Artificial intelligence has great promise in digital marketing. AI is well-suited to recognizing patterns and flagging outliers. That’s a powerful capability at a time when marketing campaigns produce thousands or millions of data points.

In the not-too-distant future, AI will improve the accuracy of predictions and recommendations – or even act as a core product differentiator. We can expect to see AI applied in marketing to varying degrees. In some cases, it will be at the core of marketing tools; in others, it will be a more isolated feature.

AI Functionality

Search engines and social networks may use AI as a core functionality that would enhance the user experience and increase the “stickiness” of the product.

Marketing automation, paid search, and e-commerce platforms, on the other hand, might use AI in a simpler way. In these cases, AI would ingest user behavior for improved campaign analytics and better audience targeting.

Perhaps the area that presents the greatest opportunity for AI is in programmatic budget and bid management. (Paid campaign management tools have been surprisingly slow in adopting AI.)

Whichever form AI takes, marketers will do well to embrace it as it becomes available. A good first step is to identify feedback loops that already exist, or evaluate the possibility of creating feedback loops.

Feedback helps AI algorithms learn, evolve, and improve their performance. The goal is to get AI to a point where it can adjust continuously and provide more relevant output over time.

When will this be? It’s hard to say. Plenty of companies promise AI, but more often than not, “AI” is marketing-speak for rule-based pattern recognition.

At this stage, the smartest thing for a marketer to do may be to inform themselves about what AI actually means – and stay abreast of industry trends. The good news is, AI is coming to marketing, and probably sooner than we think.

When marketing tools can produce actionable AI-infused recommendations, audience targeting will become truly intelligent. That will ultimately mean better campaign results and more revenue.