artificial intelligence in digital marketing  When I ask my clients, “What will be the most important initiative for your organization in 2019?,” many respond: “Smarter use of data.” No real surprise there: This has been a top priority for as long as marketers can remember. But what’s changing is the rapid advance in Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to a recent survey by Salesforce, 51% of marketers are already using AI, and even among those that aren’t, half of them will be incorporating this technology for the first time in 2019. Indeed, there has never been a better time to be a digital analyst.

Get ready for more smarter use of data!

To be clear, not all marketers are ready for artificial intelligence. Your “data house” has to be in serious order. Collecting, storing and analyzing mountains of data requires the right people, processes and technology.

But no question, AI is changing the way my clients are marketing.

Here’s a sampling of what I’m hearing:

-At one financial services client, artificial intelligence is being used to overcome the operational challenges of producing high performance content, resulting in measurable performance improvements.

-Not only is AI improving content creation, marketers are using AI to curate it. An example application with a retailer I have worked with is personalized product recommendations.

-One of my CPG clients has taken email A/B testing to a new level by using artificial intelligence to personalize campaigns based on preferences and user behavior. Machine learning can analyze mind-boggling amounts of data, and that’s helping them determine when it is best to send emails, and how often, to a particular customer. They’re even using it to create better subject lines, which in turn are generating more clicks.

-We already know how Facebook and Google are using AI and machine learning in digital advertising. But there is now deep learning-based technology that is helping at least one of my ecommerce clients identify and learn which platforms are the most profitable for their ads, and then even shifts the marketing spend accordingly.

– Voice search is revolutionizing internet search. At least one large financial services firm I have worked with is starting to experiment heavily with voice as a way to increase organic traffic.

-I have one agency client that said it’s going to start using artificial intelligence to help design websites.

-Many of my clients use messenger applications to communicate with customers and prospects, and chatbots powered by AI have become so advanced they can even answer customer’s open ended questions. For example, “What is your most popular item?” or “How long before it is delivered”?

-Artificial intelligence is transforming user experience. Some of my clients are using it to provide personalized web experiences, and several have told me that this improved customer experience has directly resulted in improved conversion rates.

How is your organization using AI in digital marketing? Are you planning to increase your use of AI in 2019, and if so, how do you plan to put it to work?

Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, is one of the nation’s preeminent executive recruiters in ecommerce, digital and multichannel marketing, and CRM. With more than 100 published LinkedIn articles, Jerry is the “voice” of best practices in the recruitment and hiring of ecommerce and digital marketing professionals. Jerry is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Careers in Ecommerce and Digital Marketing,” on Amazon, and participates in many leading digital marketing and ecommerce conferences. Jerry has been recruiting and placing marketing professionals for more than 29 years. Check out Jerry’s other insights on the Thought Leadership section of the Bernhart Associates website.

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