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The robots are coming: Media marketers respond to the AI revolution

Artificial intelligence has gained a lot of attention in recent years as the technology matures well past the "proof of concept" stage and offers tangible, real-world applications. Demand for AI-based solutions has grown at a rapid clip: According to a recent ResearchandMarkets report, the global AI market is expected to increase at a 36 percent compound annual growth rate through 2025, when it will be valued at $190 billion.

Nowhere are the benefits of AI more readily identifiable than in marketing. Media marketers have found numerous applications for this technology, driving engagement and creating a better overall customer experience.

Using AI to Optimize Advertising Strategy

AI can work quicker and more efficiently than human operators, allowing media companies to scale up lightning-fast operational models that would otherwise be impossible to achieve. Case in point: Optimizing advertising strategies so ads appear at the most appropriate times to appeal to the right audience. AI algorithms can assess when ads should ideally run, giving companies the best return on investment possible.

As MarTech Today contributor Daniel Faggella noted, AI can also be used with digital ads, determining which ones will provide the most conversions at the lowest cost per click. Furthermore, AI tools can operate in real time and make decisions on which ads provide the best ROI at any given moment.

Can AI Generate Quality Marketing Copy?

Advanced "thinking" technology like AI, machine learning and robotic process automation is often associated with repeatable processes that require little -- if any -- critical thought. That may be true of RPA, but AI and ML can be implemented in areas that have traditionally been dominated by human creativity.

The idea that a machine or algorithm could generate marketing copy on par with the most sought-after industry writers may seem far-fetched, but it's quickly becoming reality. In fact, back in 2015, Gartner predicted that by now, 20 percent of all business content would be written by machines. Although that forecast may have been slightly optimistic, the technology is available to produce seemingly authentic text that engages readers with the same level of effectiveness of a human copywriter.

The caveat here is that, currently, AI-based text generators are better-suited for content built around data points like market reports, news pieces and product description pages. Machines may not be quite at the level of drafting "Seinfeld"-based B2B listicles, but they're getting there. As AI and natural language processing tools become more sophisticated, they will be able to generate compelling content that's geared toward specific audiences and strictly adheres to brand guidelines. Companies like Persado are taking advantage of improvements in natural language processing tools and AI's ability to rapidly A/B test and adjust messaging to make significant strides in using AI to improve the performance of email subject lines and social media posts.

Chatbots With Human Voices

The benefits of using AI-based tools to give a more human touch to digital engagement strategies speak for themselves. For example, AI-powered chatbots are able to gather numerous bits of information regarding a website visitor and create custom chat scripts that appeal to an individual's specific circumstances. The more a person interacts with a chatbot, the more data is available to continually tweak and personalize communications.

In this way, as MindTitan CTO Markus Lippus explained to the Content Marketing Institute, AI bots can out-human traditional brand representatives when it comes to providing that personal touch and responsive interaction. "Chatbots have access to millions of customer-centered data points," Lippus stated. "They can also aggregate location-specific requests to detect patterns, spot repetitive problems and predict what's causing issues for a particular user. Often, this makes them more knowledgeable than any human customer service rep."

Pairing AI With CIAM for Better Customer Experiences

AI can personalize the user experience in other ways too. By leveraging an individual's digital footprint -- data that can be gathered and segmented through the Akamai Identity Cloud -- AI solutions are able to gear various aspects of a web or applications session for that specific customer. For instance, websites, mobile apps, and other digital platforms can display promotions and offers that have been selected to appeal directly to an individual person, whether that's due to their location, purchase history or the particular pages they've viewed in the past.

Marketers can go even further with mobile apps, sending push notifications directly to users with messaging specifically designed with them in mind. When done right, adding that kind of personal touch drastically increases engagement.

To deftly manage user interactions across different channels in this fashion, brands need to take into account customer identity. One person could have many identities in the digital world (e.g., social media account, email address, mobile device, etc.) Achieving a level of customized communications that consistently recognizes the user for who they truly are requires customer identity and access management software.

By pairing the latest AI tools with CIAM solutions designed for media, companies can provide incredible customer experiences that outpace anything the competition can offer. Artificial intelligence and marketing are a match made in heaven, and customer identity management software provides that last missing piece to take user engagement to new heights.