Transformational approaches to digital marketing in 2020

Multi-colored pixels are coming together to form the silhouette of a person

Over the last several decades, the revolutionary potential of artificial intelligence has been discussed and theorized in ways that impact virtually all aspects of our daily lives, including business and marketing. Given that it’s commonly treated in the media as a "silver bullet" that can overcome almost any problem faced by individuals or organizations, it’s easy to disregard the info about artificial intelligence marketing as hype, but in 2020, that would be a big mistake.

The simple truth is that the technology necessary to make AI useful and, in many ways, better at certain marketing tactics than humans, has finally arrived. One study1 has found that AI marketing can be adopted in many forms, or combination of forms, including:

  • Pattern classification
  • Forecasting and market analysis
  • Artificial Neural Networks and the Structure of Marketing Decision
  • AI and automation efficiency
    • Marketing and distribution automation
    • AI analysis of social networks and social computing
    • Data mining
    • Programmatic marketing platforms
  • Sales and customer service
    • AI Marketing solutions
    • Virtual customer service
    • Automated campaigns
    • AI as virtual assistants

The bottom line is that organizations who implement AI in their marketing strategy will achieve a greater level of efficacy in their strategies, which ultimately results in an improvement in performance and the advancement of a competitive edge.2 High-performing marketing teams are actually twice as likely to use AI in their marketing campaigns than poor performers.3 With these capabilities, we are seeing an influx of new AI-driven solutions, including some major players in AI marketing such as Albert,, Lucy, and Onespot.4

One of the biggest users of advanced AI in marketing is Amazon, which is also one of the largest companies in the world, demonstrating that AI marketing can work even in an incredibly complex and multifaceted marketing landscape. Amazon’s Alexa, which is now present in many homes and businesses, helps drive their targeted marketing strategy by predicting the products and making personalized recommendations. This personalized recommendation feature drives over one-third of their total sales.5

AI marketing is not just for large, international conglomerates. There are many ways in which small and mid-sized businesses can benefit from its implementation and use. Smaller businesses can still develop personalized and targeted campaigns through platforms such as Acquisio that would create and distribute content throughout various channels, including Facebook, Adwords and Bing.6

The business benefits of AI marketing are clear, and for these reasons, it’s crucial to keep an eye on the upcoming trends for 2020.

  • Personalization will dominate the marketing landscape. AI marketing platforms give us the power to track a customer’s journey, understanding their actions and motivations at a deeper level than ever before.7 Today’s market is ultra-competitive, which means that marketers must hit the right person with the right solution at the right time and for the right price. AI marketing gives organizations the tools to do this successfully. This type of precision marketing will become the norm in 2020.
  • AI can help companies create controversy in a way that helps their bottom line. Organizations have long steered clear of sensitive social topics, but this is no longer the case. With the ability of AI to aggregate information about customer beliefs and culture, more companies find themselves wading into controversial waters. Nike’s campaign with Colin Kaepernick resulted in some backlash, but it also resulted in a 31% increase in sales.8 Razor company Gillette also sparked controversy recently.Despite the controversy, this is a clearly a marketing and PR win that will likely translate to greater financial profit for Gillette.
  • Greater focus on trust and transparency. The average consumer today is more skeptical of digital content than ever before. This builds upon a trend that has been strengthening over the decades and now seems to be at a fever pitch, with an emphasis on fake news, and recent privacy and data violations by major companies. Data ethics and data morality will be central to the successful integration and rise of AI in all aspects of business operations. AI and machine learning can assist with the process of helping users to understand how their data is being collected and used,10 which will be central to forging greater customer relations.
  • Real-time data will allow marketers to adjust quickly. One of the greatest powers of AI lies in its ability to ingest and process massive amounts of data quickly. Though some naysayers may think that AI has the ability to replace human marketers, the reality is that it just empowers them to achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively.11 With real-time feedback, marketers can ‘think on their feet’ and select the most effective tactics to further the organizations’ goals
  • AI will drive growth. The cost benefits of AI implementation are too great to ignore. Through automation of simple tasks to high-level market analyses, AI can help the overall process of marketing and business growth every step of the way. Leveraging AI with the data available today allows companies to gain the knowledge that leads to actionable insights that will ultimately improve workflow as well as marketing and sales.

The AI market is booming, and with good reason. The technology is at a point where the ROI is high enough to make it an easy decision. The future of marketing will be data-driven and with AI’s ability to analyze this data in a capacity that humans cannot ever achieve, its importance moving forward cannot be understated.


  1. Chen, T.F., Tan, T., & Ko, C. (2016). Application of artificial intelligence to cross-screen marketing: A case study of AI technology company. Advances in Intelligent Systems Research, 133, 517-519.
  2. Abidemi, B.T., Halim, F.B., & Alshuaibi, A.I. (2017). Marketing capabilities and organizational performance: A proposed model on the moderating effect of technological turbulence. International Journal of Management Research & Review, 7(6), 626-636.
  3. Parry, R. (2017). 10 marketing trends to think about for 2018. Ellevate. Retrieved on January 18, 2019 from
  4. Odden, L. (2019). 54 artificial intelligence powered marketing tools. TopRank Marketing. Retrieved January 18, 2019 from
  5. Peterson, R. (2018). 9 artificial intelligence case studies show companies the money. BarnRaisers. Retrieved January 18, 2019 from
  6. Kiulian, A. (2017). 5 ways small business owners can benefit from artificial intelligence today. Entrepreneur. Retrieved January 18, 2019 from
  7. Mitchell, V. (2018). Predictions: 9 AI trends in marketing for 2019. CMO. Retrieved January 18, 2019 from
  8. Martinez, G. (2018). Despite outrage, Nike sales increased 31% after Kaepernick ad. Time. Retrieved January 18, 2019 from
  9. Kerpen, D. (2019). 3 reasons the new Gillette commercial is an absolute winner. Inc. Retrieved January 18, 2019 from
  10. Mitchell, V. (2018). Predictions: 9 AI trends in marketing for 2019. CMO. Retrieved January 18, 2019 from
  11. Mitchell, V. (2018). Predictions: 9 AI trends in marketing for 2019. CMO. Retrieved January 18, 2019 from

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