AI is the biggest marketing prediction for 2018 but it’s not only about software and robots. It will change the way you plan your marketing initiatives.

AI is the biggest Marketing Prediction for 2018

2018 is only a blink of an eye away and marketing teams across the globe are huddled around conference tables, steaming cups of coffees in their hands, discussing next year’s marketing strategy. Have you ever sat in one of these meetings and wished you could look into a crystal ball and discover all the exciting things that are in store for marketing in 2018?

Wish no longer! We’ve gathered the best marketing predictions for 2018 from the hottest names in marketing. This four-part blog post series starts with the mystical world of AI in Marketing.

AI

One big prediction that was consistently mentioned by nearly every marketer I spoke to is that marketing tech is about to grow into previously unchartered waters, with a focus on AI.  

To give you an idea about how much this is set to expand, Salesforce’s report State of Marketing, found that marketers anticipate that AI will grow by 51% over the next two years, this is at a much higher rate than any other marketing technology. In fact, a whopping 72% top-performing marketing teams are already using AI.

One way that AI is going to help your marketing efforts is with content creation. Be prepared for machines to take over the jobs of your content writers! Well, not quite, but we are getting to the stage where AI can start automating content creation with Gartner predicting that 20% of all business content will be written by AI by the end of 2018.

We’re already seeing this as more data-based news articles, such as sports scores, weather reports, and real-time stock market reports are being “written” by tools like Wordsmith and Quill,” says Gavin Graham, Analyst at Fit Small Business “but other AI-powered marketing tools can also create what was traditionally creative content, such as landing pages and calls to action.”

But AI can do so much more than writing content.  AI attracts the attention of top-performing marketing teams for capabilities such as product recommendations and predictive lead scoring.

The Salesforce report also discovered that marketers believe that over the next five years AI will improve efficiency and allow them to be truly personalized with marketing messages, without creating extra work for marketing teams.

Hello Alexa?

 

Top marketers also pointed out that AI doesn’t mean buying the software with all the bells and whistles. It also means gearing your marketing campaigns with AI in mind. Kent Lewis, President of Anvil Media, recently told to me that many consumers are now using voice searches through digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple Siri to look for products and this has consequences for marketing.  

“How consumers verbally communicate significantly varies from how individuals type out search queries. Because of this variation in behavior, you will begin to see more long-tail keyword queries; this will allow you to create much more accurate and intelligent key phrase strategies since more granular data will be available around consumer behavior. The challenge is in understanding how to identify and optimize for long-tail terms common in voice search,” he said.

The message is clear, your content has to become more conversational in tone so that it ranks higher in AI-powered voice searches. Top Digital Marketer, Ahmed Khalifa, agrees, “Rather than creating complicated corporate content, create more conversational content that answers questions that your audience will have.” This means thinking in terms of how people naturally speak and how they might be naturally posing questions to find your products.

Position 0

Voice recognition searches will naturally have consequences on the rankings marketers shoot for. It will no longer be enough to get into the “top 10” of the Google search, users who are using voice recognition won’t even see this. Marketers now have to aim for “Position 0” on Google.

Unlike SEO where marketers compete to be one of the top, the goal here is to be the top option. This, of course, will also completely change how we deal with SEM,” said Aaron Norris  Vice President of The Norris Group. 

Want to learn how to rank for Position 0? Check out this handy guide from Search Engine Land.

Move over Google – here comes Amazon!

But it looks like Google is about to lose grips on its search engine monopoly. A Kenshoo study found that 56% of consumers search for products using Amazon as a starting point. This number is set to rise dramatically in 2018.

“On the seller-side, 63 percent of Amazon Advertisers plan to increase budget next year (a larger percentage increase than Google and Facebook spends). In short, Amazon is the new Google in many respects. If you don’t have a solid Amazon marketing strategy in place, you’re at a disadvantage,” says Kent Lewis.

But this starts to go into a different topic which deserves a blog post all on its own.

Suffice to say that AI is going to impact how marketing operates in every facet, from the technology you use to the way you plan your marketing initiatives around consumer AI technology.

Stay tuned, next week we’ll have another Marketing Prediction for 2018 which will involve all sorts of acronyms like AR, and QR.

New to marketing tech? Want to learn more about marketing automation? Download this Marketing Automation Comparison Table and discover what features different marketing automation tools can offer you!

 

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Vanessa is a wordsmith extraordinaire. Originally from Australia, she has travelled the world and the seven seas to write scintillating content for you to enjoy.

She likes books, travel, vintage films and sushi (not necessarily in that order).

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