Automation and AI: The power to build true digital experiences

It’s become increasingly clear how powerful automation is in creating truly impactful brand experiences. Artificial intelligence and machine learning’s marketing use cases go beyond chatbots or personalized website recommendations.

Marketing automation is more than streamlining processes, automating posting on social media, or scheduling emails. Leading marketers use automation to enhance creativity and engineer more impactful brand experiences.

Up to 67% of marketing leaders use automation platforms in one way or another, and marketing automation spending is set to reach $25 billion this year. So, what does this mean for brands looking to bolster their digital presence? Everything.

But what does using marketing automation to enhance creativity and brand experiences look like in practice? Let’s focus on one important digital marketing element: a company’s website. I asked Steve Ohanians, the CEO of a Silicon Valley B2B digital agency, Clear Digital, for his take on AI as part of the digital brand development process. 

Dig deeper: Why we care about AI in marketing

AI and machine learning make room for more creativity 

From eliminating repetitive and time-consuming tasks to reducing human error, marketing automation can completely revolutionize how we manage digital marketing projects. Among the many benefits of AI and machine learning (ML), as Ohanians points out, is their usefulness in speeding up project progress. 

The challenge is that many AI and ML models are still in the early stages and require a certain degree of human input and editing to be effective. (Think: prompting ChatGPT correctly.) 

This is good news. It reveals another way that AI and machine learning can be used: automation can enhance creativity.

The ideation phase is where Ohanians believe digital marketing will gain the most impact from AI and machine learning. A creative, AI-written idea might spur a designer or developer to think about the project differently.

Another way that automation can enhance creativity is by alleviating the burden of repetitive tasks, like writing code, testing and deploying for digital systems. They take up valuable time and may not require as much creative effort.

By automating these processes — like using AI to test a web application — people in creative roles will be freed up to spend more time on creative tasks and innovation.

Balancing AI and human context to create meaningful digital brand experiences 

Whether using chatbots to improve customer service or leveraging machine learning to optimize website design, AI and ML will play an increasingly important role in the UX/UI space, Ohanians said. Marketers should care because your brand will be judged by the digital experiences consumers expect based on what they are experiencing with other brands. Marketers who fail to seize the opportunity will be quickly left behind by those capitalizing on these technologies to drive innovation.

But Ohanians clarifies that AI is not a magic bullet or perfect solution for digital brand development — not yet, at least. Everything generated through machine learning tools must be filtered through human context. Companies need to implement checks and balances. As teams use AI and ML to create, experts should assess the results.

Dig deeper: AI in marketing: 7 areas where it shines and struggles

Automation is accessible today, so don’t delay its use 

Despite automation’s numerous benefits, many digital marketers have yet to experience the technology’s creativity-enhancing benefits. This needs to change. Integrating automation into your business’s everyday creative practices will keep your team competitive and inspire better ideas.

Ohanians said the key to implementing AI and ML effectively, even at this early stage, is to ensure you’ve hired a great team. No tool or AI system can outweigh the importance of team members’ creativity, individually and collectively. Companies can get the most out of automation and prepare their teams for the future of work by enabling creative people to test and try new technology so they can determine how it will benefit their work.

Don’t feel daunted by the process of implementing AI in your business. Marketers already use it to streamline tedious tasks, enhance creativity and explore new avenues for brand experiences. You can too. AI and ML present countless opportunities for brands to improve marketing outcomes with more creative, innovative brand experiences.

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