The last two years have been big for marketing and AI and there’s no reason to think 2022 will be any different. We think 2022 will be the year marketing applications built on top of AI language generation platforms reach widespread enterprise use and companies will double down on AI-powered content personalization.
New technologies often go through a transition from “this an interesting thing to keep an eye on” to “ok, this thing delivers real value and my competitors are using it, let’s take a closer look.” AI for marketers seems to have transitioned through this phase over the last few years, so we decided to take a look at a few applications of AI and who might benefit from adding them into their marketing stack.
AI is clearly a hot topic with a ton of hype. It’s seeping into every industry, promising to revolutionize the way we deliver value to customers. New startups are growing quickly (CopyAI, Seamless.ai, Amperity) and established companies are pushing out products or acquiring new AI companies to keep up (Unbounce, Hubspot, Adobe).
However, there is a wide range of reactions to the promise of AI from enthusiastic to lukewarm. But setting aside individual biases, it’s tough to envision a future of marketing that doesn’t involve a derivative of AI. With measurable ROI, you can’t ignore the value it brings to marketing teams with the insights it uncovers and its boost in productivity.
AI already plays a central role in a number of marketing functions and we’ll go through a few of them here.
As broad as “AI for content creation” seems, it really does apply to all types of marketing content. Emails, landing pages, product descriptions, blog posts, and ad copy can all be generated by AI content generation tools. The question is whether or not it’s any good, and does it actually save time? An experienced B2B content writer told us,
This resonated with us. We began evaluating AI content generation through the lens of how much the user will have to edit after the content is generated. The same writer made it clear:
The bar is already set very high for these types of tools to be integrated into any serious marketing program. They might be sufficient for a “10 Best Party Themes” blog post, but marketers pushing content about enterprise tech or financial services have to think twice before they add an AI element into their content creation pipeline. We think 2022 will be the year that AI-assisted content creation will find its place in enterprise marketing.
The newly available large AI language models offered by OpenAI and Cohere in 2020-2021 have enabled new companies to build content generation platforms with relative ease. However, just slapping a nice UI in front of some advanced AI won’t cut it for enterprise applications. They may be incredibly valuable for a large number of use cases, but there are sophisticated use cases that need a higher degree of specificity and quality control before being ready for widespread use in mature marketing stacks.
For fun, we asked OpenAI’s AI language model (GPT-3) what it thought about marketing technology in 2022:
Prompt: How will marketing technology be different in 2022?
It responded with some (maybe?) interesting insights:
GPT-3: Marketing technology will continue to evolve to support companies with the scale and complexity of their digital ambitions. More and more B2B companies will invest in a coordinated digital marketing approach to reach their desired target audience. By 2022, marketing automation will become ubiquitous and companies will be more capable to create personalized experiences for their prospects and customers.
Now, we’re not saying an AI platform can tell the future. However, by reading the entire internet at a point in time, it can certainly identify patterns. So take it with a grain of salt, but who knows.
Content generation platforms mostly fall into two categories: Long Form Generators and Short Form Generators (some do both).
Long Form AI Assistants
These are AI Editors that write big chunks of text. As the user writes, they may suggest a few options on how to finish a paragraph, or offer to finish off an article altogether. These tools are typically built on stop of GPT-3 by OpenAI.
- Jarvis – “Artificial intelligence makes it fast & easy to create content for your blog, social media, website, and more!”
- Frase – “Frase AI helps you research, write, and optimize high-quality SEO content in minutes instead of hours.”
Short Form AI Assistants
Ad copy, headlines, and social media posts all have their place within short form text generators. The high volume of these types content leads to a lot of A/B testing, so these tools can really help increase the number of variations to hone in on an optimal strategy.
- CopyAI – “Introducing the end of writer’s block. With CopyAI’s automated creativity tools, you can generate marketing copy in seconds.”
- Headlime – “Writing copy is time-consuming and difficult. Headlime’s artificial intelligence can take your thoughts and turn them into words, saving you tons of time so you can focus on what matters: your business!”
Who’s going to buy what and when? Which type of content is going to perform the best? These are the types of marketing questions AI-powered predictive analytics answers.
These tools typically rely on analyzing a company’s internal data to uncover patterns on customers’ buying habits to tailor their marketing strategy to double down on what works. This approach is very different than the AI-generated content described above where the AI is trained on text written on the internet. In the typical predictive analytics use cases for marketing, the AI is trained on transactional or engagement data of an individual brand.
- Tellius – “A better way to understand the ‘what’ and ‘why’ from all your business data with AI-driven guided insights”
- Adverity – “Make insights-driven decisions faster and easier with the intelligent data and analytics platform for marketing, sales, and eCommerce teams.”
- SeamlessAI – “Connect directly with your ideal customers so you can build pipeline, shorten your sales cycle, and close more deals.”
Helping customers find what they need on a website is objective number one when designing and organizing your digital assets. If they are coming with an intent to buy, get them to that checkout as fast as possible. If they show up with the intent to learn more about your product or service, make sure they get to the appropriate documentation as fast as possible. Every user that lands on a site has a different objective, and there are great AI tools that that can predict what each user wants and directs them to the appropriate page. This is one great example of how AI enables personalized experiences based on a set of data points about a brand’s customers.
A 2020 PWC survey about streaming services found that personalized experiences were one of the top reasons a user stays with a particular platform.
This can be translated to all digital experiences. We expect to see an increased emphasis on personalization for websites, blogs, and video content across all industries in 2022 as consumers already expect a high degree of personalization in most areas of digital media.
- Onespot – “Drive engagement and conversions across your website, emails, landing pages and more — no integrations required.”
- Synthesia – “Create professional AI videos from text in 50+ languages. Synthesia saves you money, time and quite some nerves.”
- DynamicYield – “We help companies quickly build and test personalized, optimized, and synchronized digital customer experiences.”
Chatbots are ubiquitous applications of AI for many marketing professionals. Although every customer has her own needs and priorities, many often come looking for the same things. Whether it’s more information on a product or details on pricing, chatbots can often understand what the customer needs with a few preliminary questions. Being able to understand natural language, AI-enabled chatbots can reduce the workload for customer service teams and can facilitate the user flow through the marketing funnel.
- Copilot – “Reach your target audience with personalized, engaging, and compelling outreach”
- LivePerson – “Our AI-powered Conversational Cloud has made over a billion brand-to-consumer conversations possible. We make it easy for consumers to ask questions and make purchases in the messaging channels they use every day.”
- Exceed – “Automate Your Lead Conversion Journey Into Sales Ready Meetings”
- Manychat -“Automate interactive conversations in Instagram Direct Messages, Facebook Messenger, and SMS to grow your brand.”
Moving forward into 2022
Some applications of AI in marketing are ready for enterprise applications and have been thoroughly tested and refined over the last decade. Others are newer to the scene thanks to large scale, horizontal AI platforms that have enabled a new class of language applications.
We view 2022 as the “proof is in the pudding” year for AI-assisted writing for sophisticated marketing teams, and it will be exciting to see the continuing evolution of AI throughout the entire marketing tech stack at companies of all sizes and maturity.