Sabrina Stocker gives the lowdown on the increasing power of artificial intelligence in business.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionised virtually every industry, including public relations (PR) and marketing. The innovations possible today across global commerce were unimaginable just a handful of years ago. Businesses utilise AI to personalise their messaging, provide instant customer service and make data-driven decisions.
In this feature for Elite Business, Sabrina Stocker – the founder of public relations agency Two Comma PR – explains five ways that AI is transforming the worlds of PR and marketing.
Reputation management (listening to people)
Social listening is monitoring social media channels for mentions of a brand or product. With the help of AI, businesses can analyse this data to gain insights into consumer opinion and behaviour. It helps them to identify potential issues before they become significant problems.
For example: Airbnb uses AI-powered social listening tools to monitor mentions of its brand online. The platform can identify trends and themes in consumer feedback. This allows the company to make informed decisions about its marketing and advertising strategies.
Moreover, businesses re-evaluating their public image can use AI data to guide their strategy. This means they can even handle objections before they reach the ears of an executive.
Personalisation (engaging customers on a personal level)
Personalisation is the key to successful marketing. Similar to social listening, AI has made it easier for businesses to understand consumer preferences and tailor their communication accordingly. Thanks to algorithms and machine learning, companies can record AI-analysed data and then use this information to create personalised content and messaging.
Starbucks uses an AI-powered mobile app to personalise customer experiences. It can recommend products based on customer preferences, compile a history of individual consumer orders, and check trends depending on location. The platform also provides personalised rewards and promotions, making customers feel valued and connected to the brand.
Could we soon see a future where a company’s online footprint depends entirely on the person searching for it? It would surely boost the efficacy of marketing and PR strategies but could raise concerns about authenticity.
Content creation (accelerating written output)
AI can also create content from news articles or social media posts. While AI-generated content still needs to be finessed, it has the potential to reduce the time and cost associated with content creation. It can be especially valuable for companies with high content needs but only have a restricted PR and marketing budget.
The Washington Post has an AI-powered tool called Heliograf that generates news articles on topics such as sport, weather and election results. The algorithm uses data analysis and ‘natural language generation’ to create articles quickly and accurately, allowing reporters to focus on more in-depth stories.
Thus, commercial and journalistic writing can both benefit from AI advancements. However, both sectors usually require a human to proofread content before publication, which could limit impact. Journalists could become more proficient in controlling AI, which would help secure their professions in the future.
Chatbots (levelling up customer service)
Chatbots are AI-powered programs that can simulate human conversation. They have become increasingly popular in customer service, allowing businesses to provide instant 24/7 support. Chatbots can help with anything from product information to troubleshooting, without any human involvement.
For instance, H&M’s AI-powered chatbot provides fashion tips and advice to customers. It analyses customer preferences and suggests outfits based on style and body type. This personalised service has improved customer satisfaction and increased sales.
A Chatbots’ impact on marketing is both subtle and exponential. They can make consumers feel that a company actually cares about them, while streamlining the purchasing process. If a business creates a seamless experience for customers, they are more likely to return.
Predictive analytics (making data-driven decisions)
Predictive analytics uses data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes. This is based on historical data. This technology is particularly useful in PR and marketing, where it can forecast customer behaviour and preferences. This means businesses can make informed decisions about their strategies.
To illustrate, Amazon uses predictive analytics to recommend products to its customers. The platform analyses consumer data to identify products that customers are most likely to buy.
PR could reap the rewards of investing in predictive analytics. By identifying social trends, consumer attitudes and global circumstances – prior to launching a PR campaign – this could multiply its impact significantly. A company can double or triple its sales by using in-touch press coverage.
As AI advances and becomes more integrated into PR and marketing, businesses will need to adapt to stay ahead of the curve. While AI has many benefits, it is essential to remember that it is not a replacement for human creativity and intuition.
Companies that balance AI-powered insights, alongside human expertise, are best positioned for success in the ever-changing world of PR and marketing. By utilising the unique benefits of AI technology, businesses can create more personalised and effective marketing strategies that yield greater customer satisfaction and drives sales. And I experience this through my company’s business every day.