The Role of AI in Marketing and How to Use It

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The Role of AI in Marketing and How to Use It

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing marketing. However, AI in marketing is about much more than automating tasks and processes. When marketing teams embrace AI, they gain intelligent tools that use deep learning to deliver clear insight into customer behavior and trends. That knowledge helps them to create highly personalized customer experiences that keep their target audiences engaged while making the most of marketing budgets.

AI in Marketing: A Brief History

While the use of AI as an everyday tool for business functions like marketing is a relatively new trend, the practice of using intelligent machines to handle routine tasks for humans is not.

Recommendation software is an early example of AI in digital marketing. Companies like Amazon and Netflix wholeheartedly embraced aspects of machine learning to maximize the wealth of data they were collecting about the preferences and behaviors of their customers so that they could suggest other products and content they might enjoy or find useful — and might not otherwise discover on their own.

The Explosion of AI in Marketing

A report by PwC predicts that the impact of AI’s deployment in business and elsewhere will add $15.7 trillion to the global economy and boost the gross domestic product (GDP) in local economies by 26% by 2030. And now, with advancements like generative AI, artificial intelligence is experiencing a period of hyper-growth. 

Generative AI can be used to create content including text, images, audio, and video. For companies using AI for marketing, this technology opens the door to analyzing marketing data, creating personalized campaigns, and enhancing customer interactions with much greater efficiency, speed, and scale. 

McKinsey, which conducted research on the economic impacts of generative AI, asserts that the technology “is poised to transform roles and boost performance across functions” — including marketing, sales, and customer operations.

Importance of Using AI in Marketing

So, artificial intelligence is a powerful tool for marketers, and it can be applied to many areas of their work, as we explore in the next section. But one of the key reasons that teams today use AI marketing tools is to automate highly repetitive tasks. 

A recent Salesforce and YouGov survey found that more than half of marketing professionals (53%) see generative AI as a game-changer. Marketers surveyed also estimated that the technology can help them save about five hours of work every week, which translates to about one month per year. (Imagine what your marketing team could accomplish if you could reclaim a month’s worth of work time?)

5 Key Applications of AI in Marketing

Now, let’s examine some of the top ways an AI marketing platform and similar solutions can help to support marketing teams in their everyday work:

1. Customer Segmentation and Targeting

Machine learning models that use cloud infrastructure can handle customer segmentation at scale, allowing marketers to work with large volumes of data with ease and slice and dice that information for use in campaigns. They can personalize and customize marketing assets much more effectively and efficiently with help from AI.

For example, many marketers rely on insights from Invoca’s AI-driven conversation intelligence platform to help them optimize marketing spend. The solution analyzes and extracts data from first-party phone conversations with consumers. So, an HVAC company’s marketing team might learn, for instance, that the business is receiving a high number of calls from consumers in Texas inquiring about air conditioner repair. Invoca’s AI technology identifies the key phrase and demographic in the call data, providing a strong signal for marketing to run a new round of digital ads to customers in Texas touting a discount on A/C repair services.  

2. Marketing Automation and Campaign Optimization

AI marketing platforms enable automation at scale for repetitive tasks such as email, social media posting, ad placement, and content distribution. Removing routine processes frees up more time for marketers to focus on higher-value tasks, like creative marketing and campaign strategy.

Capturing campaign data from phone calls also provides marketing with a missing link when it comes to attribution. Clicks make it easy to attribute sales to email or digital ads, but phone calls have been an opaque area when it comes to getting attribution. AI changes that. Now marketing can get full attribution for every call.

Why is attribution so important? Call attribution helps you to optimize your campaigns so they’ll drive more high-value phone leads. For example, call attribution data might help you decide to allocate more marketing spend to high-performing Google Ads keywords and ads that are driving sales over the phone, helping you to drive more revenue at a lower cost.

3. Data Analytics and Predictive Modeling

AI can analyze vast amounts of structured and unstructured data, identify patterns in that data, and generate actionable insights into customer behavior and predictive analytics. For example, purchase history and web browsing patterns allow companies like Amazon to anticipate customer needs and personalize customer outreach based on that data through emails, texts, web ads, and digital assistants like Alexa. (“Last month you purchased dishwashing detergent. Would you like to buy it again?”

AI can also detect insights from customers in real time. Have you ever abandoned your cart while shopping online? How quickly did you receive an email or text asking if you had forgotten something? That’s AI at work.

4. Natural Language Processing (NLP) in Marketing

NLP is AI’s tool for understanding and interpreting human language. NLP plays a vital role in helping marketing teams with sentiment analysis, social media monitoring, and voice-activation marketing, such as voice search. NLP can be customized for each user to hyper-personalize experiences. So, for instance, a chatbot can accompany web users on the customer journey and make suggestions for where to go next on the site for more information.

NLP also monitors social media. AI pushes detailed analysis of customer sentiment from social posts and other interactions to marketing to inform new campaigns, and when to change up tactics for existing campaigns so they will resonate better with consumers.

5. Content and Lead Generation

AI can analyze customer preferences, interests, and browsing behavior to generate relevant and engaging content for those customers. The ability to create compelling content with speed and ease saves marketing teams time and money. It also allows marketers to curate existing content so that customers see only relevant ads and other marketing outreach from the business.

AI can also shorten the lead time between finding the right customer and selling to them. AI quickly analyzes data and matches up similarities between your product or service and potential customers. For example, if your company just landed a big account in the healthcare sector, AI could quickly scan customer databases and create lists of other healthcare businesses with similar needs that your organization could market and sell to.

5 Benefits of Integrating AI in Marketing

As you’ve no doubt gleaned by now, the use of AI in marketing can deliver significant benefits. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most valuable ones for marketing organizations:

1. Improved Targeting and Personalization

Personalization and effective targeting of consumers are key goals for marketing functions. Both are easily achievable using AI.

2. Competitive Advantage and Cost Savings

AI marketing platforms can automate and streamline processes, saving time and resources — and that leads to cost savings and more strategic resource allocation.

3. Enhanced Marketing ROI

AI algorithms optimize marketing campaigns in real time by analyzing data, identifying trends, and adjusting tactics based on customer behavior and preferences. Algorithms can track the customer’s entire journey, even phone interactions, so that marketing can receive accurate attribution for customers’ purchases.

4. Increased Data-Driven Decision-Making

AI analyzes big data quickly and efficiently, picking up valuable insights, trends, and patterns that humans would take far longer to detect, or would otherwise miss. This enables and accelerates more effective decision-making in marketing.

5. Improved Customer Experience and Satisfaction

AI’s predictive capability helps businesses anticipate customer needs so they can address them proactively, further enhancing the customer experience and preserving brand loyalty.

4 Challenges of AI Adoption in Marketing

So, now that we’ve covered some of the key benefits of adopting AI in marketing, let’s discuss a few of the challenges that can accompany embracing this evolving area of technology:

1. Data Privacy and Security

AI allows companies to gather and store vast amounts of customer data, raising concerns about data handling and protection. Companies can overcome these concerns by implementing strong security measures, complying with relevant regulations, and being transparent with customers about how and why the business is collecting and using their data.

2. Integration with Existing Systems

Some AI tools may not integrate easily with your tech stack, which could undermine performance and create disruptions. Be sure to ask providers about technology integrations before adopting AI solutions.

3. Ethical Considerations

Personalized marketing powered by AI and AI-generated content raises ethical concerns regarding privacy invasion, data manipulation, accuracy, and the potential for manipulation of consumer behavior. Maintaining a strong code of AI ethics is essential to putting your customers (and partners) at ease.

4. Technical Expertise and Skill Gap Considerations

Implementing AI in marketing requires technical expertise and skill sets that may not be readily available in-house. To get the most from an AI investment, make sure to work with a provider that is invested in your success and provides resources to help ensure that your team is well-trained to use the technology.

Case Studies and Examples

Still not sure about whether or not AI can help your marketing team? Here are some real-world examples to help you visualize how the technology can impact your operations:


ChatGPT, owned and developed by OpenAI, only debuted in November 2022, but its ability to create generative AI content, both written and spoken, has already created a major stir.

ChatGPT uses a language model designed for conversation, so it’s a logical candidate for use as a chatbot in customer service contact centers. And for marketing teams, specifically, the technology can help with everything from content creation (e.g., blogs, video scripts) to email marketing (e.g., A/B testing, subject line optimization) to lead generation (e.g., lead scoring, target email campaigns) — and much more.


Amazon is a hugely successful e-commerce platform largely because it’s always selling. AI has helped Amazon immensely along the way, particularly through its ability to make recommendations to customers based on prior purchases or browsing history (“Top picks for you” and “Buy it again”) as well as the experience of other users (“Customers also bought these items.”)

Amazon uses AI to take this active sales stance into voice shopping through its Alexa app. Through its cloud service, AWS, Amazon has developed an AI solution to help customers build their own ChatGPT-like models. The company has also invested in its own generative AI research center.


Meta (aka Facebook) is deeply entrenched in AI, and at the forefront of using the technology to create the artificially intelligent, virtual reality world known as the metaverse. And Facebook, as the social platform is still known, uses AI in digital marketing in various ways, including to deliver personalized ads to highly targeted audiences.

Facebook collects mounds of data about users’ behavior on and off the social platform and then feeds it into machine learning models to generate quality scores for customers’ ads. Over time, as more people click on ads and the data volume increases, Facebook’s models get better at predicting which ads will be opened by more people.

Spectrum Retirement Communities

COVID-19 lockdowns forced Denver-based Spectrum to shut down all marketing efforts in 2020 to focus on communicating effectively with their residents in 48 communities in 10 states. To help, they used the Invoca platform to learn what their residents were most concerned about regarding COVID-19, and what they and their families needed. The goal was to keep residents safe.

Invoca’s AI-powered conversation intelligence handled more than 16,000 calls in the first six months, spotting key phrases relevant to COVID-19 in those conversations. This allowed their operations team to quickly pivot and put the necessary safety measures in place. The AI-informed communication policy worked: Spectrum’s infection rate among residents and staff was just 1% in those first six months.

Read the full Spectrum Retirement Communities case study here.

Embracing AI with Invoca to Personalize Your Marketing Strategies

Invoca helps businesses and their marketing teams take advantage of AI while preserving the human touch in customer interactions. Even in a digital world, most people still like to pick up the phone when they need to reach out to businesses. A 2022 Salesforce survey found that three in five consumers prefer to speak with someone over the phone when they need assistance, and three in four believe they’ll get a faster response that way, rather than using text or email.

Invoca’s AI-driven platform captures 100% of phone interactions and generates accurate transcripts and detailed reports so that marketing teams can optimize marketing strategies and accurately monitor campaign performance. Conversation intelligence also provides marketers with valuable and actionable first-party marketing data that is challenging to gather from other sources.

Sample Invoca report showing call conversions by marketing source

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about how Invoca AI can supercharge your marketing strategy? Check out these resources:

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