Artificial intelligence and machine learning are an increasingly integral part of many industries, including marketing.

But while we often talk about using or incorporating AI in marketing, what do we really mean by that? What does it look like in practice?

Here are 15 examples of AI and machine learning in action in the marketing industry (P.S. remember to check out Econsultancy's Marketer's Guide to Machine Learning and AI).

1. Product/content recommendations

The practice of clustering customer behaviours to predict future behaviours began way back in 1998, with a report on ‘digital bookshelves’ by Jussi Karlgren, a Swedish computational linguist at Columbia University. In the same year, Amazon began using “collaborative filtering” to enable recommendations for millions of customers.

Fast forward to 2019, and some of the most successful digital companies have built their product offerings around the ability to provide highly relevant and personalised product or content recommendations – including Amazon, Netflix and Spotify. As Lori Goldberg wrote in a brief history of artificial intelligence in advertising for Econsultancy, “This all comes from AI-based clustering and interpreting of consumer data paired with profile information and demographics. These AI-based systems continually adapt to your likes and dislikes and react with new recommendations tailored in real-time.”

Other major brands are now following suit with their own AI-powered recommendations. For example, Sky has implemented a machine learning model that is designed to recommend content according to the viewer’s mood. As customers become used to the level of personalised recommendations provided by services like Netflix and Spotify, they look for other brands to provide the same experience.

Publishers are also implementing AI-powered content recommendation widgets that can identify related content to surface to readers, and even personalise those recommendations based on readers’ browsing habits. We recently introduced a feature like this on Econsultancy: our ‘Recommended’ sidebar is powered by a tool called IDIO, which learns our readers’ interests as they browse and uses this to suggest articles that they might be interested in reading.

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