In touching on marketing trends in our last blog, we realized we focused a lot on the rise of AI.
It’s really not all that surprising since it seems like AI crawled out of the proverbial digital ooze, and wasted no time becoming a driving force in marketing, transforming the way businesses understand, engage, and retain their customers. One minute it was quiet, and the next there it was flipping the world on its head as people churned out Plankton-voiced cover songs (why is he good, though?).
Here’s a closer look at the rise of AI in the marketing landscape and all it’s brought along with it:
- Data-Driven Insights:
- AI processes vast amounts of data at incredible speeds, providing marketers with deep insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends. This data-driven approach allows for more informed decision-making and targeted strategies. All this data is leading to more and more:
- Personalized Campaigns:
- We’re seeing a real shift into more personalized marketing campaigns and AI is the reason. Let’s be real, your computer is able to analyze vast amounts of customer data in seconds, so much more than a team of trend trackers ever could, and this is helping companies craft hyper-specific campaigns without dedicating inordinate amounts of time to data analysis.
- Automation for Efficiency:
- Automation, a core feature of AI, is taking mundane and laborious tasks and completing them in seconds. Again we have prompt data analysis, as well as ad curation and even customer email and messaging; all seeming more and more personal while remaining automated and more accurate than ever before.
- Predictive Analytics:
- AI’s ability to analyze historical data and identify patterns empowers marketers with predictive analytics. Businesses can anticipate customer needs, optimize pricing strategies, and stay ahead of market trends, while gleaning and learning from past campaigns; all this helps to refine marketing strategy and produce more of what works while discarding what doesn’t.
Cool, this all sounds fabulous. So we should all just fire our marketing/branding teams and assign all jobs to robots, right? Cut costs, save time, make our customers feel seen…you’re probably failing to see a problem, right? Well, like literally everything else in the world, there are pluses and minuses to every creation, even robot overlords who live in our computers:
Pitfalls of AI in Marketing:
- Privacy Concerns:
- Of course, the collection and utilization of vast amounts of customer data raise privacy concerns. There’s making a customer feel thought of and seen and then there’s making a customer feel super creeped out. We’ve all had the thing happen where we audibly mention toothpaste and then we’re getting ads right and left for floss and local dentists and it doesn’t feel great.
- Algorithmic Bias:
- AI algorithms are unfortunately only as good as the very fallible people who program and train them. And listen, we believe most people are good and all that, but some people just aren’t. And they might very well be the ones teaching AI robots to “think”, and by think we mean purposely or even inadvertently perpetuate biases present in training data. This can lead to discriminatory outcomes and negatively impact certain demographic groups, which isn’t a great look. This also means that whereas if you were dealing with a marketing team, you could correct the issue or at least hold them accountable if they’re truly unhinged and discriminatory, AI is pretty anonymous, so good luck ever getting to the root of the problem.
- Over-Reliance on Automation:
- While automation is beneficial, over-reliance on AI can result in a loss of the human touch in marketing. Building genuine connections with customers may be compromised if automation is not balanced with human creativity and intuition. Like it or not, and despite what Haley Joel Osmond wants you to think in that one movie, technology can’t feel, and it can’t ever truly encompass or understand what it means to be human, or what it means to incorporate that into your mission as a company.
In conclusion, the rise of AI in marketing is an exciting journey that promises unparalleled benefits, yet it comes with its own set of challenges. In our next few blogs, we’ll be exploring all facets of AI and the way it impacts (for better and worse) various aspects of marketing, from design to copywriting and beyond- we’ll see you there.
(P.S. We generated the thumbnail for this blog using Stable Diffusion, an AI image generator.)