Marketing is a crucial part of any business or brand, new or old. Without it, there would be little or no sales, and not many brands would not survive. For a very long time, companies have employed staff strictly for marketing and sales purposes, and this trend has worked marvelously well. The creativity of people has been showcased in marketing brands over the years, and it is clear knowledge that there is little else as creative as a human being.
However, the bigger a brand gets, the more staff it needs to spread its name everywhere, hence, the more money it would need to keep them afloat. This is where Artificial Intelligence comes in. It stands for technology that can replicate human intelligence and take the place of people in different areas.
The use of AI in promoting brands or enhancing marketing is a rising trend. Machines are taking the place of humans because their strength does not deteriorate, they can get more done than people, and they do not need to get paid.
A lot of easily recognizable companies, such as Nike and Nordstrom, have already started employing the use of AI in things like voice prompts and chatbots so that sales can be boosted. In fact, by 2022 it is estimated that about $22 billion can be saved yearly just by using chatbots. But, how dependable is AI? As stable as it is, there are still some things that only human beings can do. Therefore, there are a few restrictions.
For example, only a handful of people would find it satisfactory making a purchase through a chat bot. Most would prefer the good old human representative because of the human feel to it. Older people may also have a hard time using AI while making purchases, and it could be more difficult to sell things to them through that means. All that said. As it stands now, the full maturity of AI seems to be much closer than many predicted a few years back.
The truth is that the use of AI in marketing is fast growing, with about 51% of marketing companies using it, and an estimated 27% expected to join the flow next year. This means that the technology is getting better by the day and people are getting to trust it more.
For instance, AI is enhancing the simulation of two out of the five physical senses of a human being: hearing and seeing. Getting information from videos and audios, which could take a person many hours to complete, now would be possible for machines without having to spend as many hours on it.
Brands Using AI
Netflix is a good example. It uses AI to offer recommendations tailored to suit every user perfectly by sifting through what they like and not by what they watch. It recognizes that a lot of people could watch what is available, but that does not mean it is what they like.
However, what they click ‘like’ on is more dependable to form an opinion on. This task would take a long time to do for a person manually and errors may even occur. But with this technology, the percentage of accuracy would be higher and it would be done in less time. With this formula, Netflix would be able to show more of what the majority of people like, and garner more recommendations and users.
Here are other brands that use Artificial Intelligence for marketing:
With the aid of AI, Knorr reaches customers in every part of India, communicating with them through messages sent via feature phones. Also, it creates new and amazing recipes for customers depending on the types of ingredients they have at home. It does this by using an AI platform named Chef Wendy.
It is currently training computing systems called neural networks, fashioned after the brains of animals, so that they can work like the brain of a human. This is in order to enable them pick out the high and low points of any story, just like a person would.
In other words, these neural networks would be able to tell what makes a story more appealing to the public than others. Disney would then work them into robot-dolls which would perform better than you could presently imagine.
A research carried out by Equifax in March showed that a large percentage of customers in the bank would prefer using biometrics to access online banking than just a password, because they think the former is more secure.
Because of this, Lloyds Bank has joined hands with Microsoft to use Windows Hello, an AI that uses fingerprints and faces for recognition. This ensures that customers are verified using their devices instead of passwords, for better security of their money.
Due to the size of an average Lowe’s store, which is about two football fields, finding what you need could be a huge task, never mind trying to do that in a jiffy. Therefore, the brand has introduced Lowebot to some of its stores.
Not only does it help customers find what they are looking for and answer pertinent questions, it also keeps tabs on the inventory as it comes, so that the store can stay updated on what is trending.
The food chain has an app that comes with a voice assistant called My Starbucks Barista, an AI that operates so much like a human barista, because it is able to take your orders and modify them where necessary. It can also tell you locations for pickup of orders. Alongside this, you can place orders and pay through Alexa, another AI.
In 2016 alone, Google spent about $30 billion on developing AI. Google maps and self-driving cars use AI to function. It has a neural network that has proven to have an average accuracy of about 80%. Google Photos, Google Translate, Google Voice Recognition, and Cloud Speech all use AI.
For YouTube, it has garnered more viewers by using AI to sift through recommendations and offer the most popular ones. Google is leaning towards the use of AI more each passing year as the technology gets better.
This brand gives out beauty advice through messenger apps by using a chatbot. This chatbot first presents a quiz to you to determine which products you prefer. Then it gives you suggestions on various Sephora offers based on your answers, thereby making you choose what is best for you without being aggressive in its marketing approach. This usually works better for customers because most of them do not appreciate the face-to-face aggressive sales strategy that representatives tend to employ, especially when they have a target to meet.
With neural networks, Facebook places advertisements according to popular recommendations. AI also stops the spread of fake news and it uses Deeptext, which is almost human in its understanding of written text. Just last year, the brand introduced an AI that can identify users who have suicidal traits so they can get help.
Siri is the very popular personal assistant which the brand uses on its phones and smart watches. It is an AI that can talk back and use text-to-speech to communicate. The brand uses deep learning and machine learning to detect faces, choose news stories, and recognize fraud. It also employs the aid of a neural engine to detect faces for unlocking or locking phones, and can convert any facial expression into an emoji in the user’s phone.
An AI called Amazon Recognition is capable of identifying people, places, things, activities, and text from a picture or a video. The brand also uses a neural machine called Amazon Translate to fluently translate text. Another one, Amazon Lex, uses written text and voice to build up chatbots that provide necessary information and advice to users.
This brand has an app called Record which keeps track of a user’s progress and analyzes her workout routines, giving advice tailored to fit an individual perfectly.
This brand uses Watson technology owned by IBM to compare the different prices of diamonds among numerous retail dealers. This informs it on how to operate. Rocky, a chatbot, simplifies the process of choosing and buying a diamond by communicating with customers through messages. The ease of doing business with the brand has marketed it as dependable and trustworthy, drawing more customers to it.
A very successful brand and name to be reckoned with in the hospitality industry, Hilton uses an AI concierge named Connie to present customers with a summarized version of what the hotel is about, and necessary information about the area where it is located.
This reduces the time and stress a person would have been subjected to if she had to do the research on her own. This has given the hotel a professional yet personal touch, which is important in the hospitality industry.
Based on the preferences which a customer indicates, an AI called Levi’s Virtual Stylist helps them choose the best pair of jeans and styles them accordingly. As simple as picking out a pair of jeans sounds, it could be burdensome for some people, and for a company like Levi’s, which has been around for a long time and understands this, using AI is just another way to help its numerous customers and make sure everyone gets the right fit according to size and shape.
Skype employs machine learning in order to be able to recognize voices and translate speech in real time, without wasting time. With AI, it also offers filters, captions, and face stickers which are very popular among users, both new and old.
This list is not exhaustive, but it goes to show that Artificial Intelligence is gaining ground in the business world as it is highly effective in making any brand visible and easy to use. In a few years time, it may take the place of humans in the workplace if the present rate of improvement of the technology continues. The most important aspect of all of this is to keep customers satisfied and draw more in every day.
My Take on Brands using AI in 21st Century
This list makes it very clear that Artificial Intelligence has permeated our every day lives. Whatever service we use through our internet enabled device, it comes with AI built in.
Brands are using AI in every product and service of theirs to get smarter, and to define consumer behavior. The journey has just started, the way ahead is intriguing and exciting.