Growing Use of Robots in Marketing

Growing Use of Robots in Marketing

1111Perhaps humanity is still far from applying the Voight-Kampff tests (a la Blade Runner) to distinguish between an android and a human being, but it is a fact that robots are a part of our lives now.

For many, the presence of robots goes unnoticed; however, right now a software driven robot (better known as “spider”) makes articles appear on your search results page analyzed out of the millions of pages and ranked and presented to you. Elsewhere, an industrial robot works very close to humans, assembling parts, moving materials and other tasks in some automotive factory.

It may even be that some of us woke up this morning after a cheerful and gentle noticeon our mobile device, which announced that we had a new notification of an email coming from a blog, website or brand of which we are fans. And so without knowing it, a robot that is dedicated to marketing disturbed our dreams and made us take action.

Robots in Marketing Robots in Marketing – Automated Marketing with AI and Software Robots

The use of robots in marketing is not something new, it has been progressing for years, and this has helped to automate, optimize resources and measure the results of various tasks. It is precisely from the ability to program marketingactions that we now have the term, marketing automation.

Some examples of this type of automated marketing through software robotsinclude:

  • Programming automated email marketing campaigns – sendingtargeted automated emails to clients and prospects based on analysis of data
  • Segmentation of prospects based on big data analysis
  • Generation of custom workflows for interacting with prospects
  • Programmingmessages and publications in social networks and blogs – scheduling posts for publication at a particular time based on data inputs about things such as current use events, active discussion topics and other data that can be analyzed.A key component of manymarketing automation software systemsis the constant collecting of data for input into complex analysis process that can then be used for marketing programs.

However, with robots and automation, there are also some challenges:

  • The belief that the results of marketing automation are always the best result. This can lead to spam and/or wasted marketing efforts and budgets.
  • Believing that the acquisition of amarketing automation software will bring huge results per se, forgetting the strategy and planning, which must be done by humans. We aren’t at the point where the entire marketing life cycle can be automated.

Robots in Marketing – Physical InteractionRobots in Marketing –Physical Interaction

Physical robotics technology has developed with the aim of helping human beingsperform specific tasks and needs; robots are part of this goal, and as such, for years we have been able to perform mechanical tasks more effectively, reducing the error margin, improving productivity and more. Robotics is becoming common place for example in our auto manufacturing processes.

Robots are being tested at some Target stores to roam store floors and survey shelf conditions, take stock of inventory and help to ensure the store is presentable to the potential customers. With the ability to check thousands of SKUs faster and more accurately than human workers, robots can have a significant impact on reducing revenue loss and the customer frustration caused by out-of-stocks or misplaced items.

Additionally, as they travel the floor checking shelf conditions they can also capture real-time data on shopper behaviours. Using computer vision, video analytics, and other technologies, robots can capture data on how shoppers move through the store, where they are congregating and what products they are purchasing. They can even examine shoppers’ facial expressions for insights into consumer sentiment and their decision making processes. When combined with analytics, this data yields powerful, real-time insights and provides retailers the opportunity to send an associate to help the shopper, or send a personalised offer to the shopper’s mobile phone, or take other actions to give the shopper exactly what they need in that moment.

Robots are also being used at some select “big box” stores to help customers find items within large inventories. Shoppers can tell the robot what they’re looking for – a specific type of crew, for example – and have the robot guide them to it’s exact location on the shelf, Walmart is testing the use of robotic shopping carts that not only help shoppers find items on their list but also eliminate the need to push a heavy cart through the store. This can be especially helpful for customers with disabilities.

Other examples include Pepper, a charming, humanoid robot that greets customers in. It can read a variety of customers’ emotions, respond to their inquires and make recommendations based on its interactions with them.

While some people have expressed concern over the prospect of robots replacing human workers, retailers actually gain the greatest benefits by using robots to augment and complement the human workforce. Robots can offload the more tedious and repetitive tasks, thereby freeing up staff to focus their efforts on more skilled work, such as “client ling” and building loyal relationships with customers.

To join the robotics revolution, retailers will need to have an IT architecture that supports pervasive, robust wireless connectivity, data collection and aggregation, flexible cloud computing, edge analytics, mobility, and more. They will also benefit from precision indoor location technology, which helps a robot navigate and pinpoint targeted customers, shelves, or merchandise.

What is the future of automated marketing?

For now, we can say that the relationship of both software and physical robots and marketing it just getting started. As humans, we all hate the automated voice prompt messages and feeling like we are stuck in a system.  It will be interesting to see where the technology leads us and how close we will come to having fully interactive marketing experiences with robots.

The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

Have you ever sat down to think about who manages the emails you received that are advertising products sold and services offered by a business close to you? The emails also usually somehow have an idea of what type of products you might need or be interested in. There definitely isn’t someone sitting behind a desk 24hrs a day collating data on you personally (like location, commonly used products, etc.) and then sending you a personalized email.  This is all happening through the use ofvarious types of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that are analysing large sets of data to send you just the right message.

AI is being used in a wide range of marketing use cases including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email marketing, content curation,and much more.  Different tools have been developed that are already being used by different brands not only to make the lives of human marketers easier, but to make them a lot better at their jobs.

In situations where processes are optimized and made faster by technology, not only that humans have more time freed up for critical thinking, data analysis, and long-term planning also it makes businesses achieve better outcomes.

Terms like Data mining, Data analytics, Predictive Modelling, Big Data, etc. refer to technologies that are evolving rapidly and have become powerful tools in modern marketing and many other business activities.

Just like in marketing, AIis an increasingly integral part of many industries.  AIhas been defined as the intelligence exhibited by machines, rather than humans or other animals with natural intelligence. The field of artificial intelligence research defines itself as the study of intelligent agents, any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at desired goals.

The secret of popular product and services such as Netflix, Amazon, and of course Googleis they all have AI systems to some degree routinely working in the background. The integration of this artificial intelligence into the marketing world has been happening for some time and will only increase as more data is collected on target audiences and there is an increasing need for sophistication to sell products.

Artificial Intelligence has been used in the following areas in marketing:

Product Pricing: How does a business determine the optimal price of a product?  There is a lot of data about products and their consumers that can be collected and analysed.  As a business, they want to get the best price they can for a product to maximize profit, not just cover costs.  AI algorithms can determine price elasticity based on sales, trends, customer opinion and a wide range of other data.  Sales forecasting can be added into the mix to allow for expected sales to be determined and then determine the impact on expected sales based on changing price points.

Website Design: We are beginning to see the emergence of AI in web site design.  One example is The Grid ( ).  This platform says its AI will build the web site for you.  It uses Intelligent image recognition and cropping, an algorithmic palette and typography selection all powered by Artificial Intelligence. The goal is to build a website that designs itself based on marketing and selling input.  Adobe and other companies have similar efforts underway.  Wix, which is one of the largest DIY web site building platforms, has their Advanced Design Intelligence platform.

Speech Recognition:  This AI technology is being used in applications such as Skype, which now supports Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish. Its also used in other applications like the dictation feature of your phone, Microsoft Office and many other applications.  It has continuously been improvedthrough better and more advanced AI.

Language RecognitionLanguage Recognition: On step beyond speech recognition sits the challenge of language recognition. It’s not just translating what you’re saying onto the computer.  Its understanding what you’re saying, and what it ideally in the context of the situation in which its being said. The goal of major brands is to be able to have machines listen and learn and react to what potential customers are saying.

Image Recognition: This is apower aspect of the AI applications.  You can see it in action for example with Google Images which allows you to search for images based on the content of the image.  Another example is the face swap on Snapchat. An interesting example is the DuLight from Baidu (the large Chinese search engine). Designed for the visually impaired, this early prototype recognises what is in front of the wearer and then describes it back to them.This type of image recognition could be used to decide what products and service will be marketed as the consumer moves through the shopping environment.

Content generation: Content writers might think their jobs are safe from being replaced by AI because of the imaginative and creativelevel of thinking required, that’s appears to be mostly true as of now. But tools like Wordsmith and Quill are already being used to create clickable news content. Using AI as the brain, templates and fill-in-the-blanks to enter relevant data and keywords, these tools can generate uniquely written content that actually reads like it was written by a human. Suitable marketing content can be generated to specific audience based on the information supplied to the AI. The information can be gathered from interaction with the target audience of consumers.

Bots, PAs and messengers: This is probably the most well-known example of AI based marketing – chatbots.  You start a chat on the web and your friendly chatbot tries to help you before getting a human involved.  While you’retalking, or typing to a chatbotAI algorithms are doing a complex set of analyses of natural language combined with therelevant brand’s datasets to formulate a response.

Chatbots can be used to take orders and general requestsand also optimize product and service marketing and advertisements based on the interaction. Some find them annoying but have great potential to save time and costs of human resources.

Artificial Intelligence has enabled marketers to implement strategies previously considered tedious or impossible due to complex data.  The opportunity to analyse and personalize the marketing and selling experience is a powerful goal for brands.  Brands must be careful and develop a well thought out AI marketing strategy to ensure the level of consumer interaction doesn’t become too narrow and to aggressive.  Consumers want to get great ideas from marketing but they do want variety and flexibility and importantly to not be annoyed.