Is AI the next big thing in marketing?

The age of a technological revolution

Pete Campbell, from left, Don Draper and Roger Sterling are shown during a scene in popular TV series, “Mad Men”. (MCT) Image Source: Flickr

Marketing has evolved a lot since the days of Mad Men and AI technology (once thought of only as a distant Sci-Fi dream) is now gaining traction as the next big thing in business.

This should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention. The robots are already here and have already made a huge impact on the marketing landscape. Take Amazon for example, who have used AI to produce tailored results to their customers based on their previous searches. Experts are predicting that this technology is only going to become more sophisticated as time goes on – but will the human marketer then become obsolete?

In the modern age of digital technologies – there has already been a huge shift in the power relationship between marketers and consumers. Consumer empowerment theory, highlights the different dimensions of this shift including, participation, aggregation and self-liberation. Essentially, consumers have never had more control over their relationship with brands – they are now able to participate in the creation of content, have the ability to join with others online over a particular issue and individuals can build social capital and influence others. Modern day marketers arguably have to work a lot harder to meet the demands of this modern-day, digitalised, 24-hour marketplace.

Supporters of AI have argued that the complexity of modern day marketing will become more simplified thanks to AI’s ability to analyses big data, produce complex algorithms and predict consumer trends. Arguably one of the great advantages is AI’s ability to augment human abilities in order to meet the demands of empowered consumers. For example, it has the potential to write tailored content for tens of thousands of items – using appropriate tone and pitch that will appeal to everyone based on their psychological profile. It is clear that there are real benefits of AI that coincide with the demands of empowered consumers.

However, at the same time can it really replace human ingenuity and creativity?

One thing that AI currently can’t do is come up with extremely innovative ideas, or judge what random possibilities are worth looking into. With regards to empowered consumers looking for a positive brand experience – it is essential that humans are still there at least in a creative sense. There is also the loss of the human touch – consumers looking for an experience with brands may feel alienated by AI. It is therefore paramount that businesses seek a balance between AI and the humans.

Arguably, AI is here to stay. The sooner that marketing communications efforts come to terms with this new technology – the greater the opportunities for business. According to a June 2016 report from Forrester, AI, machine learning, robots and automation will see a loss of office and administrative support staff. However, new jobs, such as content curators, data scientists and robot monitoring professionals, will be created.

From here it can be seen that some routine reporting and analysis will undoubtedly fall to the domain of AI but human ingenuity and creativity is something that doesn’t look to be going anywhere – anytime soon!

What are your views on Artificial Intelligence? Do you think human marketers will be replaced?

Please comment below and share your thoughts!



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