’s total staff. They will be replaced by artificial intelligence, reckoned to perform their media monitoring and summarizing work more quickly and more efficiently. “This is a first for a company of this size”, reported French financial weekly La Tribune (article in French).

None of which is dampening the enthusiasm of most companies, keen to board the AI train and not risk falling behind the competition. Some corporations are now starting to appoint Chief AI Officers, tasked with identifying situations where AI can be usefully deployed (source: Forbes https://www.forbes.com). Moreover, a third of the respondents to a global survey commissioned by McKinsey report that at least one department in their organization is using generative AI. And to convince the remaining two-thirds, vendors are promising the earth. So it is that Microsoft, through Brad Smith, the President of the Redmond firm, has promised to take full legal responsibility if the company’s generative artificial intelligence tools result in its business clients being sued for copyright infringements.

Use of AI in marketing and the risk for marketers of ignoring the trend

It is important to understand that, although the market is young, it is already highly competitive. At present, according to investment fund Andreessen Horowitz, ChatGPT still easily dominates the Top 50 of generative AIs. But this situation is likely to change in the near future, to the benefit of the GAFA corporations. As avid readers of The Economist are regularly informed, three factors are crucial for the future of generative AI, namely computing power, data, and financial resources, and GAFA have them in spades.

Ultimately, everyone needs to get to grips with AI as a matter of urgency, including marketing departments, in order to understand what it can do, and the areas where it preferably should not be used (for now). What value is to be gained and what ROI is to be expected? If, as a marketing professional, you are wondering how this new form of “intelligent service” can help you in your daily work in practical ways, just ask an expert on the subject – ChatGPT 4! No need to hunt for your bank details and subscribe (yes, ChatGPT version 4 is already monetized) to ask the question because Magnetic Way has done it for you. Here are 10 benefits that marketing can already gain from generative AI:

  1. Enhanced segmentation: AI can quickly analyze huge volumes of data to identify more precise customer segments, allowing for highly targeted advertising and campaigns.
  2. Real-time personalization: Thanks to machine learning, AI can adjust the user experience in real-time, offering personalized recommendations, content, and deals based on each customer’s individual behavior.
  3. Marketing automation: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants ca interact with customers 24/7, answer their questions, gather information, and even complete sales, thereby increasing efficiency with no need for constant human intervention.
  4. Ad optimization: AI can predict which advertising content will perform best for each segment, thereby optimizing campaigns’ ROI.
  5. Predictive analysis: By leveraging historical data, AI can forecast futur customer behaviors, providing valuable insights into upcoming trends and market opportunities.
  6. Content creation: Some AI tools can generate basic content, such as reports or news articles, freeing up marketing teams to focus on more strategic tasks.
  7. Customer experience optimization: AI can analyze customer journey identify friction points, and suggest improvements, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and retention.
  8. Competitive intelligence gathering: AI can scan the web to collect information about competitors, enabling marketing managers to stay informed and react quickly to market movements.
  9. Sentiment analysis: By analyzing customer feedback on social media and review sites, AI can determine the overall sentiment toward a bran or product, providing the insights essential to any adjustment in strategies.
  10. Marketing budget optimization: AI can recommend where to allocate a budget to secure the best returns, based on predictive analytics.

As you can see, AI already offers marketing managers and professionals a range of tools and capabilities to better understand their customers, optimize their campaigns, and ultimately achieve a better ROI. However, it is essential to understand that AI is just a tool, and its success depends greatly on how it is used within an overall marketing strategy. The question is, what stage are you at?

Frédéric Boutier With over 20 years of experience as a journalist specializing in B2B and the IT industry, I help MW's customers build a content production and editorial calendar to stand out among competitors.
Google Partner
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