There has been plenty of speculation about the effect that AI will have on job loss – or job creation, with convincing arguments for both sides… However, it seems clear that AI is nowhere close to penning poetry, or even a convincing marketing email due to the difficulties that AI has in quality control – for example its inability to correctly take context, language and cultural differences into consideration.
Rather than AI taking over jobs, it looks more likely that AI will create more sophistication within a job. AI’s chief benefit to the marketer is the machine learning that provides relentless feedback, which is essential in the pursuit of incremental improvement. An algorithm can perform many tasks through its machine learning, such as determining optimum product pricing, optimising cost per acquisition in advertising (and targeting a user who is most likely to click) as well as forecasting sales or aiding segmentation.
Another natural fit for AI within the marketing world is in conversion rate optimisation (CRO). The results of A/B testing or multivariate testing can often be confusing, so it would be beneficial and more efficient to use a tool that could adjust your website based on the results without your input.
Sentient Technologies launched a product that will do just that – available as of late 2016, Sentient Ascend is a SaaS-based CRO solution that uses AI. Sentient Technologies explains that the product, “mimics biological evolution, enabling it to quickly learn, adapt and react to determine the best performing design from the building blocks you provide.”
Underwear brand, Cosabella, used Sentient Ascend to test 15 different changes to their homepage header, category page, product page and cart layout. The colours, headlines, layout and button placement was tested, and in around a month, Cosabella had implemented design changes that generated 35% mroe conversions than the control.
It is interesting to note that should Cosabella have used multivariate testing for this number of changes it would have required 160 tests and a great deal more traffic, and therefore time. Cosabella’s impressive results with the SaaS solution may seem to suggest that data scientists will no longer be necessary, however, it is more likely that their role will move towards highlighting the areas that the technology can improve upon.
Personalised websites and web communications which change the content depending on nationality, landing page, search terms etc., also increase the possibilities for CRO, and is an area in which a data scientist – with experience in analytics and conversion – will be invaluable in leading the way.