An opted-in, highly engaged audience that enjoys real-time service from preferred brands will set the foundation for the ROI that businesses need to see

There’s no denying that chatbots drew in a lot of attention last year. The tremendous hype around their capabilities fueled intrigue about how they were going to change consumer behavior and produce impressive results. However, creating any chatbot experience - let alone a great one - is a much harder task than expected. When Facebook Messenger launched services for businesses in 2015, online retailer Everlane was quick to form a partnership. In spite of the company’s first-mover advantage, the chatbot struggled to produce real business value. Everlane used its Messenger chatbot as an email alternative, sending messages such as order confirmations and shipping information. It fell victim to a rushed creation process and never had the time needed to generate real ROI because the holistic customer experience was…

Where is the digital advertising industry today?

When the digital advertising industry broke out, many digital marketers used to rave about the fact that it’s much more transparent and traceable than traditional forms of advertising, such as radio and TV. Today, the digital advertising world makes up almost half of the advertising industry and is faced with some challenges, of which, transparency and traceability seem, ironically, to be holes in the system manifesting in issues like ‘ad fraud’ for instance. The estimated cost of fraud in digital advertising in 2018 is around $19 billion and that figure is expected to grow by over 230% by 2022 to hit $44 billion (statista), according to the current variables. Much of the losses come from ‘non-human traffic’ or what’s known as ‘bot traffic’ but there are also other types of waste like ad-blocking software. Fraud losses will amount to 22% of video spending, according to…

Flying Autonomous Vehicles, Biochips, and Blockchain for Data Security - how long do we have to wait until we start seeing these emerging technologies take shape?

Changes in technology are inevitable as we strive to create products and ways to improve our quality of life.

Gartner Hype Cycle 2018 - Emerging technologies

Newly released, the 2018 Hype Cycle is a perfect visual aid to understand the maturity and adoption of emerging technologies and their current state of development and expectations.

Phases in the hype cycle:

Innovation Trigger - This might signal a breakthrough in the technology development, an initial product launch or interest from the press. This technology is on the rise which sees early adopters investigate their potential benefits. Peak of Inflated Expectations - After an influx of media and press attention this sparks a huge amount of interest and speculation. There is normally heightened expectations of what the technology will be able to…

AI, in a marketing context, is a form of optimization (designed to optimize marketing tasks, tools, and communications). It’s on the verge of transforming our roles and is spurring a revolution to our entire industry

Have you ever received a marketing communication from a brand that seemed as if it knew you almost too well — using your name, showing you enticing recommended items, or even reminder cart abandonment emails and unique codes and coupons? Sometimes they even turn up as though someone read your thought. Ever wondered how they do it, or how you can too? The answer: Artificial intelligence marketing. Indeed, Apple’s Siri product, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, or any of the dozens of other AI-driven digital assistants out there are already changing the role that machines play in making our…

Chart of the Day: What do Marketers want from AI?

AI and Machine Learning is not just for the biggest of companies with a large budget - yet many SMEs still think so. There are various ways of adding AI into your business' customer lifecycle, as demonstrated in our infographic below. Machine learning can be applied to interact with first-time customers and those that show purchase intent, to repeat customers and re-engage lapsed customers. Yet the majority of B2B marketers asked, expect AI to help them with identifying prospective customers and improving marketing effectiveness in driving revenue. "B2B marketers surveyed for this latest report were twice as likely to say they’re unclear as to the differences between AI, machine learning, and predictive (37%) as to say they have a strong understanding (19%) of how they differ." Knowledge of AI is still limited, which means…

Managing the changes brought about by AI applications is the next big challenge for marketers

Artificial intelligence applications are already becoming a mainstay within marketing teams across the globe. With pickup levels of AI marketing initiatives already much higher than you might think. From interviews with 100 senior marketers from a wide range of industries, we found that 55% of companies are either currently implementing or actively investigating some form of AI initiative within their marketing practices. Meaning, AI is already shaking things up in the industry. Unsurprisingly, this inevitable rise of AI technologies in marketing is causing a major shift in the way companies work. With more and more companies looking to adopt a data-centric approach to meet the demand for more effective digital marketing. Nonetheless, there remains to be a clear consensus on the extent of the changes that AI will bring to marketing. Leaving many companies and marketers in the dark…

Have you heard of Google Duplex yet? You know, the AI assistant that books appointments and makes reservations on your behalf? Just your next-door robot…

As you may already be aware, Google Duplex is a new technology launched by Google at Google I/O 2018, the company’s annual developer conference. Google Duplex is an AI system that is designed to accomplish real-world tasks over the phone, by mimicking human conversation. Google CEO Sundar Pichai personally demonstrated phones calls made by this digital voice assistant. The product was demoed by showing a phone call where the AI assistant makes an  appointment at the hairdresser’s, by calling them and having an actual conversation. Now chatbots and voice assistants have been around for a while now, so that probably doesn't sound all that intriguing to you. Although, what you may find really intriguing is that…

Why new artificial intelligence matters for business, from global trend to maximizing marketing and operations spend

AI has progressed quite away from its early beginnings, and its prevalence in modern business models has increased exponentially. Yet, despite this, our relationship with AI has been a tumultuous one, with ‘automation’ becoming something of a dirty word for traditional businesses. But AI is here to stay — and for good reason. This rise in popularity of utilizing AI in business models comes in part from the development of machine learning and natural language processing. It’s this technology that gives AI the power, when utilized effectively, to aid businesses in numerous practical ways. From increasing staff productivity to boosting customer satisfaction, AI has the promise to meet business objectives at a fraction of the time and cost as with traditional methods like phone and email. Here, we’ll go through some…

Chart of the Day: How perceptions of the applications of AI differ between agencies and brands

In our infographic reviewing the applications of AI in marketing, we explore 15 different applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across the customer lifecycle from media buying to marketing automation and chatbots. It's around a year now since we developed this infographic, so it's interesting to know how widely used AI is, both by businesses and their agencies. In today's Chart of the Day, I'm sharing some research which helps show how AI is being used for marketing. The sample is smaller than what I would usually look to share and it is skewed since it is a customer survey of Albert and AI tool for marketing, but with relatively few adopters of AI, this is inevitable and I thought the report below might be useful both for agencies and brands to learn about the 'Use Cases' of…

Chart of the day: On Wednesday and Thursday last week, myself and Dave Chaffey presented at B2B Marketing Expo, In ExCel, London about auditing your Martech stack - and now new research has found that most think their marketing technology strategy is successful

Most believe their strategy is successful based on how they achieve their priorities in using martech, but there are significant challenges with data and integration across different platforms, as well as issues with getting relevant and reliable data. This could be due to a number of reasons such as a complexity of data as well as lack of training, skills, resource or time to help with these challenges. Improving data quality is also an issue for marketers as they strive for better data and more accurate targeting. Over half are also working on…

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