Like a bolt from the blue...
It seems as though AI has made its entrance into the world of business, tearing through the night sky like a flash of lightning.
Actually, even though it may seem like an electric shock as a result of its disruptive potential (they call it “the new electricity”), it is not a new technology. This is because its roots lie in the middle of the last century, and it gradually progressed, developing in the 1990s and in 2010 with machine and deep learning.
AI algorithms start out from statistical data (so-called inputs) and create a model aimed at minimizing the gap between inference and observed value. What is really making a difference is its application in business: indeed, it is estimated that 45% of the total economic gains in 2030 will come from product improvements, stimulating consumer demand.
We are experiencing a digital Renaissance supported by AI. All companies, of any size, that do not want to be swept away by the incoming tsunami, must understand the potential that this technology can bring to operational and decision-making processes.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential marketing applications together:
- Classification of content through metadata or tags (e.g., automatic brand recognition solutions)
- Greater efficiency in operational and editorial processes
- Preference and intensity analyses
Thanks to AI, computers are able to create predictive models: they give me an ongoing report of where the main areas of intensity are, or rather, those that push the user more towards conversion. Such a tool is excellent for editorial planning because I can devise and alter content according to the estimations of the model provided to optimize the final result.
- Sentiment analysis: this can be carried out on images and texts to understand the sentiment towards the company (positive, negative, neutral). In the case of texts, therefore, they help us to understand if the brand is being spoken about and in what way.
- Clustering: there are algorithms that recognize similarities in viewed content, analyzing it pixel by pixel (e.g., Bllush) and allowing similar and homogeneous groups of customers to be created from similar content in this way.
- Recommendation systems: “you may also like”; in this way, Netflix and Amazon propose their products, suggested by AI, for viewing and purchasing. This means that the user no longer has to state what they like because the algorithm figures it out, incentivizing conversions. Such systems can be applied to different types of customers: they offer content in response to actions performed by users who have shown an interest in certain kinds of topics.
- New channels and new interactions
It is estimated that by 2021 more than 50% of companies will spend more on chatbots than on developing mobile apps. And that’s not all; speech will see a surge as well: in the future, websites will have to have content that is semantically recognizable by the smart speakers of voice assistants. This is because they will represent 30% of browser navigation by 2020.
AI and Marketing: what point are we at?
Find out how Salvatore Palange feels about it
Q: As founder of AI Intelligenza Artificiale Italia, what is your impression regarding the level of implementation of AI technologies in the field of marketing?
A: AI and all machine learning and deep learning algorithms have already been used a little in all industries for some time. It’s just that, to date, they have been the prerogatives of large corporations that have known how to make competent and targeted use of them, with significant increases in revenues.
Today, we have the opportunity to extend this advantage to small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as to start-ups (innovative or otherwise) that want to leverage a very powerful competitive advantage. And this is exactly what we are doing with Fluel: we are also allowing smaller companies to be able to insert AI algorithms into their processes and products with a highly specialized, specific, certainly accessible consultancy.
The adoption of these technologies within the panorama of Italian companies, which I intercept from the discussions I see within the AI Intelligenza Artificiale Italia group, appears to be limited to some specific and fairly well-known cases.
Among the main applications that are experiencing great success, certainly that of virtual assistants can be identified. Meanwhile, the more driven use of advanced algorithms is restricted to larger companies and, most of the time, they are incorporated into wider processes. This is because they are inherent to sales stimulation methods or process optimization.
It is certainly the right time to make a leap in terms of quality, also for Italian SMEs and start-ups.
Q: What do you think the advantages are that are linked to the application of Artificial Intelligence in content marketing?
A: Without a doubt, the application of AI algorithms in content management gives significant advantages, especially in the automation of processes that may be repetitive or that must be based on continual data analysis.
Therefore, activities such as sentiment analysis, automatic text production or visual content design with prior knowledge of the redemption rate of the content itself becomes an essential element. It is certainly a considerable competitive leverage for content and marketing managers who want to create, manage and identify content with a high ROI.