In a nutshell:
- Staying ahead of AI trends in marketing is crucial for future-proofing your business and career.
- Personalization and customer segmentation, chatbots and virtual assistants, image recognition and search, and predictive analytics are key AI trends to pay attention to.
- These trends offer advantages such as personalized messaging, improved customer service, enhanced search capabilities, and predictive insights.
- Tools like Google Analytics, Drift, Pinterest Lens, and Pecan AI can effectively help marketers leverage these AI trends in marketing.
- Embracing AI in marketing is essential for maximizing resources, staying competitive, and driving success in the modern business landscape.
In the bustling marketplace of technology and innovation, new ideas and products are popping up like new bubblegum flavors in a candy store. Each one is more exciting than the last. And while it’s easy (and understandable) to fixate on the latest buzz-worthy technologies, like ChatGPT, don’t let the headlines distract you from other valuable AI trends in marketing.
Adopting the hottest trends in AI will only get you so far — but looking ahead will future-proof your ability to adapt to changes in the industry. In the Gartner 2022 Hype Cycle outlook, Afraz Jaffri, Director Analyst at Gartner, said, “Pay particular attention to innovations expected to hit mainstream adoption in two to five years. Early adoption of these innovations can drive significant competitive advantage and business value and ease problems associated with the fragility of AI models.”
Over half of marketers surveyed in an Intuit study admitted that not embracing AI’s many capabilities is holding them back from achieving their goals.
Clearly, staying ahead of the tech curve is smart for business. It's also the secret sauce to skyrocketing your marketing career, and generating content through natural language processing (NLP) isn’t the only flavor of bubble gum in the candy shop. Many equally or more impactful applications of AI lie elsewhere.
So what other AI tools are available for data-driven marketers who aim to understand their customers better, or enhance their marketing strategies? Take a look at the top AI trends in marketing that warrant your attention, each wielding a unique set of superpowers.
The evolution of accessible AI
So what is AI, anyway? At its core, AI, or artificial intelligence, involves computers and algorithmic models that simulate human thinking processes. In practice, these algorithms excel at tasks like problem-solving, reasoning, and understanding language — often outpacing human capabilities.
However, until recently, using AI demanded a deep grasp of programming languages, limiting its accessibility. The tide has shifted in recent years, driven by significant advancements in data analysis and no-code technologies.
This evolution has ushered in a new era of AI accessibility, empowering a broader audience to harness its potential. According to IBM, this newfound accessibility stands as the driving force behind the heightened adoption of AI today.
The transformation of AI from a domain reserved for technical experts to a tool available to everyone is remarkable. Take marketers, for instance — they don’t need to be versed in the intricate workings of AI models to reap the benefits. Although we’ve seen a 250% growth in AI adoption rates over the past year, thanks in large part to the boom in generative AI, the scope of AI's impact can’t be confined to one specific use case. From personalizing audience insights and automating data-driven decision-making to propelling revenue growth, the modern business landscape demands we explore all that AI has to offer.
Personalization and Customer Segmentation
Customers want to feel like brands understand and care about them. The one-size-fits-all approach just isn’t going to cut it. In marketing speak, they want personalized campaigns and offers that directly address their individual needs, driving interest and influencing purchasing decisions.
A McKinsey study underscores this trend, revealing that a significant majority (71%) of consumers not only anticipate personalized interactions but also are frustrated when these expectations are unmet. This demand presents a substantial opportunity: Customers are open to being engaged, but they expect marketers to reach them on their terms. The question then becomes: How do we reach customers in a way they will welcome?
In comes this powerhouse of an AI trend in marketing: hyper-personalization and detailed customer segmentation. The era of manual data sifting is ending. AI now delivers accelerated insights about your customer base — and can even uncover customer sub-groups that might have eluded human identification.
Companies can segment groups by demographics, psychographics, behavioral traits, geographic location, and purchase history. The goal is to create ideal customer profiles that deeply understand customers’ preferences and highlight the value propositions that will excite them most.
Through this process, organizations can also identify customer groups that are likely to churn or, on the flip side, most likely to buy more, opening up opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. While these might not be the typical “segments” that marketers usually think of, these ways of highlighting customer needs and interests also open up rich opportunities to provide targeted offers and messages. These personalized interactions help customers stay active and engaged with your brand.
With AI handling the groundwork, marketers have more time to work on refining campaigns and sprinkling in highly personalized messaging across every channel — email, social, ad banners, website content, mobile apps, and even offline touchpoints like direct mail and personalized in-store experiences. By crafting detailed customer segments, organizations can facilitate the delivery of ultra-personalized messaging that fosters a sense of genuine connection to their most valuable customers.
Enter customer segmentation, the strategic process using AI to identify customer groups with common traits. Companies can segment groups by demographics, psychographics, behavioral traits, geographic location, and purchase history. The goal is to create ideal customer profiles that deeply understand customers’ preferences and the value propositions that will excite them most. Through this process, organizations can also identify groups that are likely to churn or, on the flip side, most likely to buy more, opening up opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. By crafting these profiles and creating customer segments, organizations can facilitate the delivery of ultra-personalized messaging that fosters a sense of genuine connection to its most valuable customers.
Key Advantage: It's not just about making customers feel like you “get” them. Customer segmentation tools can help marketers allocate resources more efficiently toward high-profit groups, personalizing messaging to generate more revenue.
VIP Tool: Google Analytics
Google Analytics dominates as a customer segmentation tool because of its direct connection to the entire Google database. It unlocks visitor numbers, gadget preferences, purchases, locations, and more. While some technical proficiency might be needed, it's a free tool with ample user training resources.
Other Tools to Explore: Pecan AI, Kissmetrics, Segment, Baremetrics
Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
In a world where you can Google a question or ask ChatGPT and get answers within seconds, it’s no surprise that website visitors now expect the same. They want answers right away — and don’t have the patience to scroll or wait on hold.
That's where chatbots come in. These virtual assistants are on standby, ready to guide your customers through their journey with immediate assistance, 24/7.
By 2020, 80% of marketers were already implementing chatbots as a growing AI trend in marketing, according to a Semrush survey. Chatbots aren't the new kids on the block, but they’ve evolved significantly. Through advanced conversational AI, they now employ natural language processing (NLP) to grasp open-ended queries, personalizing responses in an unprecedented manner.
This technology offers the best of both worlds, blending together the speed and intelligence of generative AI with relevant insights about your company and customers. The result is a more “human” touch to interactions — as human as machines can sound — effectively meeting customers where they are and delighting them in the process.
Key Advantage: Customer service gets a big speed boost from advanced chatbots, and they can also enable marketers to fine-tune their strategies with insights into customer behavior.
VIP Tool: Drift
Drift uses conversational AI to personalize responses based on behavior and past interactions. Its advanced intent detection capabilities guide customers toward relevant information. Plus, it excels at transitioning the conversation to human representatives at the right time, booking meetings, and keeping tabs on leads.
Other Tools to Explore: Intercom Fin, Hubspot Conversations, Zendesk Chat
Image Recognition and Search
The customer journey is anything but linear today. Thanks to social media and influencer marketing, shoppers aren’t just typing text into a search bar, but are thinking creatively about how to find stuff they've seen online. For instance, a consumer might capture a photo of a celebrity's outfit and want similar options.
Introducing our third AI trend in marketing: visual recognition and search. Just as a trained eye can distinguish fabric types, AI specialized in image and video recognition can categorize visual content.
This innovation caters to those who find searching with an image easier than with a text description. As a tool that simplifies the search experience for customers, it’s on marketers to ensure their products are discoverable. They can use external platforms and integrate these enhanced search capabilities into their existing website search functionality.
This capability opens up opportunities for customers to find complementary or similar products to the ones they were initially interested in. Take the example of the celebrity’s outfit: If they’re wearing a floral print shirt, the search results could display shirts with similar floral patterns and silhouettes.
Key Advantage: Visual search acts as a virtual personal shopper, showcasing products similar to the ones users are searching for, which opens up cross-selling opportunities for brands.
VIP Tool: Pinterest Lens
Pinterest Lens uses visual search technology to identify objects, shapes, patterns, colors, and other visual elements within images. Brands that partner with Pinterest get an all-access pass to a platform ripe with shoppers actively on the hunt for inspiration, products, and ideas. While Pinterest's AI is trained for image content understanding, brands contribute by offering accurate titles and descriptions.
Other Tools to Explore: Google Lens, Slyce
Today's marketers can’t just look back on campaign performance — they need to anticipate what’s around the corner.
Predictive analytics, our fourth AI trend in marketing, presents a transformative shift. It replaces manual, code-heavy model construction with AI-driven insights derived from AI models that swiftly decipher patterns in vast datasets. Predictive analytics differs from business analytics in that it provides insights into future customer behavior, not just analysis of past trends. It uses advanced AI models — and integrates customized business goals — to develop a deeper understanding of the variables that may influence consumer demand.
Using data-driven, forward-thinking predictions, marketers can measure the true ROI of marketing campaigns and build informed recommendations to increase demand, conversion rates, customer lifetime value, and upsell opportunities.
Key Advantage: AI-powered predictive analytics enables marketers to be one step ahead, not scrambling to catch up. Marketers can make informed decisions, optimize campaigns, and allocate resources efficiently.
VIP Tool: Pecan AI
Pecan AI is an automated AI platform that democratizes predictive analytics, making it possible to build predictive models with faster time-to-market than any other platform. This unparalleled intelligence enables marketers to quickly access personalized predictions that optimize campaigns, guide budgets, and enhance customer engagement. Its capabilities also include AI-driven marketing mix modeling (MMM), which uses AI to capture campaign effectiveness measurement without reliance on vulnerable attribution models. The result is tangible improvement across key use acquisition and retention metrics including return on ad spend (ROAS) and customer churn.
Other Companies to Explore: Tableau, IBM Watson Studio, Salesforce Einstein Analytics
Need a quick intro to predictive analytics? Grab our accessible guide for a fast review of the essentials: The What and Why of Predictive Analytics
Getting ahead with the top AI trends in marketing
AI is no longer an add-on. It’s become fundamental to a modern marketing strategy. The AI trends in marketing encompass more than content generation and automation. They can craft personalized experiences and forecast the future. Today’s sophisticated marketers must adopt AI tools to maximize resources, maintain a competitive edge, and advance their careers.
Be sure to check out our comprehensive list of the top 10 AI tools for marketers. These tools assist with text content generation, programmatic SEO, CRM, SEO optimization, graphic design, predictive analytics, and more.
Don’t miss out on the full spectrum of AI's potential. Research its diverse applications in marketing and identify how it can be harnessed to propel your marketing efforts to new heights.
And, of course, get in touch if you're ready to make the AI trends in marketing work for your business now.