Artificial intelligence is dramatically altering the future of business as we know it. A growing number of companies are finding that AI is helping them reach more customers through more targeted advertisements and data-driven customer engagement strategies.
How much are companies investing in AI marketing strategies? One study found that 51% of major ecommerce companies are investing in AI to automate their marketing channels. Another poll showed that 71% of marketers feel AI can be beneficial for personalization.
Unfortunately, AI marketing tactics are not without their downsides. You can’t expect to automate the entire process from beginning to end. Although machine learning and big data tools can help immensely, some serious problems that can arise if you don’t apply this technology wisely.
Marketing Campaigns Can Suffer if AI is Improperly Implemented
Businesses are having an epiphany with regard to using AI in advertising. And it is not going to end well for some of them. The pushback against advertisers collecting data is growing at a rapid pace. As it turns out, people don’t like being tracked and stalked like prey animals in a jungle full of hungry lions. Even the people doing the advertising don’t like being treated the way they treat their potential customers.
How many telemarketers really appreciate getting a telemarketing call? Ask any telemarketer why they do it and they will tell you it is because it works often enough to make it worth it. However, in polite company, none of them will admit that they do telemarketing for a living. Online advertising has become so much worse than that and people are fed up with it. Unfortunately, companies have often become blind to the fact that integrating AI into their marketing strategies doesn’t always help.
You are most likely an honest business owner and a good person. But you might have seemingly innocent marketing practices that make you a villain in the eyes of your customers and people who encounter you online. You need to recognize that AI doesn’t necessarily make them more acceptable to your target customers.
There is a chance you are not even aware of what your marketing looks like to the end user and how it comes across. In the current environment, some marketing errors stand to cost you a lot of business, not to mention, public good will. Do all you can to avoid the following, disastrous errors when you start using AI in your marketing strategy.
Failure to See the Difference Between Customer Engagement and Spam
A lot of email and SMS marketing technology relies on AI. It can be very useful. However, it can also come across as spam if you don’t use it properly.
In the marketing sector, there is this pretense that no one knows the difference between marketing and spam. They are lying and deserve to be blacklisted. You don’t need a technical definition. It’s simpler than that. Marketing and customer engagement is the communication from a company you are glad to have vs. the garbage from a company you do your best to block. Good text marketing software helps you do more effective customer engagement on a platform customers prefer to use. Using this type of software can actually help you stay on the right side of the line.
It is hard to tell which is more hated: robocalls or email spam. You know it is spam when you see it and immediately want to pull your hair out in frustration. What you might not know is that by “partnering” with certain mailing list services, your company and branding is being used for the worst kind of spam. The reaction is twofold: First, they update their junk filter to include email from you. Second, they vow never to do business with you. Neither is the outcome you want.
Engaging in Creepy Behavior with AI Monitoring
AI technology makes it easier to track customers these days. However, that can be a double-edged sword if you leave customers feeling violated.
People don’t like the idea of their online behavior being tracked. Apple forced developers to ask permission from users to track them across websites for the purpose of targeted advertising. Days after initiating this app tracking transparency (ATT) feature, 96% rejected the request.
When a person goes to Amazon and views desk lamps, they feel creeped out when they see those same lamps in the sidebar of a news article they are reading. That lamp follows them to Facebook, Pinterest, their favorite recipe site, and the smartphone game they play as a time-waster. Advertisers call it targeted advertising. Users feel like they have crosshairs on their forehead every time they visit the internet. When your advertising feels creepy, it turns potential customers away.
Forced View Tactics
According to the experts, ad tech is bad for advertisers. There is a type of tech that forces views and impressions. Imagine driving on a freeway. Every time you came to a billboard, your car would come to a stop for a few seconds so you could read it. Further imagine the billboard taking over your windshield so that was all you saw. To remove it, you would have to subscribe to the road. Insanity!
Now, just go to a few sites, eventually, you will hit one that stops you from scrolling. You think there is something wrong with your mouse. But what really happened is that you hit an ad that forced you to stop scrolling so you have to look at the ad before you can figure out how to regain control. You click a link to read an article and get an ad that freezes your screen for 30 seconds to force you to look at the ad. Users do not thank you for making them think their computer is broken. They leave and get the content someplace else where viewing the ad is their choice. They punish both the site and the advertiser. Don’t let that happen to you.
There are good ways to advertise. Use them. Don’t allow an ad agency’s greed confuse you about the difference between customer interaction and spam, encourage you to engage in creepy behavior, or try to force people into viewing your ad. Treat your potential customers like you would want your own children to be treated and you will do just fine.
AI Needs to Be Used Properly to Support Your Marketing Strategy
There are a lot of things that you have to keep in mind when you are using AI to support your marketing strategy. You need to make sure that you utilize AI effectively without alienating your customers. It is a great tool in your arsenal, but only if you make sure it is a positive influence on your business strategy.