What Savvy Marketers Understand About AI in Marketing
Makers of AI-powered marketing tools claim their offerings will revolutionize the way we approach advertising. The question on many marketers' minds is: 'Will AI replace us?"
Misconceptions about the role of AI in marketing abound, even as AI tools promise to transform the discipline by offering unprecedented insights, automation, and personalization. It's an appealing prospect for marketers tired of drowning in repetitive gruntwork or struggling with effective campaign segmentation. But contrary to all the buzz—and the claims of software makers—AI marketing tools are not a magic solution that will instantly solve an organization's marketing challenges. Below, we explore the capabilities of AI in marketing, debunk common myths about AI, and share insights from marketers already using artificial intelligence in their campaigns.
Artificial Intelligence Won't Fully Automate Marketing
Contrary to popular belief, AI automation will not put marketers out of their jobs. Today's consumer wants a more personalized marketing experience, and artificial intelligence is likely the key to unlocking it at scale. Using AI marketing tools, advertisers can deliver highly individualized brand interactions (i.e., ads, retail experiences, services, etc.) tailored to each and every consumer's individual preferences. Savvy marketers will adopt a hybrid approach to campaign creation, finding novel ways to use this technology in areas like copywriting, design, and more. Rather than supplanting human labor, AI will complement and enhance human ingenuity and creativity.
"After all, AI can fill in where humans fall short," says Anton Giuroiu, founder of Homesthetics. "Therefore, everyone should take advantage of this. Aside from saving you a lot of time, using AI to help you generate content takes into account data from your rivals to ensure that your output does not lag."
The caveat is, of course, that marketers need to be willing to embrace AI marketing tools—learning as much as they can about the utility of different software platforms as quickly as they can.
AI Marketing Tools Aren't a Plug-and-Play Solution
AI is not the quick fix or a magic potion that some people believe it is. Marketing tools powered by artificial intelligence can automate some elements of marketing strategy and execution—copywriting, SEO, email campaign development, etc.—but getting optimal results demands the well-considered and strategic application of complex AI tools.
Artificial intelligence implementation requires determining the ideal approach to framing a challenge and fine-tuning meta-parameters that drive successful outcomes, otherwise known as prompt engineering. Creating effective prompts is much more difficult than people realize. Marketers who work with AI marketing tools will, in fact, be doing work. Maybe not the same work they did before AI marketing tool implementation, but work nonetheless.
There's a Lot You Can't Do with AI Marketing Tools
Despite all the buzz, there's still plenty that artificial intelligence can't do or can't do particularly well. There are many tasks that humans excel at and that machines simply can't replicate. While AI can automate the creation of social media posts, keyword selection for SEO, or the creation of targeted email messaging, it can't replicate the creativity or emotion of a skilled marketing copywriter.
Additionally, some tasks require nuanced judgment, making them difficult for AI tools to handle. For instance, AI tools can identify patterns and make predictions, which allows chatbots to handle simple customer service queries. They can't, however, respond to complicated customer issues that require empathy or nuanced problem-solving skills.
"While AI-generated content saves time and offers convenience for marketers, it’s not ideal for some situations," points out Kyle Dulay, co-founder at Collabstr. "For example, one of the current trends in digital marketing is a short video, and the reason it does so well is that there is a human element to the content. AI-generated content works great for generating ad copy or static social posts at scale, but if we’re talking about current trends like short video, nothing is better than the human touch."
AI Marketing Tools Aren't All The Same
Some AI solutions for marketers do little more than automate routine tasks, e.g., scheduling social media posts or proofreading content. Others offer more advanced capabilities, such as generating content that includes customized product recommendations based on customer browsing history or predicting which users are most likely to convert in a specific marketing campaign.
AI tools geared toward marketers are often specialized. Take Boomerang Respondable, which helps marketers draft impactful email messages that are more likely to convert but can't do much else. Or Persado, an AI platform that analyzes customer data and conducts A/B testing to generate subject lines, headlines, and calls-to-action that resonate better with target audiences. Marketers need to understand what tools can and can't do to use them effectively.
Marketing AI Tools Aren't a Fad or an Unnecessary Expense
Marketing professionals are facing mounting pressure to stay ahead of the curve and drive quantifiable business results. In our data-driven world, the use of AI marketing tools is no longer a luxury but rather a necessity for staying competitive.
Marketing tools with AI built in can help marketers make sense of the vast amounts of data they collect, lthem ietting them identify patterns and make informed targeting and campaign strategy decisions. AI tools can also automate repetitive or mundane tasks, freeing up valuable time for marketers to focus on higher-level strategic initiatives. Additionally, AI tools can help marketers stay ahead of emerging trends and changing customer needs, giving them a competitive edge in lucrative but competitive marketplaces. Ultimately, the cost of implementing a suite of AI marketing tools isn't that high at this point in time, and the ROI may be substantial.
"From analyzing larger amounts of data to better understand its audience, AI helped create content ideas based on the target audience with decreased number of errors.," says David Rowland, head of digital marketing at Eco Online. "Its automation abilities save time and money on labour expenses."
AI Marketing Tools Won't Make Marketers Obsolete
While AI has the potential to revolutionize the marketing industry, it is important to remember that AI tools are not a replacement for human expertise or creativity. Marketers who embrace AI as a complementary tool rather than a substitute for their own talents and critical thinking abilities will be well-positioned to thrive in a constantly evolving digital landscape. By leveraging AI to automate processes, identify patterns, and extract insights, marketers can tailor their strategies and deliver more impactful campaigns. Ultimately, the successful integration of AI into marketing will require a thoughtful balance between technology and human insight, which means that marketers will always be essential to organizations' success.