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Jake Bennett is a featured contributor to The Impact of AI on Modern Marketing: 50 Categories Ranked, 70 Experts Sound Off report.

Here's the complete contribution:

Without a doubt, the future of AI for marketing will center around personalization.

Marketers crave ever more targeted audiences and strive to deliver ever more tailored content. So, it’s no surprise that AI and machine learning—with its ability to predict consumer behavior and make personalized recommendations—has captured the attention of the marketing world. Yet, advances in AI have far outpaced most marketers’ ability to harness them.

The widespread adoption of personalization in marketing is not held back by the progress of AI technology, but rather by marketers’ practical ability to make use of it on a daily basis. It is really hard for most marketers to aggregate customer data from multiple silos into customer-facing touch points that can provide personalized, impactful content. As a result, most marketers fall back on business-as-usual tactics.

Thus, the future of AI for marketing will not be more advanced AI personalization, but rather its democratization. The more accessible AI technology becomes, the more feasible it is for marketers to create one-to-one messages for their customers.

We’re already seeing early examples of this trend. A/B testing tools like Adobe Target and Optimizely, which provide marketer-friendly WYSIWYG editors to publish different content for different segments, are being repurposed as always-on personalization engines. While this may not be the best technology for personalization, it’s the most accessible, which means it’s the most likely to get used.

Similarly, machine learning APIs from cloud companies like Microsoft and Amazon provide ordinary software developers the ability to write AI-enabled applications, without the need for a Ph.D. in advanced mathematics. Although a true data scientist may be able to devise a more optimal predictive model, most companies can get 85% percent of what they need with tools available off-the-shelf.

As with most things in life, simpler is almost always better.


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