While the wunderkinds in artificial intelligence (AI) labs have been tantalizing us for years with talk of AI products for business, the first money-in-the-bank applications are starting to emerge—especially when it comes to email marketing. Essentially, email marketing appears destined to be infused with AI tools forevermore. And if the promises hold up, the marketer’s job of successfully targeting and closing on prime prospects is going to get a lot easier.
In a move to stop the online ad market from imploding, Google will roll out its own ad blocker in early 2018, designed to neutralize annoying, intrusive advertising on the web. The new Google strategy will significantly impact any business that advertises on an internet website. In a phrase: Unless you play nice with your web advertising, Google is going to shut you down in 2018.
Content marketing—the use of intrinsically valuable articles, videos images and more as a way to market a company’s products and services—is still one of the most popular forms of advertising for 2017, according to a survey of 500 top advertisers titled “The State of Digital Advertising 2017” (www.clickz.com/reports/the-state-of-digital-advertising-2017).
With more than a billion users on YouTube now (according to the company’s statistic page at www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html), upping your game on video marketing has never been more important.
Given that 61% of businesses reported that they’d been hit by ransomware in 2016 (https://cyber-edge.com/cdr), getting your act together on a backup plan for your systems and data has never been more imperative.
While ransomware has long been epidemic, the latest figures are positively chilling, with 61% of businesses surveyed last year saying they had been hit by ransomware, according to a study by CyberEdge Group (www.cyber-edge.com/cdr).
While it’ll be awhile before we can all have an IBM Watson supercomputer sitting atop our desktops, there are a number of artificial intelligence (AI) business tools you can use right now that will help you run smarter, faster and ahead of the competition. Essentially, these next-generation wonders tap into artificial intelligence’s ability to do a lot of the thinking and strategizing for you.
While any sort of website identity theft is alarming, the version that results in a hacker taking command and control of your website—and ultimately of your business dealings—is especially brutal. Under that scenario, hackers find a way to break into your website and then take over all of the interfaces your business uses to operate that website.
While chatbots—computer programs that conduct conversations via audio or text—have captured the imaginations of businesses hungry to automate conversations on the web, it will still be a while before any “digital friend” inside your computer can truly mimic human conversation. Even so, businesses which ignore chatbots do so at their peril, given that there is a great deal of money betting chatbots will emerge, sooner or later, as conversational charmers.
While many businesses are guilty of chasing the latest digital marketing craze, good old email marketing is still the killer app to beat when it comes to return on investment (ROI) for businesses. Indeed, a 2016 study released by marketing consulting firm Clutch found that email marketing still has the highest ROI of any marketing channel (https://clutch.co/marketing/email#survey).