At the end of 2018 I published a post citing Cynthia Harvey, who had herself cited a Deloitte survey with bleak predictions tabout companies’ use of AI. That survey had indicated that while more companies (in various industries, not just marketing or campaigning) were dipping their toes into AI, the number of companies abandoning AI projects was also high. Left alone, that citation might give readers the impression that AI is floundering.
It’s actually not floundering at all. What should not be lost is that 37 percent of all organizations have implemented some kind of artificial intelligence in their operations, and that’s a 270 percent increase over the past four years. Even if the long-term rise has its hiccups, that’s an astounding level of adaptation in a short increment of time.
There are several reasons AI helps companies use data across the board. AI can be created with “context awareness” that will allow systems to discern when they are most needed, switch their modes around, and more. In terms of organizational processes, new artificial intelligence systems can facilitate decentralization and delegation of tasks in organizations practices that increase profits in a time when very few things can reliably increase profits.
The implications of this technology are staggering. AI can help policymakers solve poverty, help doctors slow the spread of diseases, help scientists address climate change, threats to oceans, and more. Artificial intelligence can also be a powerful tool in deploying the natural intelligence of salespeople and analysts through data analysis that can supplement other data services. In marketing and campaign data analysis, one function of AI is to detect small and subtle changes in consumer or voter behavior, attitudes, beliefs, demographics, and so on. If income has risen ever-so-slightly in some area, you may be able to look for other signs of income profile changes or even gentrification; this could impact your campaign strategy.
And, of course, AI helps in segmentation. In campaign technology, segmentation was critical in Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, where different videos were shown to audiences based on their own level of commitment to the campaign. Consider that it’s been just over ten years since then and AI has advanced considerably. Now, marketers and retailers are using AI to create personalized customer experiences, analyzing data so that customers may be notified by email, direct mail, or SMS if products arrive that they might like. Campaign data analysts can do the same thing.
The beauty of AI, or at least a very important additional benefit, may be the protection of privacy. For example, the folks at Demografy have designed a market segmentation platform that can give you demographic insights or help you append lists with missing data similar to the smart algorithms we use at Accurate Append to create wealth scores and green scores. It does this without gathering sensitive information like addresses or emails, just using names, and it can do this because of its AI component, using “very scarce and non-sensitive information as input while existing technologies use either large amount of data or sensitive personal information to detect demographics.”