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AI: What It Means for the Future of Marketing

Jul 21, 2023 - Prerna Bhushan
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Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized numerous industries and marketing is no exception. With AI-powered tools and techniques becoming increasingly prevalent, businesses are using this technology to boost their marketing efforts and achieve better results. 

Let’s take a look at AI in marketing and how you can use it to automate mundane tasks, generate content and improve your customers’ experience.

How AI is used in marketing

AI in digital marketing involves the application of AI technologies and algorithms to streamline and optimize various marketing processes. Let's delve into some key areas where AI is making a significant impact on increasing output and decreasing costs in marketing.

Automate mundane tasks

One of the primary benefits of AI in marketing is its ability to automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, lead segmentation and report generation. These types of tasks are time-consuming and prone to human error. But with AI, these tasks can be automated, saving marketers valuable time and effort.

With AI taking over repetitive tasks, marketing teams can redirect their focus toward more strategic and creative initiatives. This shift allows marketers to allocate their resources effectively, diving deeper into data analysis, refining marketing strategies and developing engaging campaigns that resonate with the target audience. By using AI to automate mundane tasks, marketers can optimize their workflow, enhance productivity and unlock new opportunities for effective marketing strategies.

Provide actionable insights

If you're among the many marketers using Google Analytics, you're likely aware that although the platform gives you a lot of data, it can be hard to pull meaningful insights out of that ocean of data. While Google Analytics does provide statistics regarding your website traffic, it doesn’t offer guidance on how to use it effectively.

Similarly, social media platforms offer their own metrics about your account's activity and engagement, and your CRM or marketing automation system throws even more data into the mix. Various dashboard tools are available to consolidate data from multiple sources and present it in the form of charts and graphs. But even with these visualizations, they don't provide actionable guidance on how to proceed based on the data.

So what are you supposed to do with all the data?

Until recently, you had to hire a data analyst to interpret all this data and turn it into actionable insights. These professionals have specialized skills that are in high demand — and come with substantial salary requirements.

By contrast, AI has emerged as a cost-effective and efficient solution for analyzing data and offering actionable, growth-oriented marketing recommendations. For instance, an AI tool can examine your data and provide insights such as "Over the past 30 days, 94% of your revenue was generated by just 6% of your products" and "These 10 pages contribute to only 2% of conversions. Consider reviewing and optimizing this content."

Generate content

Ecommerce companies can benefit hugely from inbound marketing with content that brings in free, targeted traffic for you to convert into customers. But content generation can be a time-consuming, painstaking process.

That’s where AI comes in. AI can create content and put it in front of the right people on different platforms. And it’s not just about writing text. For example, some SEO-focused AI tools can tell you which keywords to use in articles and how many times, suggest the best article structure and advise on the number of images to include. This is helpful for ecommerce stores trying to rank higher than their competitors on search engines.

AI can also help marketers plan their whole content marketing strategy. One example is analyzing your competitors’ websites, splitting up their content into topics and suggesting which topics you should start with. Another is having an AI tool analyze your audience data and behavior to identify specific audience segments and their preferences. This information can help you tailor your content strategy to resonate with your target audiences, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

Improve the customer experience

AI is transforming the way businesses create positive customer experiences. Chatbots, powered by AI, provide instant customer support and assistance, making it easier for customers to get answers to their queries. AI can also track previous conversations your customers have had with your company. That way, your customers can avoid repeating information every time they call, email or chat support, reducing their frustration.

Additionally, AI algorithms can analyze customer interactions and preferences to deliver highly personalized recommendations and offers. By providing relevant and timely information, AI enhances customer engagement and satisfaction, leading more people along your desired customer journey.

The future of AI in marketing

The future of marketing will see a more significant integration of AI technologies. As AI becomes more sophisticated, its potential impact on marketing will expand. With advancements in machine learning and predictive analytics, AI will enable marketers to predict customer behavior, anticipate needs and proactively deliver personalized experiences. This predictive capability will transform marketing campaigns from reactive to proactive, enabling businesses to stay one step ahead of their customers' expectations and pursue aggressive growth marketing campaigns.

In ecommerce marketing, AI tools will get faster and faster at using customer data to make personalized product recommendations based on each customer's shopping behaviors. In advertising, AI will likely be able to instantly create different ads for different consumers — one for Gen Z, one for millennials, another for Gen X and another for baby boomers, for example. In email marketing campaigns, AI will enable more granular personalization, perhaps even dynamically creating new emails based on customer behavior (no more generic “Hi , thank you for your purchase” emails).

The challenges of using artificial intelligence in marketing

While AI presents exciting possibilities for marketing, it also comes with its challenges. Two significant hurdles marketers face when implementing AI technology are training and data quality.

Training

AI marketing tools don't automatically know what to do to achieve marketing goals. They need time and training, just like humans, to learn your organization's goals, understand what customers like, look at past trends and become experts. This learning process also relies on having good quality data that is accurate, up-to-date and represents your customers well. 

If your artificial intelligence marketing tools aren't trained with good data, you'll get inaccurate output that doesn't really show what customers want. It's like having a shiny new toy that doesn't work right.

But training an AI doesn’t have to be difficult and can look like this:

  1. In the beginning, you give the AI some training data and ask it to make decisions based on that. It might make mistakes like a baby learning to walk. But when you see these mistakes, you can help the AI get better by making changes.
  2. Once the AI finishes this training, you move on to the next step: validation. Here, you test how well the AI can do with new data. This data doesn't have any special tags or “cheat codes” to help the AI understand the data; it's like a closed-book exam versus an open-book exam. 
  3. If the AI can make good decisions with this unstructured data, then it's ready to go! But if it can't, it goes back to training, and you repeat the process until you're happy with how the AI works.

Data quality

When you analyze data, it's crucial to ensure its quality, whether it's used for artificial intelligence or not. You can break down poor data quality into two important aspects:

  1. Missing data: When some information is not available in the dataset.
  2. Incorrect data: When the data contains mistakes or inaccuracies.

How do you fix poor data quality? With AI, data can be processed faster and more cheaply than human analysts. This is likely why, according to the Data and Analytics Leadership Annual Executive Survey 2023, 80.5% of data executives say that AI and machine learning will be a primary area of data investment during 2023.

Automating and simplifying data management tasks through advanced technologies can transform how companies handle their data. Data accuracy, completeness and consistency become much easier to achieve. AI could help you follow a process like this:

  1. First, a technical assessment using machine-learning algorithms identifies data anomalies and measures the severity of the issues. Based on this assessment, the AI model suggests data quality rules in “plain English” that your company’s decision-makers can quickly understand.
  2. Then, data quality experts review the new data rules to ensure they align with business requirements.
  3. Finally, you modify the data rules as time goes by. Using plain English, you ask the AI to change the data rules. For example, you could tell the AI: “Exclude people under age 13 from the fall marketing campaign.” Then you know you’re targeting the campaign correctly and that all data from that campaign will be for the right demographic.

How to incorporate AI into your marketing strategy

If you’re a decision-maker for an ecommerce company, it's important to understand how AI can shape the future of marketing. AI offers many possibilities to improve marketing, get rid of tedious tasks and give customers great experiences.

If you want to learn more about how AI can change your ecommerce business and find AI solutions that fit your needs, contact our team at Cart.com. Start an exciting journey toward successful marketing with AI today.

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