Remember when Google introduced RankBrain and some people thought it was the end of SEO? Not true, but still an interesting question to ponder. How will machine learning truly affect the way we execute digital marketing?
At the core of machine learning is data, plain and simple. The more data you have, the more machines can learn and progress on their own.
Forget About the Future, Machine Learning is Already Here
Among the most advanced in machine learning capabilities is, of course, Google. Think for a second how many data points Google has at its disposal (my guess is it’s more than a googol). Using all of that information to its advantage has already allowed Google to employ machine learning for its platforms:
- Google Search – all organic activity is influenced by machine learning that analyzes data points down to the user who is logged in to Google
- Google Voice Search – this is not necessarily different than search in general, but worth calling out because the intuitive nature of Google voice search is incredible
- Google AdWords – you can set your ads to optimize for ROAS (return on advertising spending) and Google will determine which ads to run, at what time of day, with which keyword triggers and bid amounts to accomplish that
The more Google uses machine learning in its platforms, the more capabilities like these are available for digital marketing. I suspect that Google will eventually be capable of incorporating more channels and applying machine learning to all aspects of your business.
Let’s take a look at another online giant called Amazon. Can you believe that Amazon began as an online bookstore way back when? Literally, you could only buy books … strange times. Because of the exponential growth of the e-commerce platform and the astonishing rate of adoption, Amazon has collected billions and billions of data points about online shopping behavior over the years.
Now Amazon has created a machine learning engine that connects all those data points and provides predictive behavior analytics for its AWS clients. For e-commerce digital marketing, this information can be invaluable when deciding how and when to advertise to your audience.
Think about how much your Facebook feed has changed over the last couple of years…it has become one of the top platforms for people to find new information virtually overnight. Using machine learning technology, social platforms are able to give you the content you didn’t know you wanted.
Tapping into the machine learning on social media is a great way for digital marketers to get in front of the right audience at the right time.
What’s Next for Machine Learning?
Data Integration Platforms
As the number of marketing channels continue to increase, the need for data collection, storage and integration becomes more and more necessary to measure success. At the forefront of those efforts are different types of data integration platforms that are working to connect online & offline marketing data with website and CRM data.
As those platforms increase in volume and data collection, it stands to reason that one day they will begin to apply machine learning that integrates all data across all platforms specifically for your business. Machines will soon be able to provide even greater information to your digital marketing experts or analysts, including exactly what to advertise, and where and whom to direct your efforts to see the greatest return.
We aren’t there yet, but it’s only a matter of time. In the meantime, our digital marketing experts and data analysts are here to help you make the best advertising choices for your brand. Let’s get in touch.
About Nicole Castelblanco
Nicole Castelblanco is Manager, Research & Analytics at Liquid. She leads the department in the planning, implementation and management of online lead generation programs which include paid and organic search, display, social media, email marketing and analytics.