What retailers need to know about Artificial Intelligence marketing

An influx of new technology and its impact on the retail sector in recent years has given rise to the use of artificial intelligence, bridging the gap between accruing big data and interpreting it for use as a marketing tool.

According to research firm Emarsys, AI marketing will dominate the industry by mid-2017, meaning digital marketers should be using AI to build a clearer picture of their target audience, boost a campaign’s performance and ROI. And done correctly, it’s all without any extra effort. But, many brands don’t understand what AI is and how they can tap into it.

What is AI?

AI uses big data, or the aggregation of large data sets, which are then analysed via machine learning platforms to help identify consumer trends.

These platforms identify insightful concepts and themes across huge data sets, via algorithms, and fast.  Essentially, the results are an interpretation of emotion and communication, “making these platforms able to understand open form content like social media, natural language, and email responses,” explains Lisa Manthei, marketing communications manager, Emarsys, in a blog post.

This ensures “the right message is being delivered to the right person at the right time, via the channel of choice,” adds Manthei.

What does AI look in marketing?

A major function of AI is using data to break down and understand consumer search engine patterns and algorithms to help marketers identify key focus areas.

As is, delivering smarter ad content to a brand’s target audience. With more data available, online ads can play off a “shopper’s key word searches, social profiles and other online data for a human-level outcome.”

Thirdly, a target market –even with common interests and attributes – can be separated, and further targeted, at an individual consumer level. The data can be used to target existing and potential clients, delivering content that is customised to each person.

Finally, AI plays a role in customer service and retention. Direct-to-consumer engagement channels, namely chat functions, can be run by Bots. Bot-run chat is more efficient and effective as the Bot has access internet data and learning algorithms, something that a human can physically tap in to so easily. With this, AI Bots save on a brand’s human resource power too, so it’s a win-win for brands.

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