February 22, 2018

The Real World of Artificial Intelligence: Leveraging the Health Care Marketing Trend

I must confess, my original interest in the current artificial intelligence trend was influenced by my love of the science fiction of my youth, especially the Terminator movies. Who can forget SKYNET, the AI that wanted to replace human beings and change the world.

Well, today’s artificial intelligence is nothing like that, right? Hmmm…I’m not so sure.

AI has certainly become one of the hottest buzzwords. But after studying this trend, I’m beginning to think of it as more of a “buzz saw.”

Like the Terminator, it is quickly ripping through preconceptions about what is possible. Effortlessly moving things of great weight. Seeing things we humans cannot see. And like SKYNET, it is ready to take over.

However, unlike in Terminator, this is a good thing.


Knowledge is power…for you and “the machines”

Over the last decade or so, the term “Big Data” has been used to reference the sheer volume of relevant data developed from a variety of sources. Health care marketers are expected to use the large quantity of information to make data driven decisions and leverage previously unseen patterns to gain important insights to build their brands and drive revenue.

The problem for most marketers is big data is really big. The volume is so large, a gap has formed between the near unlimited amount of data available and our own capacity as human beings to process and leverage that much data.

This is where AI comes in and takes over.

Instead of going into how AI works with its advanced algorithms and machine learning, let’s go straight to the benefit. AI makes sense of big data and translates its learnings into insights that both you, and it, can act on. As it gets smarter, you get smarter. And your brand gets stronger.


The Innovators

The big three tech giants are the ones advancing the AI trend, and we need to pay close attention to them. Amazon recently announced new AI for its web services products available to most companies. Google is currently pouring over large amounts of data with hospitals to determine if they can predict when people get sick. And Apple is teaming up with Stanford University to use algorithms generated from its new Watch to predict heart problems.

The retail industry is also on the forefront the AI revolution. In a recent UK study, high end fashion retailers use facial recognition when repeat customers walk in the door, and instantly send discount offers or personalized welcome messages. Can you imagine a pharmacy brand doing something similar? Of course.


AI for Your Brand. Right Now.

You don’t have to be a tech giant or state-of-the-art retailer to leverage the artificial intelligence trend. It’s available to your health brand today.

One of the most common and accessible uses of AI right now is with programmatic media buying and digital advertising optimization. It’s like rapid prototyping your entire campaign.

Layering real-time bidding across multiple channels results in the best media placements at the best prices. Tracking real-time behaviors optimizes the campaign to specific audiences most likely to convert. The result? Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.

When done well, the result to the targeted audience can be a seamless, relevant brand experience. Imagine the value when applied to the customer journey map.


A Growing Trend

Like all advanced technologies, AI will soon be everywhere, more affordable and easier to use.  Until then, health care marketers who seize this trend first will command a unique and powerful competitive advantage.

While researching this article, I was amazed at the sheer number of AI related solutions now on the market. See Capterra’s list of new AI software, all 91 products.

If you haven’t already, be sure to download Franklin Street’s full 2018 Trends Report where you’ll find information across 5 trends that will impact health care marketing this year. Be sure to check out the accompany health care trend blogs: Design Thinking, Culture Wars, The Decline of Institutional Trust, When It Comes to Health Brands, Simple is Survival.