Yes, I’m going to weigh in on the hottest topic of the moment – AI. However, I’m going to do so circumspectly and keep it just to my domain of marketing. As I write this, actors in Hollywood are striking mainly because of the way that the studios want to use AI to disenfranchise human actors. I don’t blame them. But much like the advent of the internet, this is a revolutionary technology and we all need to come to grips with it, because like all tech (Oppenheimer, anyone?) it can be used for good or ill, and it’s up to us to decide which. In the end, it’s just another tool, but that doesn’t mean it won’t change the game.
This will be a series of blogs about AI in marketing:
- How it’s likely to change the game (this blog)
- Specific AI tools for marketing and how to use them (upcoming)
Here are 5 ways that I think it will change the game in marketing:
1. Mediocre won’t cut it – creativity is paramount
If we’re all going to have access to the same AI brain, we need to work harder to differentiate ourselves. Yes, you could just use AI to churn out the same content as everyone else, but then you’ll (still) be lost in a sea of sameness. If brands want to stand out, they’ll need to be much more intentional. And that starts with identifying and articulating their unique specialness (brand strategy) and bringing that to life in a compelling way through their content. Brands will be able to churn out content in reams, but they’ll still need to work to give it the edge that their customers are looking for.
2. Consultants – charge on value not time
Industry-wide I think this could have an impact on business models – particularly for consultants. If a business is choosing between Fiverr and Chat GPT, why should it choose a human? Also, from the consultant’s perspective, if they can get twice as much done with the aid of Chat GPT, and their client knows it, how do they get paid for the value they add? Just another reason why marketers should be paid by value and not by time.
3. Plagiarism and wars over ownership
If AIs are scraping the internet for content and regurgitating it – who owns what? We may start to see significantly similar content as time-strapped marketers rely on AI too much for content – but who is copying who? Another consideration is intellectual property and contracts. What new clauses will become standard around privacy and intellectual property in contracts between marketers and their clients? Will everyone have to start disclosing when/where/how they use AI? Will using it for brainstorming be fine, but any content generation has to be declared? Things are about to get interesting. Regulation will likely be behind the curve (as always with emergent tech), but this country moves on the wheels of lawsuits, and the AI law will be fascinating to follow and have a real impact on marketers and brands alike.
4. WHY will remain more important than WHAT
A little while ago, companies got very excited about the advent of Big Data and the computing potential of data analytics. We rapidly discovered that many people aren’t very good at using the data. They didn’t know what to do with it or often used it to affirm existing biases. AI holds similar potential for analysis, automation, and decision-making. But the results that AI gives are only as good as the parameters and instructions. That’s why your strategy is going to remain critical.
5. Human connection – the missing link
I don’t know about you, but I hate automated menus and voice assistants on the phone. Often I’ll say “representative” over and over again until I get through to a person. Maybe one day soon AI will be sophisticated enough to hold a whole conversation with me and get me what I need – but I think most people would still prefer to speak to another person. Human connection is something that we crave at an evolutionary level. We may live in a world where most of our information needs are delivered by screens, but we still need other people. And the more fake things seem around us, the more we’ll crave authentic connections. So as you create all this content for the algorithm, remember that what people care about is getting to know you.
How do you see that AI will impact marketing?