Making sense of the cybersecurity landscape: is digital marketing to explode or implode based on adopting AI and machine learning?

3 out of 4 C-Suite executives believe that if they don’t scale artificial intelligence in the next five years, they risk going out of business entirely. Artificial intelligence is the future—for legitimate organizations and threat actors alike. In 2023, malicious actors are leveraging attack vehicles that are more sophisticated than ever. For instance, malicious exploitation of vulnerable systems (such as IoT devices, cloud servers, and mobile applications) can be automated via algorithms. For every tool that saves time, boosts revenue, and protects your organization, there is a feature that allows hackers to potentially access your systems.

In particular, digital marketing teams benefit from artificial intelligence. In fact, the “AI for digital marketers” industry is projected to increase to more than $107.5 billion in the next five years. However, without proper attention to cybersecurity practices, many digital marketing teams may engineer their own doom as they race to adopt these tools at an unsustainable pace.

Given the cybersecurity concerns at hand, is digital marketing poised to explode or implode based on the adoption of AI and machine learning?

AI, cybersecurity, and digital marketing

AI and machine learning empowers digital marketing teams in a few ways. Often, teams leverage these tools to accomplish the following:

  • Sales forecasting
  • Digital ad placement
  • Predict media trends
  • Manage customer conversations
  • Generate written, image, and video content
  • Transcribe speech to text
  • Conduct predictive lead generation and personalization

To conduct these tasks, however, AI and machine learning models must be trained. The accuracy of these tasks depends on how well this has been done, which requires massive datasets to do correctly. Once accomplished, these tools can drive programmatic buying, sales propensity models, e-commerce recommendation engines, and more.

Unfortunately, these massive datasets equal an unprecedented attack surface for hackers to use advanced tools to spot and penetrate weaknesses. If digital marketers are to succeed, AI and cybersecurity must combine to prevent hackers from accessing and manipulating this data.

AI for digital marketers is a long-term investment

76% of business executives are struggling to scale AI across their organizations. Complex data sets, technologies, and IAM strategies must be implemented properly for digital marketers to proceed. However, the sheer mass of these assets exposes vulnerabilities if AI and machine learning tools, digital marketing goals, and cybersecurity protocols are not equally weighted. Pairing these elements requires a balance of trust, data security, transparency, and control.

This incremental process is necessary when it comes to reaping the benefits of AI and machine learning for digital marketers, which include:

  • End-to-end efficiency. AI automates repetitive tasks that require time, energy, and brainpower—but no emotional intelligence.
  • Improved accuracy. Human error is responsible for 9 out of 10 data breaches. Automation is a fantastic safeguard for your organization’s cybersecurity.
  • Improved decision-making. Poor decisions often result from poor data. With infinite data available through AI, decision-making becomes easier and more accurate.
  • Intelligent offerings. What do your customers want? AI can predict the market, forecast sales trends, and produce detailed profiles of your target audience.
  • Empowered employees. Employees need access to the right tools to do their jobs. By taking away repetitive tasks that suck up time and energy, they can pour that passion into their careers.
  • Superior customer service. Top-notch customer service is a mix of data and interpersonal strengths. AI can manage the former, and human representatives can deal with the latter.

What steps can I implement toward a robust approach to AI/machine learning in digital marketing?

Start by leveraging AI to process copious amounts of data from various sources quickly. This produces more accurate insights into customer behavior. Now, your digital marketing team can precisely target potential customers and create tailor-made campaigns.

As technology changes and AI capability skyrockets, it is important to monitor changes and make regular tweaks. Make sure you track how search results rank and adjust strategies accordingly.

Remember to quantify your investments, too. Start by measuring ROI with metrics such as:

  • Customer engagement rate
  • Lead conversation rate
  • Cost per acquisition

This highlights areas for improvement, ensures efficient resource utilization, and justifies any investments your department has made in AI.

Without cybersecurity practices to shield all these new developments, your efforts may be wasted. It is critical to invest in cybersecurity training and solutions to offset risks that are inherent to the adoption of new technology. This includes employee training, regular vulnerability scans, intrusion detection systems, and strong authentication protocols.

Prioritize scalable, long-term growth over unsustainable wins

Every one of your competitors is likely leveraging AI, machine learning, and data analytics in their marketing efforts and media platforms. Adapting your strategies to remain competitive is necessary to stay relevant in your industry—and invest in your own organization’s growth journey.

If you enjoyed this article, add a comment below or continue the conversation on LinkedIn. Learn more about what Tina is working on here.

Team Position2

July 14, 2023

By Team Position2