Artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning have become buzzwords surrounding technological innovation, and these three terms are often used interchangeably. While these words are all closely related, there are differences in their meanings.
- Artificial intelligence — The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans. (Britannica).
- Machine learning – Focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it to learn for themselves (Expert Systems)
- Deep learning – Deep learning is a specialized form of machine learning. Deep learning performs “end-to-end learning” – where a network is given raw data and a task to perform, such as classification, and it learns how to do this automatically. (Mathworks)
The use of AI, machine learning and deep learning has skyrocketed across many industries. Companies have sought to find ways to apply these technologies to improve efficiency and their ability to leverage huge amounts of data before turning their analyses into actionable insights.
The gatekeepers in digital marketing — Google, Facebook, Amazon and others — have developed tools to apply these technologies to give consumers relevant content, and allow marketers to target specific audiences for their products. But even for those who rely on the technologies of companies like Google, there are opportunities to gain a competitive advantage by developing your own programs in this field.
- Data Collection:
It all starts with data. Without access to huge amounts of information, it is impossible for any of these technologies to work effectively. Marketers also need data, as without it there is no way to make well-informed decisions. At EXCLUSIVE, we gather information from numerous channels into our data warehouse, where we can give clients access to information and insights they wouldn’t have otherwise. This data can not only help with decision-making in the present, but it can also be used in recognizing opportunities and trends in the future.
The use of AI has made it possible to gather relevant data sources and information from multiple sources, and gain a deeper understanding of what’s collected in ways that manual processes may be incapable of replicating. This technology can filter through mounds of data and determine what content is pertinent, meaning that your analysis can focus on information worth seeing. Being able to monitor your competitors through AI-gathered data allows you to stay informed on trends and find opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.
- Content Analysis and Creation:
Because Google continues to refine its search algorithm, the qualities of optimized content are constantly changing. Using AI and machine learning to analyze the search engine results pages (SERPs) can help digital marketers determine what the best strategies are. For example, after analyzing the SERPs, it was determined that using the actual keyword you are targeting in your title tags and headers is less important than it used to be. Search engines have become better at recognizing synonyms and determining the overall topical authority of a site. Those who were at the forefront of recognizing this trend were then able to take this information and better position their site for higher rankings, while less-informed marketers continued to focus on keyword-stuffing their titles and headers.
Since Google’s Panda update, quality content has become the main factor in SERP rankings. Using AI to quickly create optimized content is probably the future of content marketing, but right now, the technology is not quite there. EXCLUSIVE has an experienced content marketing team that caters their content around targeting high-value keywords, while maintaining your brand voice. We are heading toward a time when most of the content online will likely be created by machines, but having content that’s meaningfully discernable from machine-generated content will always be important. Many companies currently relying on automation to manage marketing campaigns see poor returns, and without the proper human oversight these strategies can hurt performance.
As search engines use deep learning to improve their photo, audio, and video recognition abilities, different forms of content should become more useful in keyword targeting.
- Insights Leading to Greater Efficiency:
The challenge for technology right now is using the information gathered to create actionable insights. After you’ve grabbed the data you deem to be relevant, it is up to you and the technology together to determine whether the information is worth acting upon. At EXCLUSIVE, we use BrightEdge software to get access to its AI, deep learning and data insights. This software allows us to monitor the search engine landscape and incorporate their insights into our client strategy. Without the BrightEdge software, we would have to spend time manually tracking keywords, and less time analyzing the information strategically. The result is that we are able to use client time more efficiently and effectively.
For paid ads, machine learning can help utilize data to determine which words are worth bidding on and what the optimal bid is at that given time. This has potential to save time and money, improving your bottom line. Digital marketers want the right people seeing their products without overpaying for that privilege, and letting these technologies do the heavy lifting in data collection and analysis can allow companies to gain competitive advantages over others in their industries.
With ample current and future potential for these technologies in digital marketing, you should be relying on them and the information they can gather to make better-informed decisions across all of your digital channels. Although technology is becoming increasingly important in marketing, it is necessary for human contributions to ensure effectiveness and maximize the performance of digital marketing strategies.
Takeaways to Consider:
There is still a long way to go for companies trying to fully benefit from developments in AI, machine learning and deep learning. Understanding where these technologies fit into the future of marketing is important as digital marketing continues to evolve. These technologies can uncover new opportunities, save time on mundane tasks and allow your company to focus more time on strategy. For marketers, there is so much valuable information to analyze, and new developments in technology are finally helping us scrape the surface of this vast reservoir of potential knowledge.
Featured photo credit: Seanbatty Photo by geralt Photo by TeroVesalainen Photo by GDJ