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The future of mobile marketing is in artificial intelligence

Ralf Llanas

Guest contributor Ralf Llanas, q tech blogger at Whatphone.com.au, considers the benefits of AI for mobile marketing campaigns.

LG has added Alexa support  to its AI TVs. Other companies could benefit from bringing AI to bear on their mobile marketing activities

Experts predicted the rise of mobile as the marketing channel of the future, but most didn’t expect that future to materialize so rapidly. Mobile has become entrenched in modern day life, with over 2.7bn smartphone users around the globe, according to eMarketer and Statista.

Mobile marketing uses several delivery channels to convey marketing content to smart devices. These channels range from push notifications to SMS, email, QR codes, and lots more. Today, advertisers must join the mobile bandwagon in order to remain competitive.

However, not everyone who goes this route reaps the benefits. Certain factors are critical to the success of a mobile marketing strategy, chief among them being quality data. Consumer data is undoubtedly the most crucial success factor in advertising and marketing in general, and mobile is no different.

Mobile technologies provide business owners with tools to easily harness a rich stock of consumer data that can be used to manipulate spending habits. And since mobile provides more precise consumer data, it usually brings about a larger ROI when compared to traditional means of data collection.

The introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a mobile marketing tool allows businesses collect consumer data with much greater accuracy. In fact, experts believe AI will take mobile marketing to a whole new dimension by 2020.

Another tool, machine learning, is a subset of AI that allows computerized applications to perform without much help or instructions from humans, relying instead on algorithms and statistical inferences. Both tools are already here, making the mobile marketing arena more effective than ever.

Nevertheless, regardless of how much more effective mobile marketing has become with AI integration, many businesses don’t limit themselves to mobile for all their marketing needs.

Mobile is usually deployed holistically, as part of multichannel marketing strategies where each part reinforces the other. This helps businesses connect with customers on a much deeper level. Today, shoppers prefer to have both offline and online avenues for engaging with brands, rather than being stuck with one or the other.

Why use AI?
There are a number of reasons why marketers should integrate AI in their mobile marketing strategies, and they revolve around the technology’s ability to automate various routine tasks. Here are some specific reasons:

AI assists marketers in automating some of the more mundane mathematical work, which is critical to consumer data analysis. It can also simplify the task of finding and extracting required data from a set of data.

AI can identify the key characteristics of customers to help provide a much more personalized shopping experience. Iterative improvements are also key attributes of AI algorithms. This makes it possible for AI-powered software to become more efficient and reliable with more use.

AI learns more about customer preferences over time, increasingly personalizing the user experience. A 2016 Adlucent study showed that 71 per cent of customers are in favour of more personalized ads. As such, mobile content that is more personalized is less likely to be blocked or ignored by customers.

Benefits of AI-powered mobile strategies
Benefits associated with applying AI to mobile marketing strategies are a result of the following qualities:

Effectiveness: AI-powered mobile applications show a smaller number of relevant messages targeted to the KPI (Key Performance Indicator) you want to improve. This generates a far greater impact when compared to more ‘broadcast’ channels such as television and other traditional media platforms.

Measurable: AI algorithms can analyze relationships between various factors based on the predicted impacts on KPI. As such, AI-driven analytics can create a closed loop correlation between message intervention and impact on the business' KPI. This can help supercharge the ability of a businesses to find their market fits.

Speed: AI integration can automate the identification and triggering of messages. AI can also help eliminate the need for guesswork in marketing campaigns. The technology can mine and crunch large amounts of consumer data at high speed to determine the right messages to send to the right customers at the right time.

Conclusion
Certain issues can prevent marketers from using AI-based mobile marketing tools to harvest and exploit consumer data. On the macro level, some marketers may be constrained by some moral implications of privacy and transparency issues related to AI-powered data mining. That’s because the potential fallout of getting it wrong can be quite perilous to the brand, as was the case with the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal.

On the micro level, there are various fears among individual marketers. Some may have been drawn to the field for the more creative aspects of the work, while others may be afraid of the technology’s learning curve.

However, to trump such limitations, marketers can take advantage of a suite of tools that are now available to assist in spinning raw information in databases into propensity variables to target KPIs. Acquiring such capabilities is a worthwhile investment in a marketing career.

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