Two different opinions exist about artificial intelligence (AI) and marketing. Some feel the future of AI will eventually eliminate marketing jobs, while others think there is still a definite need for the human element of marketing campaigns. It’s best to see how AI has helped thus far and decipher why the human component will always matter – despite the rapid advances in AI tech.
How AI Has Helped Us Evolve
Speeding up the way data is collected, analyzed, and categorized. No longer do marketers have to spend countless hours pouring over data, determining how customers behave in certain situations and then wondering if they did the math correctly. AI has helped dramatically speed up this process. AI tools can analyze hundreds of various data points to create the biggest bang-for-the-buck for customers. Humans could do this, too. It just takes much longer.
Supporting content creation activities. AI tools are not ready to create content on their own, but machines are now being used to help source relevant photos to tie in with editorial content, create more personalized web experiences, and minimize the time it takes to create, publish, and manage high-quality content. Content creation on its own must still be managed by a living, breathing individual. The future of AI can help boost customer engagement with the site’s high-quality content by personalizing text and images to the visitor.
Allowing more autonomous media buying. A 2017 eMarketer study showed more than 40% of digital ad revenues funneled through Google, with 19.7% tied to Facebook ads. This keeps advertisers largely tied to these two channels. Yet the remaining opportunities to get in front of customers go virtually untapped. AI bots and AI marketing can help advertisers unlock additional channels without having to do much of the “human” work – i.e., research, data analytics.
Implementing AI into your marketing strategy will help. After all, the technology (in its various iterations) has shown to boost conversion rates, improve the customer experience, bolster the brand, and increase customer loyalty and lifetime value.
Why the Human Element Is Necessary
Customers don’t always want to use an AI-style interface. And let’s face it, you can tell when you’re chatting with a robot. Generationally, clients in certain age brackets want to talk to a person, and there is nothing more frustrating than dealing with a machine that can’t detect the nuances in a customer’s voice. From a marketing standpoint, make a customer uncomfortable and you’ll lose them.
Humans can make decisions in different ways. Though we’ll possibly get there someday, today’s readily-accessible AI marketing systems and support tools can’t behave as imaginatively or creatively as a human. AI doesn’t change its mind like a human can when faced with a less-than-obvious reaction from a client. Sure, AI bots can create reflexive plans when they receive data input on numerous monitoring points, but as of today, it can’t match the awareness of a human.
Quality content requires human intervention. AI must be used thoughtfully and implementing it to somehow supplant the human workforce is a recipe for disaster. Take content creation, for example. Marketers have tried using AI programs to create content – and it sounded about as compelling as what you’d expect a robot-sourced dissertation to sound like. Humans create content for humans to read, and this will likely not change for a long time.
Artificial Intelligence and the future of AI is an important tool to integrate into any marketing program, but it is just that – a tool to be used by the creative and insightful team of humans who are really pulling the strings. AI shouldn’t be on the forefront of your marketing plan because it is new, fresh and exciting. Rather, determine if and how AI can be a tool to help boost efficiencies and convert more prospects into customers.