Alex Hammond

6 min read

Ai marketing and how to maximize its impact

Skynet, Arnie and his band of cybernetic assassins are trying to bring nuclear holocaust on our joyous spandex, neon and mulleted 1985 existence.

If you subscribe to the same podcasts, newsletters and news feed I do, you'll be aware of the AI and machine learning world thundering forward at an incredible pace. If you are of a similar generation (somewhere in your 40s), you might have similar cultural reference points. Skynet, Arnie and his band of cybernetic assassins are trying to bring nuclear holocaust on our joyous spandex, neon and mulleted 1985 existence.

To move beyond James Cameron's version of the future, we should first look backwards. Let's rewind a little further to Alan Turing, who in 1950 released his paper - Computing Machinery and Intelligence - in a time when computers were only able to execute commands, this paper highlights the genius of Mr Turing. From the late 50s onwards, computer speeds increased rapidly, broadly adhering to Moore's Law, and with that, machine learning and algorithms research became practical rather than just theoretical. Historically underfunded and side-lined, the science of AI was slow to evolve. Perhaps because of a hard-wired evolutionary human resistance to undermine our intellectual dominance or perhaps because for decades, the computing power required to develop artificial intelligence was factors of x100 insufficient.

Despite the uphill struggle in the 1980s, John Hopefield and David Rumelhart introduced "deep learning" techniques that allowed computers to learn through experience, and Edward Feigenbaum introduced "expert systems" that mimicked human decision-making. These were watershed moments, finally providing a platform to showcase the burgeoning power of artificial intelligence. In 1996 Gary Kasparov was defeated by IBM's Deep Blue, a chess-playing computer program. This is the moment the world sat up and took notice, as the heavily publicized series of events made headlines across the globe.

The race was on. In 2022, artificial intelligence is everywhere, although often as a silent back-room partner, but we are just at the beginning.

'Artificial Intelligence will eventually disrupt virtually every single industry.

Artificial intelligence in marketing leads us to personalization: marketing messages, behaviour, strategies and predictions. Crunch enough data, and every human's actions can be represented as a 'path of likelihood'. Your metrics, historical actions and an ocean of other influences demonstrate that we are creatures of habit, driven, not by free-thinking, but more often subconsciously based on who we are.

One of the challenges is how this 'intelligence' can be presented. Decades of research, billions of hours of computing, some of the most intelligent minds (human) on the planet and the final deliverable is a line of text that encourages me to buy a blue car, because they know I like the colour blue. Or an email trying to sell me some Converse Chuck Taylors because they know I did last summer.

We all understand this is the beginning of AI. But, right now, it feels disjointed. I think there is an opportunity to combine all this 'knowledge' to represent a message so on-point that a single notification can deliver arresting engagement in the blink of an eye.

Key objectives for an AI-driven personalized campaign.

Targetted message - Content-driven Channel specific - Delivered on a marketing channel appropriate to the user Timing specific - Delivered at an appropriate time Relevant imagery - Geographically, socially and environmentally specific Message presentation - The language, tone and length of the message. Appealing presentation - Fonts, colours, even text kerning! Animated or still image - Duration, image ratio or even gifs.

This list represents a vast amount of customers' preferences that might be in the hands of a marketing agency. The holy grail would be stitching this all together, delivering it in an integrated manner. Maximum effort will yield maximum results.

AI has and still does have an image problem. It is the way it's presented that need a rebrand.

Alex Hammond A full, personalized marketing message in the blink of an eye