Getting future ready: How to realise the promise of AI

AI is changing digital marketing. But with large promise comes large responsibility.

As a tool for business, AI’s potential is huge. Promising huge transformations in the way business can develop products and services, analyse performance, and develop insight-led marketing campaigns built around evolving audiences.

 Download our full report on the ways AI is changing digital marketing in 2018

AI’s capacity to uncover meaning and value from data is already delivering more personal brand experiences and marketing communications for businesses of all types – all built upon proven historical and audience insight. Yet many businesses are now rushing into AI or machine learning initiatives hoping to stay relevant and up to speed in their fast-moving industries. This is often the biggest mistake to make.

While offering the unique potential for growth, AI comes with many distinct challenges and concerns that need to be addressed. To properly realise the promise of AI, the new technology needs to be approached with care and consideration from the start.

Overcoming the challenges of AI integration

From general misunderstandings to potentially business-ending legal risks, there’s a lot that needs to be mulled over when it comes to AI integration. Here we’ll run through the key challenges and concerns to help you started on the right track with AI.

Security & legal precautions

AI applications and initiatives come with many complex security and legal concerns that need to be taken into account from the outset. These concerns run two ways.

First, you need to ensure the protection of others. This means you need to be very clear that your data (and the way you are using data) is completely above board and regulation compliant.

As you will of course know by now, recent changes brought in with GDPR have caused businesses to rethink how they handle and use their data.

Learn how GDPR affects your business.

The changes brought about by GDPR offer a great opportunity for your business to readdress your approach to data, putting in place the correct measures and procedures that will set you up for a prolific future with big data and AI.

Second, you need to ensure you protect yourself. This means putting measures in place to protect against hacking and data breaches that may seriously harm your business.

Understanding how AI learns

AI programmes learn only from the input and guidance we provide them. As a result, simple oversights regarding data sources can lead to huge shifts in context, or for data to become outdated and irrelevant.

To safeguard against critical errors and unconscious bias, the systems need to be properly understood and there needs to be some kind of control over the training and support of those feeding and working alongside the AI programmes.

Without a determined approach to governance and ethics, AI initiatives can quickly take a tangent to become ineffective, and potentially harmful if these incorrect insights are acted upon.

How to make AI actionable

AI’s growing impact in digital comes from the increasing ease by which we can store and access huge amounts of potentially valuable data.

Through powerful processing, AI can recognise trends, learn and understand in ways humans simply can’t, offering valuable insights and recommendations for businesses to act upon.

However, while AI is a hugely powerful tool, it requires certain amounts of infrastructure to be useful. Getting from insights to consistent business growth is out of the hands of AI.

Designed around your specific needs, you need to develop an architecture that will allow your AI programmes to be effectively tested, deployed and used to your advantage. To do this properly, you need skilled humans every step of the way.

Better together: AI and HI

Human intelligence gets the most out of Artificial intelligence. The smarter your team, the more effective your AI initiatives will be. It’s that simple.

Rather than replacing humans outright, as many dystopian tales will have you believe, AI will find its place as a guiding tool for humans that is there to enhance their abilities. Not a competitor that should keep you awake at night.

To get the most out of AI, it needs to be approached as an enhancement tool. In digital marketing, AI programmes are able to provide detailed audience insights that allow for a more relevant, personalised approach to communications. Which is great for businesses and consumers alike.

Bringing the human touch

For ambitious businesses, AI’s greatest feature is its ability to build a more human approach. Across your website and UX, branding, marketing communications, and overarching digital strategy, AI programmes can provide insights that allow you to be more in tune with your audience, delivering services that truly enhance their lives.

Download our buyer persona template to create campaigns with real impact.

Managed in the right way, with due care taken where necessary, AI and data analytics have the promise to transform your business. Just don’t be too quick to dive in.