Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic for decades now, and, while its popularity as a tool and a topic of conversation has ebbed and flowed throughout the years, its place in our world is solidified. From pop culture icons like Arnold’s classic, “The Terminator,” to its usefulness in the realm of analysis, artificial intelligence is here to stay.
Now, AI is being used in marketing to provide an edge over the competition, increase efficiency, and revolutionize the way we think about marketing.
However, just as there are no hyper-advanced robots patrolling our streets, AI has not taken over the marketing sphere as some have predicted. While the technology does have its place, there are numerous pros and cons to using AI in marketing right now.
We explore some of the advantages and shortcomings below, so read on for a glimpse into the way artificial intelligence is shaping modern marketing.
The Advantages of AI in Marketing
While AI hasn’t replaced the need for human touch in marketing, its use does provide several benefits. From saving you money and time to streamlining your marketing strategy, there is something to be said for the positive changes brought about by AI.
Because AI can access and analyze massive amounts of user data, it can be used to personalize the experiences, interactions, and products that customers will have access to.
This gives potential customers more applicable suggestions, helpful information, and product recommendations. Everything from the ads they receive to the email follow-ups sent post-purchase can be relevant to the interests of customers.
Time is money, right?
With AI, this idiom can be proven by the revenue and savings you will experience when implementing AI into your marketing strategy.
For example, AI can work 24/7, generating more leads and never taking breaks. The uptick in business from this consistency without the need to employ people around the clock is a potent formula for increased revenue and simultaneous savings.
The ability of AI to pinpoint potential customers and personalize their experience in a 24/7 work cycle has more benefits than sales and savings.
The efficiency of AI gives your human employees the freedom to allocate their energy, expertise, and time to more important tasks.
With more menial tasks being tackled by AI, your human employees can focus their efforts on bettering the business, analyzing AI-generated data, and evaluating how to put that data to use in unique ways.
The Pitfalls of AI in Marketing
As you can see, there are several benefits of using AI in marketing. That does not mean that doing so is without shortcomings, though. In fact, there are enough pitfalls of AI marketing that you should heavily consider the pros and cons before jumping on this new marketing trend.
Human Interaction Matters
Without customers, your business isn’t much of a business at all. As such, what the customers say usually goes. Even though AI marketing tools, such as chatbots and automized phone systems, are convenient and customers appreciate the 24/7 usability, many people do not like communicating with “robots.”
This preference for human interaction is quite prevalent and could sway certain people away from your business.
Human Input & Intelligence is Still Critical
Though it’s impossible to say whether or not humans will always be a critical piece of the marketing puzzle, as it stands currently, AI cannot yet replace everything in the marketing realm that humans bring to the table.
Our present technology cannot function thoroughly without human intelligence and interaction. Algorithms can be wrong, AI need to be regulated, and ultimately, the state of automation needs to be properly monitored in order to ensure it is working properly.
Some professionals even speculate that without regulation, AI could become a dangerous tool to rely on.
Not only does the uniqueness of human thinking make humans indispensable to successful marketing, but it also can be used to create more comprehensive, intuitive marketing campaigns.
Algorithms simply cannot account for everything. AI still needs human input (and likely always will) in order to correct algorithmic extremism and to thoughtfully combine human and machine intelligence for the best possible outcome.
The Impact on Jobs
Using AI in marketing can have a ripple effect on the job market. As fewer people need to be employed by customer service and marketing departments, the number of jobs displaced by AI will increase notably.
Overall, this can reduce costs and maximize efficiency, but as far as individual businesses go, it could directly impact employment dynamics and needs.
By the mid-2030s, it’s reported that about 38% of all U.S. jobs will have the potential for automation—this means that workers will need to change their skill sets in the future in order to address the challenges and avoid the impact of automation. Of course, other jobs will be created, but the balance might not ever be quite even.
There’s no doubt that AI in marketing will become more common as the tools become more diverse and intuitive, customers adapt to the changes, and businesses adopt the new ways of conducting themselves.
However, the extent to which AI in marketing will be used remains to be seen and is largely dependent on a business’ distinct desires and needs.
The question of whether or not to implement AI in your marketing strategy is a personal one. The pros and cons mentioned above should provide a solid foundation on which to base your decision, but the choice is ultimately up to you, your business, and your evaluation of the advantages AI marketing may present.