When it comes to effective digital marketing, the one constant is change. As new technologies such as AI emerge, marketers need to be increasingly adaptable, mastering the nuances of both inbound and outbound strategies that didn't exist a decade ago.
The Ongoing Quest for Budget, Expertise – and Time
Imagine working in a profession in which what was true yesterday is no longer true today, where the toolbox that met your needs in the past is grossly insufficient to meet the challenges you face today, and the ones you'll need to tackle tomorrow. How would you learn the new skills necessary to ensure your relevance, and where would you find the time and money to master those skills?
That's the world in which marketers live every day – and the challenges they face are many, according to a recent survey of 500 marketers (both B2B and B2C) from Conductor. According to Ayaz Nanji writing for Marketing Profs, those challenges are fundamental:
"Marketing executives say the biggest internal challenges that could negatively impact their 2018 online performance are not having enough budget, not having the right team, and not having enough time."
Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the Rescue
Increasingly, marketers have turned to AI solutions to help with some of marketing's more time-consuming, repetitive tasks, everything from market segmentation to content curation to predictive analysis. Unfortunately, among the most challenging (and labor-intensive) tasks are those which require creativity, challenges AI has been ill-equipped to solve – until now.
Creative AI: It Won't Take Your Job – It Will Make It Easier
Forward leaning marketers, although recognizing the continuing need for human beings to take the lead, are now finding ways to augment creative processes – everything from image and art curation to content creation and music composition. That said, here are 5 creative tasks AI can simplify and streamline, along with the companies that can help you do the job:
EyeEm: Finding That Perfect Image
AI can't paint the Mona Lisa or replace a top-notch photographer. It can, however, help you with the time-consuming task of combing through hundreds or thousands of images to find the ones which best align with your brand and the messaging of your creative – and which are most likely to appeal to your audience.
That's what EyeEm does. Describing itself as "The definitive visual platform for today's content needs," EyeEm begins by understanding your business's visual identity and then helps you curate the images that best match this identity from the work of 20 million creators around the globe. It includes a strong analytics capability, enabling you to monitor and measure key campaign metrics, and can assist you in amplifying your best content through powerful social media and branding campaigns.
Pikazo: Make Anything Art
While EyeEm helps you find relevant images, Pikazo lets you create your own. A mobile app created in 2015, Pikazo uses neural transfer algorithms that allow non-artists to integrate two existing images into one new one – one that is guaranteed not to exist anywhere else. One of the images, the primary one or "subject," is transformed incorporating the style of the secondary image, with often powerful results – essentially, the user is painting a new version of an existing image.
Co-founders Karl Stiefvater (who worked on the Matrix films) and Lisa Donahue (whose background is in project management) are quick to point out that Pikazo is not a photo filter. Rather, it simulates the human visual cortex to create a wholly new image. Users also benefit from the "Pikazo Salon," the app's online community where they share ideas and find new tools to enhance their work.
Shelley: How Frankenstein Taught Machines to Write
One of the principal challenges for inbound marketers is creating a sufficient quantity of original content. The folks at MIT Media Lab have moved the needle on an AI solution with the creation of Shelley (named for Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein).
Using almost 150,000 horror stories as examples, developers essentially trained this AI to write its own stories. That in itself doesn't really help marketers, but the technology holds the promise of similar AI solutions that can do some of the heavy lifting when it comes to the time-consuming task of content creation.
Jukedeck: Music to My Ears
Videos and other rich content often include music tracks, and those tracks require the time of human composers, or they're selected from stock. Now, Jukedeck is streamlining the process with an AI that can compose original music. Users can choose from among multiple musical styles, and the results are hard to distinguish from the work of this AI's human counterparts.
ReFUEL4: Evaluating the Quality of Ad Creatives
The process of selecting ad creatives to run on paid campaigns used to be a matter of personal preference, resulting in plenty of poorly made decisions from marketers and wasted ad dollars. Thankfully, you can now rely on ReFUEL4 to assess the quality of ad creatives more precisely. Its advanced AI-powered platform analyzes your ad creatives and predicts their performance up to an accuracy of 87%, so you can identify what works for you and only spend on ad creatives which will deliver.
Try analyzing your ad creatives with our free Ad Analyzer here!
AI solutions are inching closer to the effective management of increasingly nuanced creative tasks; everything from writing content to creating images, composing music and optimizing ad performance. These innovations are set to make your job as a digital marketer easier, and enhance the effectiveness of both inbound and outbound campaigns.