It’s easy to fall down the “possibilities” rabbit hole when people start talking about Artificial Intelligence – especially when it comes to marketing. Is it some giant cloud-based computer with so much processing capacity it can think for itself? That might be possible someday, but right now it’s still science fiction.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) presently has a much more practical value for businesses. Its focus is on machine learning. In its most simple form, machine learning uses computer processing to make predictions about the future based on historical data. We humans have been doing this for quite some time. Now, we can enlist the aid of powerful computing to make these predictions faster and more precise.

 

Turn left at the next intersection

One of the best examples of this process is what’s behind your experience with Google Maps. The search engine giant estimates that more than a billion people use this service each month.

It’s also used by more than 5 million apps and websites.

Google has more than 100,000 employees, but only a fraction of them work on or for the maps platform. The turn-by-turn instructions you get while driving, walking, or even taking public transportation have no human intervention. The information is determined by data points from multiple sources to predict a better path for you.

At its core, this is a very human action. We do it moment by moment in our brains, deciding on a next action based on what’s happened in the past. As marketers, we use data from our websites and advertising to guide us and predict a better path. In most cases, we’re looking for the better path that allows us to meet prospects at key points on their buyer’s journey. Allowing computers to help us crunch all this data helps marketers make confident decisions about spending precious resources.

 

Chatbots

Last year, Backlinko founder Brian Dean collected 40 statistics about chabots. He found that 15 percent of us had already used a chatbot to communicate with a business, and 58 percent of B2B companies had already incorporated chatbot technology into their website. Meanwhile, 42 percent of B2C companies had followed suit.

Here’s the thing about chatbots. Their behavior is a meticulously scripted routine designed to to predict a better path for a customer or prospect who interacts with it. Machine learning compares the request to what others have asked in the past. It decides which recommendations in an inventory of responses will best help. The underlying technology allows chatbots to increase and edit this inventory by processing, learning, and adapting without human intervention.

 

Content marketing strategy

Your strategy here is based on making predictions based on historical data. What should you publish next, and which keywords will be most effective in making it discoverable? Predictive power is exponentially increased when you allow machine learning to help you with these determinations. It means you can focus on how, rather than what to say to a prospect or returning customer.

 

Identity Resolution

The most valuable – and the most powerful – contribution of AI and machine learning is its ability to help businesses identify people who are already deep into the customer journey and need to be made aware that your company can provide them with the product or service they’ve already decided to purchase.

These people are mostly anonymous to you. It’s either because of their desire for privacy or because they use multiple devices (their computer, a mobile phone, and even a smart speaker) so their identity is fragmented. Or, their identity and contact information is hidden behind social media platforms and their walled gardens.

Identity Resolution uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to make these fragments whole, and then connecting contact information to those who are exhibiting online behavior which identifies them as imminent buyers. You’re able to engage with just those who are ready to purchase your product or service right now.

This used to be something only companies with deep pockets could afford to do. Technology advances – especially cloud computing – have made Identity Resolution more accessible, but just a small percentage of companies are using it. Those who are have discovered the unfair competitive advantage it offers. They’re increasing marketing efficiency and growing profits. We can help you gain this unfair advantage. Learn more.