Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere. It has slipped its way into our everyday life without most of us even realizing it. The Echo Dot that is streaming music in my living room is a good example. It didn’t take long before the device became integrated in my life and I started to rely on it for traffic and weather every morning. These smart devices are just the tip of the iceberg. AI has integrated itself into just about every industry, and that includes marketing. What does this mean for marketers? To remain competitive and relevant, it is time to start integrating AI technology into your marketing strategy. But before you jump feet first into the world of marketing AI, it is ideal to have a good understanding of the technology and how it is effecting the industry.

How is AI incorporated into the marketing industry?

In an industry that relies heavily on engagement and personal connection, it is hard to imagine how machine-based interactions can be integrated successfully. Often times, the use of AI is subtle, such as chat boxes and recommendation engines. It can also be used for collecting and analyzing data at faster rates (think hours instead of weeks), opening the door for more personalized marketing experiences. And to think, these are just a few examples, the possibilities are endless.

What does this mean for marketers?

For one thing, the industry is changing. AI is taking on the tasks that are often tedious and time consuming. In addition, AI is also taking over some aspects of content marketing, everything from content curation to emails to creating the content itself. In 2015, Gartner predicted 20% of all business content will be authored by machines by 2018. Here we are in 2018, let’s see what this year brings.

As a marketer, this doesn’t mean you need to worry your job is being taken over by robots. Right now, AI is opening the door for increased customer engagement. Andrew Stephen, author of AI Is Changing Marketing As We Know It, And That’s A Good Thing, emphasizes the positive impact AI has on the marketing field:

Also, as consumers become even more digital and themselves automate more things using smart AI-powered tools and devices, the human part of a firm’s relationship with a customer will become even more important. More time for marketing teams to spend on human interactions with customers, thus, seems valuable.

What are the next steps?

Start by educating yourself on the different AI tools available. Similar to any technology, it will only help when used where it makes the most sense. Don’t change your process to work with technology, the technology should work with your process. Once educated, you can find the tools and systems that will support you and your clients with what they most need.

Still feeling unsteady? Stick with me as I work through my journey of understanding AI in marketing in a series of upcoming blog posts.