It’s out there. And it’s coming. But what does it mean? And how do I use it? If you are like me, you are probably wondering: what in the world does it mean to use AI as a marketer?
What is this mysterious thing called AI?
Artificial intelligence is the “science of making machines smart,” says Demis Hassabis, founder and CEO of AI company DeepMind (which was acquired by Google). In turn, the machines enhance human knowledge and capabilities. And as time goes on, the machine learns and evolves—getting smarter and creating its own algorithms.
One way to think of AI is as a portfolio of technologies that includes several fields of study like machine learning, natural language processing, natural language generation and deep learning, among others. Follow the links to learn what those words mean! It is another tool to put in your toolbox.
At the Marketing AI Institute, they are tracking more than 750 AI companies with combined funding of more than $3.7 billion. So, it is coming and it is estimated to impact the economy to the tune of $13 trillion by 2030 according to Garner.
How am I already using AI?
You use AI multiple times on a daily basis and probably do not even realize it. Do you know when Google finished your search term? That’s AI. When you asked Alexa to tell you the weather? AI. When Facebook recognized who to tag in your photos? You got it—AI. Netflix suggested a movie to watch? AI again.
There are many ways AI is already making life easier for you at home. Let’s talk about how it can make life easier at work.
How can I use AI as an accounting marketer?
Think back to when you were a beginner in the accounting marketing field, which for me, was not that long ago. I struggled to learn who our clients were, what industries we served, what our clients’ concerns were, where they “hung out” online and what they wanted to learn from us. AI can do all those things.
AI can construct buyer personas based on needs and behavior. It can optimize web content for search engines and recommend targeted content to users in real-time. It can build media and influencer databases and design landing pages and calls-to-action. It can even draft social media updates complete with copy, hashtags, links and images.
How do I get started?
Reading this issue of AAM Minute is a great way to get started! First, educate yourself by subscribing to newsletters or blogs (the Marketing AI Institute blog is a great place to start), attending webinars or conferences about AI or reading books about AI. Surely Amazon has some AI-powered suggestions on what to read! Secondly, be aware. Start thinking about the data you have and the tasks you would like AI to handle. Start small with something like a chatbot and then add more tools as you learn more. Lastly, investigate. Check out demos on AI software to see what is on the market. Interview vendors you use and see how they are implementing AI.
The big question: Will robots take my job?
Whoa. Slow down. Not just yet. But, within the next 3-5 years, marketing and accounting professionals at all levels can expect to see their careers disrupted by AI. The good news though, is that AI is not meant to replace humans—it is meant to enhance our capabilities. We will be able to spend more time doing the fun, creative parts of our job rather than mundane tasks like data entry. We will be able to do more with less as well as move faster. We will have more tricks up our sleeves. We will still be needed for creative, strategic and critical thinking tasks—the things at which we are usually the best at. But now we will be more informed. If you use it right, AI might turn out to be your competitive advantage.
AAM Minute: Beginners Guide
By: Rachael McGrew, Landmark CPAs