Understanding the Role of Machine Learning

Understanding the Role of Machine LearningWhat is machine learning?

Machine learning, a core aspect of what's currently defined as artificial intelligence, is becoming increasingly prevalent as personalization becomes important and customers want to see brands that understand their needs. Even Google has begun to use machine learning, as evidenced by the introduction of RankBrain in 2015 (link to project page on RankBrain).

Machine learning empowers algorithms to learn. It can watch how people respond to websites and different types of content to best predict what will lead people closer to conversion.

It is likely that machine learning will become even more significant in the near future. By 2020 the digital universe will expand from 130 exabytes to 40,000 exabytes. This is significantly more than the human brain can handle. Machine learning will make it easier for brands to interpret all of this information so that it can be used to improve the user experience online.

Will machines replace humans in marketing?

When people think of machine learning, they often begin to wonder about the possibility of humans being replaced by machines, but this is rather unlikely. Although artificial intelligence can be fantastic for finding patterns and learning what content to display to users, they will not be able to be creative. AI cannot create unique content that triggers emotions or understand which images will best convey certain feelings. Humans will instead rely on machines to provide the analysis of content while humans can take care of the creative efforts.

How will machine learning work with humans for optimal marketing?

  • Machine learning will offer key insights into optimization, helping brands understand what people want to read.
  • Humans will be in charge of creating high-quality content that speaks to the needs of the customers, as detailed by the machine learning or AI platform.
  • Machine learning will analyze customer behavior on websites to better understand how people progress through the buyer’s journey.
  • Machine learning will take the content created by people and develop a more personalized experience.

One of the major ways that machine learning will be integrated into human-mediated marketing is in the concept of the Smart Content framework. In this framework SEO and content marketing are converged, and machine learning is woven into discovery, optimization, and measurement phases of content development to help marketers' campaigns keep parity with ever-changing search algorithims--which themselves are becoming increasingly managed through machine learning. BrightEdge defines Smart Content as:

  1. TARGETED to exactly what customers want and need when they need it
  2. OPTIMIZED to make the content more visible and discoverable
  3. ALWAYS ON and technically up-to-date
  4. INTEGRATED, activated across devices and the entire marketing stack for maximum impact
  5. PROFITABLE for marketers because the content delights and engages readers on topics they have intent for and primes them for conversion

Machine learning will be an important part of marketing in the future, as it will help brands better understand customer behavior and what people want to see online. Humans will always be in charge of the creative process, but this type of learning will make it easier to create a superior user experience.

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