You’ve heard it before.
“AI is going to take our jobs.”
“AI is a threat to humanity.”
“AI is threatening the emotional intelligence of humans.”
The fear of Artificial Intelligence is still prevalent, despite its prominence in our everyday lives: AI lives in apps, in our favorite websites, in our car and in many unexpected places. Let's be real: AI is awesome.
AI has become a crucial component to executing strong marketing campaigns as well. If you’re a marketer that errs on the side of innovation (rather than fear) there’s a good chance you’re embracing AI with open arms. There are a few key reasons why AI is such a welcome variable in the marketing world, but simply put: it impacts the performance and ROI by having a meaningful impact on:
Campaign Optimization: Nothing new here, but AI takes this to a whole new level when paired with human optimization.
Predictive Intelligence: Knowing what we (as consumers) will do next, before we know, based on complex algorithms created to track the patterns we exhibit.
Efficient: Removing numerous layers of manual tasks that are required to manage advertising campaigns.
The key common denominator here is efficiency. Simply put, AI can handle complex task that humans inherently find difficult to do with ease. Those tasks that take significant time and are extremely complex, computers make efficient. Algorithms surpass the abilities of even the most genius human brain. In my view, AI is best considered a workhorse that works around the clock while you’re in meetings, at a business lunch and while you’re sleeping. It’s the assistant to your business that’s always working. Always.
All of this efficiency gives marketers one of the greatest possible gifts: more time. Time is what all marketers collectively lack. You all know the feeling: your team is totally overwhelmed by “busywork," questions are coming in on the status of the marketing efforts, friction is beginning to permeate through the office and your plans for this evening are beginning to look just like your to-do list for today.
With more time thanks to AI, marketers can focus on the thinking rather than the doing.
AI may truly be the mechanism that solves many (surely not all) of these problems. The efficiency this offers allows for deeper analysis, reflection, consideration and a truly noble idea…the ability to actually think strategically about what you are doing. Just imagine for a moment the impact it can have on stress, timelines and the ability to get on the offence for once.
Artificial Intelligence isn’t perfect, though. It lacks what marketers are great at: leveraging intuition to understand what consumers will respond to, why they will respond to it, where the next pocket of opportunity exists to reach your market, when to double-down and when to pull back. We take data and transform it into actionable insights. We muster up novel campaign ideas to get a product or service in front of the right consumer at the right time. Great marketers can assess a campaign and think, “This company is really making a great connection. I love what they’re trying to do with their messaging.” Machines simply struggle to do the things we find easy and the things we do without realizing we are doing them. Know the saying “following your gut," well AI really hasn’t cracked that code yet.
Brands that are leveraging AI to take care of the nitty-gritty have more open time to plan, create, build and strategize, carving out greater potential for them to make waves in their respective markets. The shining example of this is Amazon; Amazon leverages predictive analytics to know exactly what you want, before you want it. AI is also manifested in Alexa, their at-home assistant, who makes purchasing as easy as “Alexa, can you please get us some paper towels?” They’re reimagining the brick-and-mortar space that makes purchasing an item entirely seamless and personalized.
You can see this in the way they purchase media. They're Google’s largest search advertising customer and an early pioneer of Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) and they are still doing it extremely well. (If that’s flown over your head, drop us a line.)
The key word here is personalized. The level of personalization that AI allows, puts the pressure on marketer to forge more meaningful connections in their campaigns. If you know that you can automate and optimize once you can identify a pattern of purchase consideration or a consumer’s foot is in the door, the focus becomes: how do you capture their attention in the first place?
How to Revitalize Your Marketing Intuition:
Inspiration isn’t something that’s just written on a poster in grade school. It’s a true element in the process of devising a bulletproof campaign. If you want to rev up your team’s engines, start by doing this:
Shift the Mindset: If your team is measuring their value to your organization by the amount of work they can deliver, it’s time to reset the expectation. AI offers an opportunity to find efficiencies and to shift the mindset from volume to quality. As that equation shifts, your performance and ROI will follow.
Eliminate the Fear: It still exists. AI has been touted as something that will spur on massive layoffs. I don’t believe that will be the case in the marketing arena for the reasons I’ve outlined above, namely the marketer’s ability to leverage their intuition. Be proactive on eliminating the fear and reward the insights, vision and thinking. This will unlock many multiples of value for your organization over time.
Empower Your Team: Allow the great minds you have within your business to dream, think of what could be possible and focus on how to execute against the vision. Marketers are in lock-step when it comes to the notion of personalization, but so few can deliver this at any scale whatsoever. Empower your team to go further and personalize as much as possible and let the AI support the execution.
AI is becoming a marketer’s best friend. This best friend will push you to create more compelling campaigns that not only spark interest, but help showcase a brand’s authenticity and personality. If your organization is falling behind the times, it’s time to start thinking about how you can embrace AI as part of your team. Otherwise, your competitors will be winning the attention of your audience.