10 Ways Marketing Is Being Transformed by The Advance Of AI

Artificial Intelligence

By Hamilton Mann and Joerg Niessing

If you are one of those who has reservations about online systems that track your browsing behaviour, you might want to take a few moments to prepare yourself. Now, they’ll be focused not only on what you do and say – but what you don’t.

Firms have so far used a mix of human intuition and traditional analytics to engage with their customers. But the advent of AI and more sophisticated data interpretation is heralding a new era of business–customer interaction.

Instead of merely responding to expressed needs and wants, firms will proactively anticipate them, reaching a level of foresight never experienced before. This will revolutio-nise the nature of customer interactions and reshape industries.

Here are ten predictions as to how the multifaceted applications of AI – including Generative AI – will transform marketing.

1. Predictive analytics will anticipate clients’ desires

Forget mere lead scoring. AI-powered predictive analytics will anticipate desires before they are articulated. AI might craft multifaceted client profiles, predicting not just purchasing behaviours, but also emergent needs. It will capture biometric signals, such as eye movement on a webpage or scroll speed, to decode a user’s unsaid preferences and emotional reactions.

AI will not just learn from what users do, but also from what they don’t do. For instance, if a user constantly skips over certain types of content, AI will attempt to discern the unsaid reasons behind such behaviour.

2. AI-driven content will give birth to next-gen storytelling

AI’s growing role in content generation will focus on resonance. AI might tailor content narratives in real time, adapting to live user interactions. Such content will be based not just on overt actions, but also on underlying subconscious preferences and unspoken sentiments of users.

Further, emotional tone mapping will enable marketers to weave narratives that subtly resonate with the registered emotions. This will bridge the gap between what’s said and what’s left unsaid, resulting in a stronger emotional bond with the audience.

3. Programmatic advertising will turn into laser-guided intelligent outreach

The future of programmatic advertising promises not just precision, but also contextual relevance. Ads will adjust to live situational contexts, beyond an analysis of explicit clicks and page views. Instead, it will interpret implicit behaviours, like the time spent hovering over an ad or the subtle patterns of navigation, to understand and align with the deeper, unspoken interests of the audience.

The next frontier will be anticipatory advertising. AI will predict what a user might be inclined to explore or need soon, creating a bridge between their current digital context and their unvoiced desires. Human oversight will then be critical to safeguard against intrusive or inappropriate placements.

4. Hyper-personalisation will apply to the entire digital journey

With AI, personalisation will mean crafting entirely unique digital experiences grasping the complexity and ambivalence of every individual. Beyond analysing click-through rates and purchase histories, AI will seek to understand the emotional landscapes of users. To this end, it will draw from nuanced data points like interaction speeds, mouse movements or even biometric feedback, where available

Whether users are undergoing a major life event, facing day-to-day challenges or celebrating moments of joy, AI will discern where users are in their life journey. This will ensure deep and wide content relevance. Aside from offering entirely individualised user journeys, from web interfaces to product suggestions, firms will be able to envision unexplored and unexpected go-to markets.

5. Seeing through the user’s lens will move from talk to reality

Advanced visual recognition holds promise for deeply intuitive product recommendations. Beyond recognising products and brands, AI will interpret implicit visual cues from user-generated content. For instance, the background of photos, the clothes colours often worn, or even subtle moods conveyed in images can reveal unsaid preferences or sentiments. All this will inform more nuanced marketing strategies.

Firms will be better equipped to predict emerging visual trends. Resonance will be achieved through alignment with customers’ evolving, often unexpressed, aesthetic tastes.

6. Email marketing will set conversations, not campaigns

AI might transform email marketing from broadcast-like campaigns to conversations that feel like a dialogue. Beyond open rates, AI will employ sentiment analysis on user responses.

Even when users don’t actively engage with an email – no clicks, no direct responses – their passive interactions, like the duration of time an email is open or the frequency of revisits, can provide AI with insights. These subtle cues reveal unsaid levels of interest or contemplation and will allow for nuanced follow-ups.

7. Chatbots will pave the way for more ubiquitous meaningful engagement

The allure of chatbots will transcend 24/7 availability. AI-driven chatbots will increasingly capture and understand the emotional undertones of user queries. They’ll discern the unsaid feelings, such as frustration, excitement or confusion. By responding with empathetic undertones, chatbots will foster a deeper, more human-like connection without ever saying they understand emotions.

Such chatbots may also be able to subtly refer to past interactions. While they won’t remember in the human sense, they’ll access contextual data from previous sessions to provide continuity. To users, this will feel like an ongoing conversation, much like speaking to a familiar acquaintance who remembers prior discussions.

The harmonious confluence of AI insights and human intuition promises a future of balanced, robust sales strategies.

Instead of waiting for users to highlight an issue, advanced chatbots will detect potential needs by reading between the lines. For instance, if a user often asks about a particular feature or if their digital behaviours indicate confusion, the chatbot might proactively offer a tutorial or further information. Chatbots may evolve into individualised digital brand ambassadors, carrying the essence of the company purpose and mission in every interaction.

8. Voice will be the dawn of a new mode of digital interaction

As AI becomes more adept at voice recognition, it will also tap into the unsaid emotional undertones of voice inputs. Firms will then be able to perfectly tailor responses or offers that resonate with a user’s emotional state at that moment, such as hesitation, excitement or doubt.

For example, instead of a one-size-fits-all response, AI might offer a quicker transaction process for someone in a rush, or a more detailed product description for a relaxed user. This unsaid emotional depth of understanding will become a crucial aspect of user engagement.

9. Dynamic pricing and market dynamics will tend to become one

Dynamic pricing may evolve into a living system, mirroring real-time market nuances. AI won’t just track sales and stock. Using a confluence of news, social media sentiment, and other subtle indicators, it will grasp the “mood” of the market and be able to shape pricing accordingly.

At the individual customer level, AI will pick up on the unsaid, like hesitation in voice commands when prices seem high, or the tonal excitement at a discount. Such nuances will allow businesses to adjust pricing intuitively and anticipate when a change will be most effective. While this will ensure optimal profitability, it will also raise ethical questions.

10. Sales forecasting will meld instinct with insights

While AI will predict market trends, the human touch will infuse these forecasts with grounded realities. The harmonious confluence of AI insights and human intuition promises a future of balanced, robust sales strategies.

In essence, sales forecasting will be sensitive not just to numbers, but to feelings, preferences, and nuances. AI will uncover common threads of buyer hesitation or concerns. Addressing these unvoiced concerns will redefine the sales approach, turning potential losses into wins.

Chatbots may evolve into individualised digital brand ambassadors, carrying the essence of the company purpose and mission in every interaction.

From seeing beyond the overt to hearing the unsaid, the next frontier of marketing is less about speaking and more about listening – listening to the silent whispers of the market, the muted desires of clients, and their hushed hesitations. As we stand poised to leap into this new world, we must be guided not just by profit, but by transparency and ethical stewardship. Firms will need to tread with caution in light of data privacy concerns. Transparent data handling practices, regulatory compliance, and trust will be critical. Those who master this will not just navigate but define the future, setting the gold standard in the AI-augmented world of sales
and marketing.

About the Authors

Hamilton MannHamilton Mann is the Group VP for Digital Marketing and Digital Transformation at Thales. He is also a Guest Lecturer at INSEAD and a Senior Lecturer at HEC Paris and EDHEC Business School. Additionally, he serves as a mentor at the MIT Priscilla King Gray (PKG) Center and hosts The Hamilton Mann Conversation (www.hamiltonmannconversation.com).

Thales Joerg NiessingJoerg Niessing is a Senior Affiliate Professor of Marketing at INSEAD and is passionate about bridging the academic and the business world on topics related to digital transformation, customer centricity, and data analytics. At INSEAD Joerg teaches executives and MBA students and he is the co-director of INSEAD’s programmes Leading Digital Marketing Strategy and B2B Marketing Strategies and Driving Digital Marketing Strategy (OOPS).


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