Artificial intelligence in online marketing

Artificial intelligence in online marketing

Tina Ackermann
Tina Ackermann
published on December 29, 2021   
updated on August 3, 2023

AI in online marketing – The most important in a nutshell

  • Artificial intelligence is being used in many areas of digital marketing.

  • Products that are difficult to describe, can be found quickly through the AI algorithm of Visual Search.

  • Chatbots will reduce the waiting time when contacting a company.

  • AI algorithms are used in content automation to generate error-free text from structured data.

  • Artificial intelligence can identify patterns and correlations from Big Data to create targeted and personalized advertising.

In the last few years, hardly any other topic has shaped the world of technology as much as artificial intelligence. Chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Bard are all the rage right now, and AI for image generation and music creation has also made some headlines, unfortunately not all good. There are probably as many opponents as proponents of AI technology. But how exactly are artificial intelligences being used in online marketing? And where will they be used in the future?

Use of artificial intelligence in online marketing

In online marketing, artificial intelligence can be used above all to search customer data for interesting patterns and correlations using algorithms and to make predictions about future buying behavior. In this way, customer needs can be better understood along the entire customer journey. In addition, the data obtained can be used specifically for personalization in order to address the target group individually and generate more sales.

Artificial intelligence is already being used in many areas of digital marketing. The topics range from text production to image recognition, sound and video creation or editing, and various analysis options. In the following, we will show you a few examples of how you can use AI for your marketing activities.

Areas of application of artificial intelligence in online marketing

Areas of application of artificial intelligence in online marketing

AI makes Visual Search possible

Search engines such as Google and Bing have long offered visual search, which uses an image instead of a text input for the search query. This image, uploaded by the user, is broken down into individual parts by artificial intelligence and compared with a database – with the aim of being able to tell the user exactly what is visible in the image.

Visual search has become an important sales factor for many retailers. Especially products that are difficult to describe, can be found quickly by the Visual Search AI algorithm. This artificial intelligence can be used for targeted advertising. If a user first looks at pictures of shoes and then even clicks on a picture with shoes, he seems to be interested in them – and from now on gets ads for shoes played out more often by the artificial intelligence algorithm.

Using artificial intelligence in chatbots

Just about everyone who has ever had a problem with a product, wanted to return something, or had a question about their order has come into contact with a chatbot. The acceptance within the population is great, because the AI of chatbots usually reduces the waiting time when contacting a company. Since ChatGPT can be used as such a chatbot, the chats with the chatbot are also hardly distinguishable for the customers from a chat with a human employee.

However, a study on chatbots in 2020 found that only one-third of the companies surveyed already have chatbots in use. Nevertheless, most companies are aware of the potential of artificial intelligence, with nearly 70% planning to implement chatbots. But there are some factors that prevent companies from introducing chatbots:

  • First place is clearly taken by the the topic and dialog complexity of chatbots. This means that considerably more work is required in the development of artificial intelligence.
  • But customer acceptance and the maintenance effort required for AI in chatbots also prevent companies from using them.

Even though AI has evolved significantly in the meantime, there are still concerns, and they relate to data privacy.

Content automation with the help of AI

Content is one of the most expensive and costly areas for many companies, requiring an extreme amount of resources. From the person who comes up with the content, to the graphic designer who packages it vividly, to the third person who takes care of distribution. Especially in the e-commerce sector, companies sometimes have to take care of more than 100,000 products. Here, content automation is becoming increasingly popular and even entire jobs can be saved.

Artificial intelligence is used in content automation primarily to generate error-free texts from structured data. For this purpose, individual AI rule sets are created that contain, among other things, variations for words and parts of sentences. In the process, the artificial intelligence constantly learns new things and thus continues to improve – comparable to vocabulary learning in humans.

Another effect of AI: search engines are pleased with useful and informative content and reward the added value of texts in terms of content. Automated product texts therefore also have an effect on the visibility of an online store.

Artificial Intelligence & Big Data

Nowadays, almost every website we visit collects data about us – sometimes only when we buy something or just add it to the shopping cart, but often also which pages we looked at, where we scrolled and how long we stayed on which page. All of this data is collected and stored – in the hope that it will help the company get more website users to buy in the future.

This is where artificial intelligence comes into play: it processes large volumes of data (Big Data) and can identify patterns or correlations from it. These, in turn, are used to create targeted and personalized advertising with product suggestions that are significantly more appealing to the user and therefore more difficult to reject.

Limits for AI in online marketing

The personalization of marketing and also the optimization of targeting are considered the greatest potentials of AI. In the coming years, more and more artificial intelligences will be used. However, it should not be forgotten here that the restrictions surrounding the collection of data are also becoming more comprehensive.

The EU took a first step only a few years ago with a European data protection regulation. This led to many American companies having to either adapt their websites to the new guidelines or leave the European market.

And every year, new consumer protection regulations are added that may limit the basis of AI. It remains to be seen to what extent these restrictions will affect the work of artificial intelligence and what new AI technologies will be developed in the future.

AI in online marketing: an outlook

Even though artificial intelligence can do a lot, there are still limits in one place or another. At the latest since ChatGPT became available to everyone, many are worried about their jobs, especially in marketing. If AI itself can create images, texts and even videos, are human employees still necessary at all? Yes, because AI does not make employees superfluous, but rather helps them to work even more effectively and in a more targeted manner. Artificial intelligence has enormous potential for even more growth in the coming years. So it remains exciting to see where we will encounter AI in the future.