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Artificial Intelligence Has the Potential to Disrupt Digital Marketing in 2018

When most people think of artificial intelligence (AI), they typically think of self-driving cars, intelligent robots and other innovations that were once just the stuff of science fiction. However, AI is already starting to make its impact felt on everyday life. For example, Netflix uses AI to power its recommendation engines, and Facebook uses AI for photo recognition. So it’s no surprise that digital marketers are now embracing AI as a new way to gain an edge on the competition. 2018 could be the year that AI in digital marketing finally goes mainstream, and here are three exciting areas to watch…


#1: AI will make it possible to deliver on the promise of hyper-personalization


Personalization has long been a trend in the digital marketing industry, and for good reason. Research has shown that customers are far more likely to interact with your business, brand, product or service if they feel that they are getting a very personalized experience. Here’s just one basic example of why personalization matters – are you more likely to open an email that is generic in nature, or one that has been specifically designed with you in mind?


This is where AI comes into the picture, because AI can sift through all the data that marketers already have about you to create the perfect offer. For example, let’s say that you have performed a few web searches on an e-commerce site and that you have purchased from the company in the past. An AI-powered algorithm can take all that data, combine it with data from a company’s CRM system, and create an offer that is personalized only for you. That will boost conversion rates for any marketing campaign, so it’s easy to see why digital marketers would jump onboard the hyper-personalization trend.


#2: AI will create new types of customer service experiences


According to people from a renowned digital agency from India, in today’s world, customer service is largely broken. It almost seems like companies specifically hide their phone numbers so that customers can’t call them with questions. When you do reach them, there is a confusing “phone tree” of options that never leads to a real human agent. And the whole time, companies seem to be directing you to self-diagnose your problem by reading through online FAQs and customer forums. The reason, quite simply, is that companies don’t have the resources to keep up.


For this problem, too, AI has a solution. Using AI-powered chatbots, companies have a new way to connect with customers one-on-one. Chatbots are powered by machine learning, and become smarter over time. They literally learn from each new customer, so that they can become smarter with each new interaction. The goal for many AI researchers is to create a chatbot so real that you feel like you are interacting with a real person every time you call customer service.


#3: AI will provide important predictive analytics on future behaviors

Where AI has the most potential is in the area of predictive analytics – literally, predicting how customers and prospects will act in the future. This might sound like magic, but with computer algorithms powered by AI, it is not. For example, what if digital marketers wanted to predict if a new product launch was going to be successful or not?


One way to do that is to analyze all the content being created on social media – all the photos being uploaded, all the hashtags, and all the comments. A human doesn’t have enough time to analyze all of this data, but machines do. An AI-powered image or text recognition algorithm can analyze all those photos, tweets, and Facebook updates to determine what people are really talking about online, as well as what the market really wants in terms of new products and services.


As you can see, AI is leading to some very powerful tools for digital marketers, and these tools are getting ready to burst into the mainstream in 2018. Hyper-personalization, chatbots and predictive analytics are just of the three areas in digital marketing to look for big changes over the next 12 months.