AI in Marketing

Over the past several months, AI (artificial intelligence) has been in the news constantly. The potential negative outcomes from future ubiquitous AI has been sensationalized by the media and experts in the field who have been warning us about dire consequences ranging from “it will take over our jobs” to “it will take over the world and eliminate humanity all together”, and everything in between.

AI artificial intelligence in marketing

Without getting into the philosophical implications of AI’s potential domination of every aspect of our lives in the future, I wanted to share with you what AI means for marketing currently and in the very near future. The truth of the matter is that artificial intelligence is already being used, in certain forms, all around us and there are different levels of AI utilization and sophistication.

First, let’s look at the definition of AI. According to Wikipedia, ”artificial intelligence is intelligence—perceiving, synthesizing, and inferring information—demonstrated by machines, as opposed to intelligence displayed by humans or by other animals”. IBM defines it as “a field, which combines computer science and robust datasets, to enable problem solving. It also encompasses subfields of machine learning and deep learning, which are frequently mentioned in conjunction with artificial intelligence. These disciplines are comprised of AI algorithms which seek to create expert systems which make predictions or classifications based on input data.”

The marketing discipline is comprised of three main activities: (1) data analysis; (2) creative pursuit; and (3) implementation. In fact, those three are codependent and are performed as a cycle, as opposed to linearly. Based on data analysis, marketers decide what marketing strategy and tactics to implement, and the market’s reaction is then analyzed to determine future marketing efforts to implement… over and over again.

AI is very efficient in pulling large amounts of data from disparate sources and analyzing it — Something that most humans do not enjoy, especially if they have to do it repeatedly. Humans are also prone to making errors in their data collection and analysis, while computers are not.

In the field of marketing, utilizing AI, as it exists right now, could positively impact both companies and customers. Here are a few very real examples:

  • Chatbots can usually effectively answer customer questions fast and accurately. This is true not only with regard to repetitive questions, but also by providing customer-specific answers based on information retrieved at a lightning speed based on data the organization keeps.
  • Defining the most suitable target markets and segments can be done more accurately with AI. Additionally, finding and identifying potential customers with the ideal customer profile (ICP) is hard and tedious – AI can do this all more accurately and effectively.
  • Products and services can be better designed with the right features and offerings aided by AI’s analysis of customer feedback, past purchases, and general customer behavior related to the company’s activities and the world at large. Furthermore, AI can make custom offerings to customers (when possible) based on analysis of the above-mentioned data.
AI chat bots
  • Customers’ acceptance, purchase patterns, and other behaviors are extremely hard to predict due to the potentially large number of variables that influence behaviors (think of product price, products features, and also weather, economy, political environment, and many more). AI is often more accurate than humans in taking into account all of the variables needed to make predictions, and it learns to improve its decisions over time.
  • AI can better predict and plan inventory levels needed for any given time, based on historical data and accurate predictions of customer behavior.
As you can see, not everything related to AI is scary or bad. The examples above are real life, current illustrations of how marketers benefit from AI. These examples improve customer experiences, reduce costs, and save other resources for companies, all the while enabling marketing professionals to make better critical decisions based on AIs recommendations.


Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer

Don’t Forget Who Your Target Market Is!

Please note: Fractional CMO & Marketing does not take a side in such matters. We are purely interested in the impact different actions that businesses take can have on the marketing function overall.

As our team of marketing professionals has combined experience of well over six decades, we’ve seen a lot. We thought that writing about this would be “stating the obvious”. However, after reading news headlines over the past several weeks in which company after company seems to ‘step in it’, we are now thinking it may not be so obvious.

We believe it’s important for companies to be involved in causes that are important to them. In fact, when we take on a new client, we encourage their management to develop a relationship with a charity that resonates with them (if they don’t have one already). It’s a wonderful thing for companies to want to further social causes. Some believe that large corporations with substantial financial means have the moral obligation to exercise good corporate citizenship by supporting causes for the greater good.

target market

Despite their good intentions, sometimes, as companies attempt to fulfill what they perceive to be their societal duty, they ‘leap before they look’.

What do we mean by that? To put it bluntly, it’s foolish for companies to ignore the demographic, socioeconomic, and psychographic realities of their target customers when making marketing decisions. If a business wants to participate in social causes that may be seen as controversial by the market they serve and their owners (shareholders), they should consider the possible consequences such as lost sales, shrinking market share, and upsetting shareholders.

What Is Fractional CMO & Marketing?

Fractional CMO & Marketing is ‘Your Outsourced Marketing Department’ when you need expert marketing leadership and marketing services to accelerate growth and improve profitability, but you’re not quite ready to hire a full-time Chief Marketing Officer or your own marketing department.

Our unique arrangement is the most efficient, innovative, and cost-effective formula for you. Click on the image to the left to watch a short video.

We Help When You Need To:

  • Generate more of the right kind of leads
  • Close more sales faster
  • Get repeat sales
  • Formulate a more effective message
  • Produce powerful sales tools

  • Establish brand awareness, recognition, and preference
  • Differentiate your brand from the competition
  • Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Develop lasting relationships with customers
  • Introduce new products

Marketing Lingo: BudLighting (Bud-Lighting)

A very new term in marketing, “BudLighting” or “BudLighted” (as in “ABC Company really BudLighted that one!”) refers to a company launching an initiative, campaign, or product with subject matter that is mostly seen as controversial or unwelcomed by their target market and/or largest segment responsible for the majority of product sales.

Please note: Fractional CMO & Marketing does not take a side in such matters. We are purely interested in the impact different actions that businesses take can have on the marketing function overall.

* ‘Marketing Lingo’ is a regular column in which we define, or otherwise explain, terms often used in marketing but not necessarily correctly or properly by some. You may see a glossary of marketing terms’ definitions here.

market planning

Disney Star Wars Hotel Is An Epic Failure Because….

There’s no doubt that visiting a Disney property costs plenty of greenbacks. Whether you want to visit Disney World or Disneyland, you are probably prepared for a major monetary hit. Unfortunately for the Disney corporation, most were not ready to spend $3,000 a night for a hotel room at the Galactic Cruiser hotel. And from that, it makes sense to conclude that $20,000 for a suite would be absolutely unreasonable too! This is another example of the importance of being knowledgeable about your target audience and existing customers.

Disney Galactic Cruiser Hotel

Price wasn’t the only issue Disney fans brought up regarding the Star Wars themed hotel. The property doesn’t offer any outdoor views from the rooms. Florida offers gorgeous landscape, and this lodging option not only robbed visitors of the state’s beauty, but also created claustrophobia in many who chose this hotel for their Disney vacation. Even the interactive – often described as “participation is made to feel obligatory” – cosplay presentations during meals and the attention put toward the property looking like a spaceship couldn’t overcome the hefty cost and trapped-in feeling Star Wars fans felt while staying at this property.

Star Wars Galactic Cruiser started welcoming guests in March 2022, and the doors will close a few days before the end of September 2023. The themed hotel has only 100 rooms, and Disney has struggled since opening to fill even that modest number.

Even die-hard fans of the Disney corporation are sounding off on this egregious misstep. “This is actually hilarious. They were adamant about having the Star Wars brand as the reason people spent thousands a night for the hotel, yet it has backfired tremendously,” opined a Reddit user.

Upon the hotel’s opening, critics were able to tell the future, pointing out the crazy cost of rooms, claustrophobic rooms, questionable food choices, and weird add-ons (like photo sessions). Even the outside of the hotel was off putting. “It looks like an actual maximum security prison from the exterior. What a waste of money for everyone,” a Disney fan commented.

Star Wars Galactic Cruiser Hotel at Disney

Disney marketed an immersive encounter, allowing hotel guests to mingle with characters, but those who tried the experience were not impressed with their stay, especially when considering the exorbitant price tag. A Reddit user shared the following: “Hmmmm…so you mean to tell me that Disney opened a crappy, cinder-block hotel filled with bad cosplay, cheap sets, silly acting theatre, basic arcade games, cell-like beds, and bland space windows, charged $5,000+ for a two-night stay…and somehow, this did not attract the average person into purchasing said experience enough to keep it afloat?”

Ouch! Another Reddit user shared “It was essentially a $5000 escape room with Star Wars sprinkled in. And they damn near force you to participate in the ‘story,’” echoed another user.

Disney has had so many successes, but it’s pretty clear that the Star Wars Galactic Cruiser hotel is not among them.

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