If artificial intelligence (AI) conjures images as fanciful as the Terminator or seems a novelty relegated to the appearances of Watson on Jeopardy and chess competitions, the truth is it is already at your very fingertips. In fact, whether you talk to Siri or Alexa on your device or still spend hours to choose that title on Netflix there is some element of AI involved. The accessibility of AI is not just relegated to every consumer now a marketer of any size can harness its ability.

In layman’s terms AI uses computer systems to learn from data and to perform tasks requiring human intelligence informed by what is learned. For marketers this means AI can distill a signal from all the noise customers create on the internet and when interacting with companies.

The concept of utilizing AI in marketing translates into remarkable solutions. Offers can be dynamic based on an audience. Email campaigns can be implemented in new ways since messages can be tweaked methodically. This means based on good data when and where messages are sent will be tailored to an audience.  AI can now know what is in an image with a high confidence (Clarifai is a fun site to play with). This can help categorize images quickly, which can free up more human time to implement better designs.

The story marketers tell will remain the same, it is just a matter of its delivery that will change with the advent of affordable and scalable AI. How and where messages are shared will be finessed in real-time. At this moment these new technologies cannot be ignored nor should they be adopted at will out of a “shiny-toy” compulsion. Rather, it behooves all marketers to take stock of where their data resides and how best to harness what is at their disposal. Others are already taking that step.