Why Being Artificial And Intelligent Will Give School Marketers An Advantage

When artificial intelligence (AI) gets mentioned, it conjures up images of the 2001 movie directed by Steven Spielberg and starred in by Haley Joel Osment.

Where a robotic boy is programmed to love; embarks on a journey of discovery and uncovers a world in which the line between human, robot and machine is both vast and yet profoundly thin.

Whilst undoubtedly a thought provoking story, perhaps even a warning for the future, such depictions of AI distract from the important role it can now play in digital marketing, so imagine instead a set of digital marketing tools that could predict the future.

Perhaps you would choose to tailor your advertising on an individual basis, so that you were appealing directly to each parent. Perhaps you'd choose to provide each parent or students, with their own set of resources based specifically on what they happen to be looking for. Perhaps you would choose to send someone interested in bursaries, information about them before they even ask; or already know that their child is a sports fanatic, a talented musician or thespian in the making. How also would that change the first admissions call between the parent and the school, if all of this were known beforehand?

It is in all these things that artificial intelligence can be most effective for digital marketers, but to leverage AI effectively, it is first important to understand the different constructs of it.

Artificial Intelligence - This is when a machine replicates intelligent behaviour, for things like problem solving. It could be a very simple algorithm, like if the user clicks on button A, do this, or if not (or else in algorithmic terms), do this instead. Therefore, practically any provider can say their platform uses AI and they'd be right.

Machine Learning - Builds on artificial intelligence, but actually learns from the data. These algorithms analyse the data, learn from it, sometimes alter as a result and provide insight from it. The more data they are exposed to, the better they become. For example, tagging people in a photo automatically on social media through facial recognition.

Deep Learning - Builds on machine learning and focuses on the identification and classification of patterns, in a way that mimics the brain. Perhaps the best-known application of this is the emergence of self-driving cars.

Natural Language Processing - Looks at the interactions between computers and human language, and in particular the writing of algorithms that allow computers to process and analyse large amounts of natural language data. Think Amazon Alexa or Apple's Siri.

At Ubiq, the AMAIS™ platform utilises all of these cutting edge approaches, in the context of achieving three things for the schools that we work with:

  1. Greater Efficiency - By having AI perform the monotonous repeat tasks that can be so time consuming, and such a drain on time and resources for small marketing teams.
  2. Smarter Automation - By having AI help deliver the right content, at the right time, through the right channel and crucially at the right pace.
  3. Greater Engagement - By having AI map and deliver relevant digital experiences that learn from historical data and real-time behaviour.

Let me give you just one example (one of the less cool/more boring use cases we don't mind our competitors knowing about and trying to figure out).

Your school gets a right of access request under GDPR for the use of any personal data relating to their child.

Are you using or have you used any photos of their child on the school website - especially if they've been there for many years? How can you tell without going through the website? What about your offline marketing? With some very clever people, writing some even smarter AI algorithms - there is thankfully an immediate answer to all of these questions - delivered not through the creaky content management systems of old (see our previous blog article - Ding Dong, the CMS is Dead), but through AMAIS™, the first digital experience content ecosystem (DECE) of its kind.

If you would like to know more about the way in which Ubiq is using AI within the AMAIS™ platform, or how this approach to technology is re-shaping the way in which schools are thinking about their school website then please get in touch.

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