ChatGPT has entered the chat, bringing the resurgence of the conversation around artificial intelligence (AI) and marketing.
It seemed like AI marketing as a concept had stalled, but in 2023 it’s more popular than ever, leaving everyone wondering, “How can marketers use AI?” Today, we’re going to answer that question.
We’ll cover what AI marketing is, how to use it, examples, pros and cons, and marketing strategies that benefit from AI. Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- What is AI marketing?
- How do marketers use AI?
- Examples of AI Marketing
- AI Marketing Pros and Cons
- Marketing Strategies That Use AI
What is AI marketing?
AI marketing is when marketers use artificial intelligence to gather insights into their customers and produce better content. Marketing assets guided by AI are personalized and optimized for the customer journey. This can look like chatbots, targeted advertising, and content generation.
To use AI in marketing, typically, the AI will collect data, learn customer behaviors, and analyze this information to help a business achieve its goals. AI can even reach out to customers who do a specific behavior on your website, like clicking a button or liking social media posts.
There are several AI tools and software marketers can use that will trigger automated responses for your customers. AI marketing is used for data analysis, media buying, content generation, personalization, and more. Now, let’s dive into how marketers use AI.
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How do marketers use AI?
AI has been a growing industry and topic of conversation for the better part of a decade. In fact, there was a 27% reported increase in implementing AI or machine learning into companies' marketing toolkits.
The top three reported uses for AI in marketing were content personalization, predictive analytics for customer insights, and targeting decisions. Below, we’ll dive into some of the use cases for AI in marketing.
When to Use AI Marketing
1. Content Personalization
One of the ways to use AI in marketing is to personalize content. This means AI can change the customer’s experience depending on their online behavior or whether or not they’ve filled out a form for your company.
For example, dynamic content changes depending on the user — their name, occupation, online behavior, etc. AI analyzes a user online and gives them a more personal experience with marketing assets, including web pages, social media posts, and emails.
6Sense is a helpful tool that leverages AI to sift through intent data. You can then understand who in your audience is looking to make a purchase so you can personalize the marketing experience.
2. Data Analytics
Data analytics is one of the main uses of AI in marketing. AI can collect and sift through large amounts of data from several marketing campaigns and summarize the findings.
AI can predict the outcome of marketing campaigns by using historical data, such as consumer engagement metrics, purchases, time-on-page, email opens, and more.
This will help you save time when strategizing and developing marketing assets for your campaigns.
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3. Content Generation
AI can also be used to help generate content. It can help develop captions, social media posts, email subject lines, and even blog copy.
We’ve all seen how AI can write articles when given a certain subject. Still, it’s important to note that most AI-generated content isn’t ready for publishing immediately.
Most marketers today use generative AI to recommend content and generate portions of an article. They then fact-check, edit, and adjust AI’s writing to make it sound more human.
The best way to use AI in content generation is to help get you started. The best, high-quality content is produced by marketers using insights from AI to create content faster.
Pro tip: HubSpot has an AI-powered content assistant that can help you generate blog ideas, create outlines, and write blogs or marketing emails.
4. Media Buying
Another way to use AI in marketing is through media buying. AI technology can predict the most effective ad and media placements to reach a target audience and maximize ROI.
To implement this tactic, use AI software specifically made to help your media buying team. Pattern89 is one example. This AI marketing tool provides recommendations on your ad spend and enables you to target the right audience to increase performance.
Additionally, if you use Google Ads, you’re already encountering the AI that helps with the auction process.
One use of AI in marketing that we’ve seen for years is chatbots. Chatbots, created with natural language processing (NLP), can solve quick problems for customers, help nurture leads, answer repeated questions, and more.
A chatbot can personalize the customer journey during the stage when they’re consuming marketing content. This tool can also answer customer questions.
Let’s look at Drift. The company has trained its chatbot to answer questions, even if it’s outside a pre-programmed path. This way, if a person has a question that isn’t loaded into the system, the user will still get an answer.
Pro tip: Looking to better understand how AI-powered chatbots can answer customer questions? HubSpot Academy can help. This course describes the difference between rule-based and AI-powered chatbots.
6. Automated Email Marketing Campaigns
Automated email marketing has also been around for years. But AI tools can help produce more engaging email content and learn about your email list behaviors.
The goal is to have your marketers spend less time researching and brainstorming so they can focus on sending successful campaigns. As AI expands and improves, automated email marketing software becomes even more important to include in your marketing stack.
HubSpot Content Assistant can help you create marketing emails. Write a prompt about what you’d like to promote — from a discount to a webinar to a blog post — and AI can generate a message with the right tone.
7. Forecasting Sales
A great use of AI in marketing is to forecast sales.
Now you might think that has more to do with sales than marketing. However, AI can help marketers understand the predicted outcome of their campaigns and marketing assets.
This insight can help marketers develop better campaigns that actually produce sales and ROI.
8. Improving Customer Experience
Marketing is all about the customer experience, and AI can help marketers deliver the best experience for their visitors to convert them into leads.
AI can help increase customer retention and loyalty, delight customers with personalized content, and improve assets.
One of the most significant advantages AI can bring to SEO is the ability to optimize content for search engines. AI algorithms can analyze website traffic, identify keywords that can help improve search engine rankings, and track competitors' activity.
Plus, using AI-powered tools, marketers can learn about their audience's preferences and customize their content to match their interests.
To learn more about how AI can impact your SEO efforts, visit HubSpot Academy. Our Keyword Research for SEO course includes information on how search engines leverage AI to suggest related searches by keywords.
Examples of AI Marketing
At this point, you might be wondering, “Okay, but how does this look in practice?” Let’s review some real-life examples of how big media companies have used AI in their marketing.
If you’re in marketing, you know you have to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. Netflix uses AI to do this. How?
On a Netflix Tech Blog, the company explains how it uses previous viewing history to determine the artwork for recommended movies or TV shows.
For example, if you’ve watched a lot of one actor’s movies, they might recommend another movie they’re in. But if the artwork doesn’t show off the actor, you may click away. So, when the movie is recommended to this specific viewer, the artwork will showcase that actor.
Or maybe a viewer tends to watch more comedies than romances. When Netflix recommends a movie, they might change the artwork to show off comedic scenes versus romantic moments from the film.
Let’s take a look at how Netflix would recommend the movie Good Will Hunting to someone who watches romance movies versus the artwork they’d use to recommend the movie to someone who watches comedies.
So, why does Netflix do this? The goal is to increase conversion rates and improve the customer experience on their platform.
Spotify uses a similar approach to Netflix. The company will use AI to understand a user’s music interests, podcast favorites, purchase history, location, brand interactions, and more.
Then, customized playlists and recommendations are curated for each user.
This type of content personalization has helped major media companies like Spotify become top streaming platforms. But the personalization doesn’t end there.
Spotify will also send automated email marketing messages with personalized recommendations.
The goal? Create automated marketing messages and assets that will convert a user because the message is specific to that customer.
Two major use cases for AI in marketing are forecasting sales and analyzing data. Amazon uses AI to do just that.
When you go on Amazon, there is a recommended products section that uses predictive analytics to determine if a customer is likely to make a purchase.
This helps the marketing teams at Amazon know what products to place in front of which customers. Plus, they can predict how well a product will sell based on their recommended product campaigns.
This type of AI helps increase conversions, improve customer satisfaction, and measure the overall success and ROI of various marketing campaigns.
AI Marketing Pros and Cons
We’ve covered a lot so far, including what AI marketing looks like in the real world. However, is this something you should implement at your company? Below, we’ll discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of AI marketing.
AI Marketing Advantages
1. Increase your ROI.
As you can see from the examples above, the main goal of using AI in marketing is to increase ROI and build campaigns that are easier to track.
The data analytics and insight AI provides can be leveraged to produce better marketing assets and improve your campaigns in real time.
This will save your marketing team time and money, allowing them to work more efficiently and increase profits.
2. Improve customer relationships.
Another advantage is that using AI in marketing can help improve your relationship with your customers.
The more personalized your recommendations are and the deeper your relationship with your customer is, the more likely they’ll become repeat purchasers. This happens through AI’s ability to personalize marketing assets and content in real time.
Additionally, AI can identify customers at risk of churning and put them in an automated marketing campaign to get them to re-engage with your company.
3. Make better, strategic marketing decisions.
AI is becoming more popular in marketing, culminating in the ability to make better strategic marketing decisions. As your company and marketing team grows, scaling has never been more important (but also, it’s never been more difficult).
AI can make scaling your business easier, using data to analyze, predict, and create marketing assets that sell. See how your team can use artificial intelligence and automation in this course from HubSpot Academy.
AI Marketing Disadvantages
1. Content quality.
If you’re going to use AI to generate content without having a human edit it, you’re going to see a drop in the quality of your content. The success of AI is reliant on high-quality data that is accurate and timely.
Without a human editor, AI can produce content with factual inaccuracies, bias, or a divergent tone from your brand. Using AI requires human oversight so these types of mistakes don’t happen.
As marketing assets have become more personalized through the years, customers are beginning to value privacy more and more. With AI, some of these techniques require using a customer’s cookies and previous internet behavior to predict future purchases.
If your marketing team downloads and uses AI software, you’ll need to be sure you comply with privacy laws, such as GDPR.
3. Evaluating non-quantifiable KPIs.
It might be hard to get buy-in to invest in AI at your company because there are non-quantifiable KPIs at play.
Certain metrics will be easy to track, but others — like improving the customer experience, increasing brand awareness, or improving reputation — will be much harder. That’s why it’s important to have the right measurement tools in place.
Marketing Strategies That Use AI
Many marketing strategies take advantage of AI. Consider whether your team could benefit from some (or all) of these tactics. These strategies include:
- Content marketing. Whether it’s for content generation or personalization, AI can help your team produce more content in less time. Personalization software may be just the thing your brand needs.
- Product marketing. By tracking user behavior, AI can make recommendations for customers and predict purchases. AI can keep your brand top of mind while you engage in other tasks that AI can’t perform.
- Email marketing. AI can help you produce lead-nurturing marketing emails and analyze past email behaviors and performance. It can send automatic emails based on customer behavior and flag outstanding emails and those needing work.
- Advertising. AI can take care of buying media ads, whether it’s display ads, PPC, or paid social, so the content you’ve crafted can make it to your target audience.
Remember: AI should help your team level up their operations. Human input and editing will always be part of the process.
Critical thinking skills should be positioned alongside AI content. to empower your team to engage AI effectively and accurately. Learn best practices for critical thinking and problem-solving in the workplace.
Harnessing the Power of AI
Marketing teams can scale their operations with AI, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. However, it’s important to keep in mind the limitations of AI, even as the technology continues to get better over time in the changing marketing landscape.
While you might be able to use it to aid several marketing campaigns (and should), it isn’t replacing marketers just yet.