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What’s now and next in AI and automation: The opportunities for Machine Learning in Marketing and other sectors

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 08 Jun, 2017
Essential Essential topic

Chart of the Day: McKinsey Analysis rates machine learning marketing applications highly

I thought this was an interesting chart and article from McKinsey on 'What’s now and next in analytics, AI, and automation'.

McKinsey outline the range of opportunities for applying artificial intelligence in their article. They say:

'For companies, successful adoption of these evolving technologies will significantly enhance performance. Some of the gains will come from labor substitution, but automation also has the potential to enhance productivity, raise throughput, improve predictions, outcomes, accuracy, and optimization, as well expand the discovery of new solutions in massively complex areas such as synthetic biology and material science'.

At Smart Insights, we've been looking beyond the hype to look at specific practical applications for applying AI in marketing. Our recommendation is that the best marketing applications are in machine learning where predictive analytics is applied to learn from historic data to deliver more relevant personalization, both on site, using email automation and offsite in programmatic advertising.  This high potential is also clear from this chart from McKinsey:

You can see that 'personalize advertising' is rated highly and this relates to different forms of personalised messaging I mentioned above. Optimize merchandising strategy is a retail application which is related.

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By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site,, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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