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Artificial Intelligence in Marketing - Honors Thesis

AI in Marketing

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology still in its infancy, yet one that already is changing the way we live our lives. The importance of understanding AI – how it works, what it can be used for, and its impact – will only become more important as the technology becomes even more advanced and widely adopted.

AI is an incredibly interesting topic for someone like myself. My interests lie at the intersection of technology, design, and marketing, all of which are closely tied to AI. In the spring of 2018, I chose to write my honors thesis about this very topic as a way of exploring this interest.

I found myself going down rabbit holes of research as I engrossed myself in the writing process. By the end, the final product was a direct embodiment of drilling down into my curiosity: a 132-page thesis covering everything from AI-related terminology to my perspective on how AI may impact marketing in the big picture.

Now, as an independent design and marketing consultant, I work closely with brands that are using AI to help them get the most out of the technology. Making complex ideas more consumable, helping brands align themselves with their ideal customers, and building better human experiences are just some of the ways I do that.

Thesis Preview

Artificial intelligence is a burgeoning technology, industry, and field of study. While interest levels regarding its applications in marketing have not yet translated into widespread adoption, AI holds tremendous potential for vastly altering how marketing is done. As such, AI in marketing is a crucial topic to research.

By analyzing the current applications of artificial intelligence, its potential use cases in the near future, how to implement it and its areas for improvement, we can achieve a high-level understanding of AI’s long-term implications in marketing.

AI offers an improvement to current marketing tactics, as well as entirely new ways of creating and distributing value to customers. For example, programmatic advertising and social media marketing can allow for a more comprehensive view of customer behavior, predictive analytics, and deeper insights through integration with AI. New marketing tools like biometrics, voice, and conversational user interfaces offer novel ways to add value for brands and consumers alike. These innovations all carry similar characteristics of hyper-personalization, efficient spending, scalable experiences, and deep insights.

There are also important issues that need to be addressed before AI is extensively implemented, including the potential for it to be used maliciously, its effects on job displacement, and the technology itself. The recent progress of AI in marketing is indicative that it will be adopted by a majority of companies soon. The long-term implications of vast implementation are crucial to consider, as an AI-powered industry entails fundamental changes to the skill-sets required to thrive, the way marketers and brands work, and consumer expectations.

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