In 2014, the late Stephen Hawking said 'We are all connected by the internet, like neurons in a giant brain.' He also said 'We cannot predict what we might achieve when our own minds are amplified by AI.'
And like many things, Hawking was right. Almost 10 years later, that giant brain of connectivity continues to expand, like an infinite balloon.
2023 has been a clear indication of this, as AI has changed the way we live - probably forever.
We all knew 2023 was going to be a big year for AI, and it certainly delivered. Yet just like that, the year is over, but the AI revolution has only just started.
In terms of 'moving on' from the pandemic, 2023 marks itself the second 'normal' post-pandemic year from start to finish. The term 'social distancing' is a faint echo of the past, and the masks are likely piling up in a drawer somewhere. Meanwhile, businesses have continued to function in a way that is (somewhat) pre-COVID.
But of course, this is 2023, and it's been nothing but normal. We may have continued with life post-banana bread, but this year has been nothing but normal. War, strikes, hyperinflation, forest fires, the almost-collapsing NHS.
The repercussions of Brexit are also very much alive, threaded into our socio-economic and political conversations. Not to mention the ballooned price tags on imports/exports.
As the age-old saying goes, 'You can't polish a turd.' It's not an easy world out there.
Will AI save us all?
However, the good news is that 2023 has allowed for some very helpful breakthroughs in AI tech, which can benefit all industries.
AI has successfully helped multiple industries excel and make positive changes such as education, healthcare, and environmental industries. Hospitals are using AI to reduce human error in reading scans and forming diagnoses, and schools are using it to create automated grading systems for students.
But for marketing, AI has skyrocketed the industry into a whole new ball game.
It's all everyone has been talking about. The New Yorker is even calling 2023 'The Year AI Ate The Internet.'
What was originally a cool new feature we all marveled at, we've now used it so frequently that it's become so integrated as a part of our daily lives as our morning cups of tea or coffee. Of course, we've gotten accustomed to AI in the past decade or so. Alexa tells us the weather in the morning, our smartphone knows exactly where our cars are parked, and we can make our TVs switch off by simply talking to them.
But what we have seen this year, is the total integration of AI systems into business operations. AI isn't just a cool new novel feature anymore, it's a lifestyle. 2023 has seen AI shift into something far more human than before, a shift in machine learning that has excelled AI into a very, very intelligent thing.
AI knows us better than we think it does. Terrifying to some, but a dream for marketers.
We're even seeing new jobs around AI that didn't exist a year ago. Businesses established from this point onwards will implement AI into many areas of their processes.
The year of AI for marketing
If 'Content is King', then Chat GPT is the throne it sits on.
Of course, Chat GPT takes the AI content cake here, although other platforms have tried to follow fast pursuit - aiming to get just a fraction of Open AI's success.
The AI language model has allowed marketers to conjure up high-value content by giving a few simple commands. It's integrative to our browsers, becoming just as accessible as our search engine bar.
Just like a new employee that literally works around the clock, marketers can train and mould their AI models into a flawless marketing compass.
Shifts in AI this year:
- It's able to communicate with other AI programmes
- It's more human-like
- Content generation is smarter, quicker, and easier
- It's learned from itself
- More businesses are using AI integration as an operational tool (helping data-driven marketing and CRMs)
These improvements only show that AI is getting smarter as time continues. And in 2023 alone, we've already seen trends shift.
This year, we've seen...
- Increased accessibility of short-form video tools
- Improved accuracy of data segmentation
- Automation is sharper
- Chatbots are more human-like
- Ad campaigns require less human input
Short form video
There's no denying that video editing interfaces are becoming more user-friendly. A three-year-old can probably make a TikTok video.
Although YouTube isn't going anywhere, they know the world's attention span is decreasing when it comes to content. Hence 'YouTube Shorts.' But they've also integrated a new video editing interface, making it easy for any marketer to post video marketing content. Will the ease of YouTube video creation see a boom in YouTube for marketing?
Refinements in AI algorithms have allowed marketers to know their customers better than ever. Data segmentation is more accurate than it was before, and human data entry is a thing of the past. AI can predict what your customer is doing next weekend.
This allows AI to generate hyper-personalised content for customers on an individual level. This shaves off the effort of trudging through customer data, instead providing a clear targeted marketing plan for your specific persona.
Chatbots are more human-like
Humanised chatbots are allowing sales and marketing to join forces like peas in a pod. Chatbots allow customer service availability around the clock, which means your customers can access solutions easily and rapidly. This means flawless communication and reduces customer wait times. A big win for sales processes, as it lessens the human workload.
Google updated its Performance Max ads tool back in February to make ad placement even more clever. Google has introduced new 'keywordless AI technology', which confirms the rumours are true - keywords are going out of fashion. Google has started to prioritise high-value content over the presence of a keyword. Instead, Google Ads can focus more on ad placement and generate beneficial ad content over human keyword inputs.
Lo and behold...it still circles back to AI
What do most of these marketing shifts have in common? AI, of course.
Ultimately, it's informing not only our marketing plans, but our business plans as a whole - going far beyond content creation. But it's not only about the advancements of AI, it's how we harness its power to market in a way that fits our businesses.
Business operations and processes are made far easier and simpler than before, and our relationship with AI will probably become more dependent as it increases in intelligence.
If 2023 is the year of teething, imagine what can be achieved by 2030? Will the world wholly rely on AI in the future?
For now, one thing is for sure: AI is rapidly changing the business landscape and the way we market, forever.
Method wishes you a Happy Christmas
Bladerunner aside, the team at Method would like to wish you a Happy Christmas.
If Santa didn't bring you the marketing advice you needed this Christmas, then drop us a line if you fancy a chat. We're here in 2024 to discuss all things growth and inbound to kick off the New Year.