Artificial Intelligence, Best Practices 10 mins read

AI for Marketing: When to Use (or Not Use) It

Even in 2024, many businesses still struggle to understand the potential of AI for marketing. To provide some clarity, think of AI as a supplement to your human-guided marketing strategies: it subtly guides, adjusts, and enhances each tactic toward successful revenue-driving results. 

Say goodbye to the AI guesswork! We’re decoding the specifics of AI’s role in marketing, including the advantages it brings and when not to use it (where a human touch is necessary for success). 

Unleashing the Power of AI in Marketing: Top Use Cases

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a transformative force, offering a variety of use cases that redefine the way businesses connect with their digital audiences. From personalized customer experiences and targeted advertising to predictive analytics and text generation, AI seamlessly integrates into digital marketing strategies, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness. 

Harnessing the power of machine learning, AI algorithms analyze vast datasets to uncover valuable insights, enabling marketers to make data-driven decisions and optimize campaigns in real time. 

These are some of the main ways to use AI for marketing: 

1. Personalization and Customer Segmentation

Artificial intelligence tools offer marketing personalization beyond the capabilities of manual efforts. AI interprets and learns from large amounts of data, mastering individual user preferences, behavior, and the online journey.

Examples of AI personalization in action include:

  • Netflix’s recommendation system, powered by AI, caters to individual viewer preferences, serving up a unique, customized viewing experience. 
  • Amazon uses AI to tailor product recommendations based on customer’s shopping history, demographics, and other personal attributes, resulting in a personalized shopping experience that boosts consumer engagement significantly. 
  • Reddit, the TikTok “for you page,” and other social media channels also utilize AI to serve users content that they would most likely be interested in, keeping them engaged and on the app longer. 

Netflix interface

Marketers who capitalize on the personalization abilities of these tools by using intent-based keywords in their content will be able to reach a more focused audience. Delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time becomes less challenging and more efficient with AI.

2. Predictive Analytics for Improved Decision-Making

Notably, AI is making inroads in pushing boundaries for data-driven decisions in marketing.

Predictive analytics, the practice of extracting data to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends, garners considerable interest. AI systems process and analyze large datasets, unveiling patterns, correlations, and potential outcomes often undetectable by traditional data processing. 

As a result, marketers can foresee customer behavior, target ideal markets, optimize pricing strategies, and understand the ROI on different channels – all with incredible accuracy.

For instance, AI-powered analytics helped Harley-Davidson identify and target customers who were 40% more likely to make a purchase, resulting in a sizable increase in sales. In another instance, Starbucks used predictive analytics to understand their customer preferences and provide personalized recommendations, boosting overall customer satisfaction.

Subsequently, AI-driven predictive analytics fosters data-backed strategic decisions, propelling marketing efficiency to unprecedented levels.

3. AI-Driven Advertising Campaigns

AI is revolutionizing the way ad campaigns are strategized, run, and analyzed. By analyzing large data sets, it can predict consumer behavior and preferences for more targeted and effective advertising. 

Coca-Cola’s AI-driven “Share a Coke” campaign leveraged consumer data to personalize product offerings and successfully capture the attention of its audience. Additionally, in 2023, Coke partnered with Dall-E to create a UGC campaign incorporating AI and art.

Screen grab from Coca-cola's AI campaign

The degree of personalization AI offers is unmatchable, treating each customer as an individual rather than a part of a segment. It adjusts in real-time, basing suggestions and decisions on the freshest data, which allows for optimization at a pace that humans simply cannot compete with. 

4. AI in Social Media Marketing

For a long time, social media marketing relied on a more traditional approach, but with AI, the game has radically changed. Algorithms can now use data to predict user behavior and preferences, enable dynamic advertisements that are personalized in real-time, and enable autonomous customer engagement through chatbots. 

On LinkedIn, AI is actively used to deliver job recommendations and networking suggestions to users based on their profiles and past actions. This has improved the quality of matches and overall experience for its user base.

5. Using AI for Email Marketing

AI in email marketing brings smart personalization, predictive analytics, and enhanced automation. The technology can determine the best time to send an email to an end-user based on their previous open habits. It can also predict the types of content that will generate interest or even recommend new email subscribers based on customer data. These insights can radically improve the conversion rates of email marketing campaigns.

Take, for example, the case of Grammarly, an AI-powered writing platform. They use AI to deliver personalized emails to millions of its subscribers, providing each of them with a weekly engagement report. These reports are crafted autonomously by AI and have been instrumental in driving customer retention and improving user experience.

Remember: the infusion of AI into marketing doesn’t imply taking away the human touch but rather enhances it, making communication more relevant and personalized.

The Human Touch: Where AI Can’t Replace Humans

In some situations, AI falls short in marketing, and the human touch surpasses its capabilities.

The Crimson Park Digital team in a meeting

Certain aspects of AI continue to present challenges. For instance, AI struggles with understanding context and sentiment in certain scenarios.

Take this example: with millions of Tweets posted daily, AI can categorize these into positive, negative, and neutral sentiments. However, Tweets filled with sarcasm or irony are often misinterpreted due to AI’s inability to discern such nuanced human emotions. Consequently, any marketing strategy based on this erroneous data may miss its intended target.

Simultaneously, there are areas where traditional marketing strategies prove to be more efficient. During small-scale B2B niche-targeting campaigns, for instance, seasoned marketers’ intuition and deep industry understanding can prevail over AI. While AI offers breadth, sometimes depth can only be attained through the human touch.

Non-Use Cases of AI for marketing include:

1. Branding Campaigns

Consider developing a branding campaign that leverages storytelling to evoke strong emotions and profound connections with the audience. AI might compile data and guide the campaign’s direction, but ultimately, crafting the narrative, understanding the audience’s emotions, and forging the emotional connection requires the human touch.

2. Online Reputation Management

Customer grievances or intricate issues require human intervention for optimal resolution. While AI can handle basic customer service inquiries effectively, more complex queries often necessitate human interaction. 

Here, a marketer’s ability to empathize, reason, and negotiate situations uniquely human cannot be replicated by AI. This further consolidates the idea that AI in marketing should be viewed as a tool complementing humans, not replacing them.

3. Creative Conceptualization

The imaginative process behind creating unique and innovative marketing concepts is outside the realm of AI capabilities, which may struggle to grasp abstract or highly creative ideas. 

Quote reads "sometimes depth can only be attained through the human touch."

Use human-powered brainstorming to create concepts behind campaign strategies before turning to AI for supplementation. You (or your marketing agency) understand your brand, its goals, and its requirements more than an AI-powered tool can, so it should not be consulted prior to human planning.

4. Social Media Engagement

Crafting genuine, human-centered interactions on social media platforms, including understanding humor, sarcasm, and cultural references, requires a level of social intelligence that AI may struggle to replicate authentically.

Additionally, social media is most successful when it is built upon a content strategy of authenticity. Repetitive or predetermined responses to user’s comments appear phony and salesy and should be avoided to maximize authentic engagement.

5. Influencer Relationship Management 

Building and maintaining relationships with influencers involves nuanced human interactions, understanding individual personalities, and navigating interpersonal dynamics, which may not align seamlessly with AI capabilities.

The nuanced negotiation of terms, aligning influencer content with brand messaging, and adapting to the ever-changing dynamics of social media landscapes demand a level of interpersonal finesse that may elude AI algorithms. 

Human marketers can gauge an influencer’s credibility, assess audience sentiment, and pivot strategies based on real-time insights, factors that contribute significantly to the success of influencer partnerships in the digital realm.

Embracing the Future: Leveraging AI in Your Marketing Strategies

How soon can your marketing team start experimenting with these AI applications?

Remember, the revolution is digital, but the goal remains analog: customer satisfaction. Basking in the glow of AI’s possibilities, make every click, every swipe, every interaction count. 

AI will increasingly become a value addition in digital marketing, and brands would be wise to partner with an agency that combines the human touch with the power of AI. To learn how can AI fit into your corporate strategy and marketing plans, reach out to us for a free consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is AI used in digital marketing?

AI is employed in digital marketing for tasks such as personalized content recommendations, predictive analytics, targeted advertising, chatbot interactions, and data-driven decision-making. It enhances efficiency by automating processes, analyzing large datasets for insights, and optimizing campaigns in real-time.

Why should you be careful about using AI for marketing?

Caution is necessary when using AI for marketing due to potential ethical concerns, lack of nuanced understanding in creative tasks, the need for human touch in emotional connections, and the risk of algorithmic biases impacting decision-making. Additionally, AI may struggle with unpredictable trends, cultural sensitivity, and building authentic relationships, highlighting the importance of maintaining a balance between automation and human expertise in marketing strategies.

Can you use ChatGPT for digital marketing?

Yes, ChatGPT can be utilized in digital marketing for tasks such as generating content, answering customer queries, and providing information. However, caution is needed to ensure that AI-generated content aligns with brand voice, and human oversight is crucial for tasks requiring creativity, emotional intelligence, and nuanced understanding.

Photo of
About the author