The rise of artificial intelligence has long been a popular theme of science fiction – and not because the machines are expected to elevate or save our society.

A supercomputer named Hal turns homicidal in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the machines literally set about to destroy humanity when Skynet becomes self-aware in the Terminator series.

These fantastic imaginings are enough to make you want to turn off your TV and never go near a computer again.

But in reality, the rise of artificial intelligence has only improved our lives – so far, anyway.

For marketers, the rise of artificial intelligence offers exciting new opportunities for the future. Here are just some of the ways that intent based machine learning is already changing the way we approach marketing:

Better Audience Insights

Traditionally, our analytics have shown us what visitors do when they are on our sites only. To get a sense of what audiences do when they are not on our sites, the best options we have had have been cookies.

However, both traditional analytics and cookies are extremely limited. These tools only show us what people do when they are on our sites and what other sites they visit. These tools don’t show us why people do what they do on our sites or what they really need.

Intent-based tools give us a better sense of who are audience members are. These tools tell us what the users want and what they are trying to achieve.

For example, if analytics were to show you that a visitor spent a lot of time looking at your page on bass guitars, you might think that person was shopping for a new bass guitar. But an intent-based tool might reveal that the person was actually looking for a specialty bass guitar or was looking for learning tools or accessories for bass guitars.

Intent-based tools give you more specific insights into your audience profile.

Improved Targeting

With better audience insights, you can tweak your marketing strategy so that you are better able to target the people who really need or want your products or services.

The ideal would be to have content ready for each, individual visitor to your site. Therefore, you would have an article about how to select the right bass guitar for the beginner who is searching for more information, and you would have an article about selecting the best strings for the more advanced player who is looking to get a better sound during practice.

However, even if you don’t have the tools in place to deliver customized content to each visitor, you can at least use the insights to create content that is more appealing to the majority of your audience. You’ll be able to write more specific content that better matches the interests of your audience, provides solutions to their problems, or entertains them in some way.

Better Automation

Intent-based tools can also allow you to automate your content distribution according to the person who is viewing particular posts and pages.

For example, In-tag by CodeFuel is a content recommendation tool that relies on user-intent signals. The advanced algorithm looks at where visitors have been and what they have been doing online to better understand what might have brought them to your site.

In-tag then recommends content specific to that user by automatically placing links to relevant posts and pages in the right spots to be seen. The content recommendation engine puts the right content in front of the right user on the right platform at the right time.

You can use In-tag on your own site to recommend your own content, or you can sign up to have your content distributed on other sites where your audience members may be. You can even use In-tag to promote relevant content from other sites on your site in order to increase your revenue and provide additional value to your readers.

As the technology advances, more intent-based tools will be available that can help you do more with your site. It is important that you stay up-to-date about what tools are available and which are the best. The more tools you are able to use, the better the intelligence you will get and the more results you can get for your site.

Artificial intelligence is only going to get more intelligent, and you can expect it to soon be at the center of online marketing. Eventually, it will be used in email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and more. We are already seeing its influence and use in those spheres.

To be successful, you need to have a forward-leaning marketing strategy and a proactive attitude. While the future may be unpredictable, we do know that the online world changes rapidly, and the only way to stay relevant is to stay flexible.