Artificial Intelligence (AI) has experienced a exponential growth rate over the past five years, and seems to have infiltrated nearly every business sector. According to a study conducted this past February, almost 80% of senior marketers in the US believe that the consumer population is ready for the use of AI. Here are three of the most innovative uses of AI in marketing and advertising that are currently changing the game.
1. Facial Tracking
Marketers have been able to use loyalty and reward cards in order to compile huge masses of information about consumer behavior and patterns. However, AI is moving information gathering from the checkout counter to the shelf itself. Tech company Cloverleaf released its facial tracking system, shelfPoint, this January with hopes of changing the in store experience for both consumers and marketers. The system is a 4-ft by 2-in screen that doubles as a digital display as well as an optical sensor. The screen sits along a product’s shelf where the sensors will record information such as age, gender and demographics of shoppers looking at the product. The sensors can also detect the emotion and sentiment of the shopper looking at the product. As more information is collected, shelfPoint tailors changing displays on its screen to attract and persuade potential buyers.
2. Media Buying/Planning
In Asia, fruit company Dole enlisted the help of an AI platform named Albert to help increase the sales of canned fruit. After the developing the creative and setting specific channels and KPIs, Dole put Albert in charge of media buying, placement and optimization. Albert was soon able to geographically target the most valuable locations to advertise in as well as discerning to use mobile over desktop. It also recommended that Dole tailor specific creative social posts during the weekend when they were seeing the least engagement. The end result? An 87% increase in sales.
3. Content Creation
According to Gartner, “By 2018, 20% of all business content will be authored by machines.” While it may seem like a daunting impossibility that machines will be composing the news that we read, chances are that you have already encountered content created by a machine. AI platforms use a technique called “Natural language generation” to read data and then transforms it into natural, human-like writing. Forbes currently uses this technique to produce earnings reports. The finished product is extremely dry and barren of any semblance of personality, but it is fitting for this sort of financial data. However, day-by-day these AI platforms evolve and advance. A study conducted at Karlstad University in Sweden asked participants to discern between various sports stories (with a considerable more amount of flair compared with financial reports) and decide which humans wrote and which bots composed. The participants couldn’t tell the difference.
As AI continues its debut in the advertising and marketing worlds, does this mean the end for mere humans in the workplace? Not according to media agency Maxus’ CPO David Gaines. “If five car brands use the same AI tool, the platform will make very similar media planning and buying suggestions. So what is the differentiator? You still need a human touch.”