Pawan Deshpande

How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect Content Marketing

By: Pawan Deshpande | March 15, 2017 | 
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How Artificial Intelligence Will Impact Content MarketingMachine learning, natural language processing, big data, chatbots.

There are a lot of buzzwords thrown around when it comes to artificial intelligence, but not a lot of knowledge about what they are.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

One way of thinking about artificial intelligence is to define it simply as algorithms we don’t quite understand yet.

For example, 20 years ago finding point-to-point directions in something such as Google Maps would have been considered artificial intelligence.

These days, pathfinding algorithms are a part of core curriculum for most computer science undergraduates.

As algorithms advance, it’s no longer seen that way.

Some examples of artificial intelligence today include:

  • Google Translate, an application where you can plug in text in one language and get the text in another language which uses Natural Language Processing
  • Self-driving cars, which use Machine Vision
  • The software behind deciding whether someone should get a credit card
  • Siri, Echo, Google Assistant, and Cortana use automated speech recognition, natural language understanding, informational retrieval, and natural language generation all together.

What’s the Use Case for Artificial Intelligence in Marketing?

One example of AI in marketing is the technology Wordsmith.

Wordsmith uses natural language processing to create news articles.

Many low-level sports and financial articles are written by this or similar software today.

WordSmith isn’t true AI however, because it’s not intelligent.

Rather it uses pre-specified templates; regardless it’s a pretty nifty idea.

In marketing, AI is used in the following ways:

  • Automated content creation: Artificial intelligence examines the search history of customers and prospects to automatically generate a newsletter email based on that history.
  • Lead scoring: Before artificial intelligence, marketers would assign points for lead scoring based on intuition. Today , machines can learn what lead scoring attributions should look like to most accurately reflect a qualified lead by its score.
  • Chatbots: AI-driven chatbots are increasingly helping to give customers and prospects customized advice.

Current Content Marketing Challenges 

Everyone Wants to Be Different and Everyone Wants to Be Better

Marketing is a field where everyone is always trying to “one up” one another.

If a competitor is doing a marketing strategy, other marketers want to do something different and better.

As a result, standardization is a bad thing.

When it comes to artificial intelligence, standardization helps solve a problem over and over.

For instance, with Uber, everyone wants to get from point A to point B.

Uber is looking to make that same model better and better.

The challenge with marketing is rather than standardize, everyone wants to solve a problem in a different way, or solve a different problem.

As artificial intelligence is more widely adopted, this hurdle will become obsolete.

Baseline models will provide value on day one without customization.

Over time, artificial intelligence software will learn and become more specific to your needs.

Pandora is already doing this with music.

If you create a jazz station, Pandora already knows what jazz is and will deliver roughly what you want.

If there’s a certain type of jazz you like, over time, Pandora customizes your jazz station based on which songs you give the thumbs up or down to.

Data Management

Another challenge in marketing is to be better at collecting and storing data to make it more useable.

Applications that can leverage data better are still being created.

Companies today already have plenty of internal data.

Smart marketers will focus on capturing this data, organizing it, and combining it with external data so that as advanced AI technology comes to market, they can leverage it effectively.

Even More Ways to Use Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

Artificial intelligence is already automating content creation from personalized newsletter emails to writing basic sports and financial stories.

It’s also automating lead scoring, powering chatbots, and tracking content performance from the top of the funnel through to the amount of revenue generated by a single blog post.

Further automation and personalization advantages from artificial intelligence in marketing advances are imminent in 2017.

About Pawan Deshpande


Pawan Deshpande is the founder and CEO of Curata, a Boston-based company offering content marketing software used by thousands of marketers around the world. He spearheaded the first-ever panel at SxSW on Content Marketing in 2011, and was a 2014 Finalist for MarketingProfs B2B Marketer of the Year. Pawan was an engineer at Microsoft and Google where he was awarded patents in social networking and machine learning. He previously attended MIT where his graduate thesis won top departmental and international awards. Pawan is also a blogger for The Huffington Post, the Content Marketing Institute, CMO.com, Forbes, MarketingProfs, and other technology and marketing publications.

  • Good explanation here. I think this is both an exciting and a scary topic for most….and normally when something is exciting and scary it means you need to dig in as much as possible to learn and prepare. Excited to see what the next five years brings on this front.

    • Thank Hollywood for making it scary! I was surprised in the recent #ContentChat how much of marketer’s perceptions of AI is shaped by movies — and usually ones that show AI gone wrong.

      It is reminiscent of how people were freaked out by operator-less elevators, and now it’s no big deal. Exciting and scary!

  • I’m looking forward to seeing AI integrated into affordable analytics tools to help us make smarter content decisions. Great intro to the topic here, Pawan! Thanks again for leading the conversation on this topic with the #ContentChat community this week.

  • Great article, Pawan! I cannot wait for AI to makes us smarter, to shift our focus from small tasks to the ones that can help us make a difference.

    Anything that is new is received with reluctance, even with resistance. Our history is proof of that.

    The next years will be for sure exciting.

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