AI is not about removing humans (marketers) from the equation.
Some people will push back on this statement saying that AI has the potential to replace human thoughts and activities and therefore replace their jobs, too—that eventually the system will become more indispensable than the person.
But the fact is that overall, people are being more regularly exposed to and are recognizing the merits of AI and therefore the trend is steering towards adoption. Forrester reports a 10% increase in organizational AI adoption from 2016 to 2017, and nearly 40% of companies today are investing at least $5 million in AI-based technologies. That said, the trend is probably also leaning towards widespread acceptance and away from pushback. (This, of course, assuming that AI continues to do the intended job and meet expectations).
AI impact on marketers
Marketers in particular are warming up to the idea and are integrating AI into their marketing stack. What has driven them to become some of the biggest organizational champions of AI-powered technologies? It’s AI’s ability to help them automatically figure things out—further, empowering them to be better marketers. That said, let’s reframe the opening statement:
AI isn’t about removing humans (marketers) from the equation; it’s about making them better decision-makers.
There is perhaps no better application of this than when it comes to AI helping marketers make better decisions about how to message and engage their consumers, enabling authentic communication between brand and consumer at the individual level. AI is able to take the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “way”—the 5 Ws—of consumer messaging to a whole new level. AI-based messaging tools have the ability to:
- Determine just the right subject line, the right offer, and the right call-to-action
- Assess whether sending a message will help or hurt the consumer’s propensity to engage, and knowing to refrain from doing so if the latter
- Decide at which point in the customer’s journey is their best bet at trying to engage them
- Know the right message to send, the right time to send it, and the right channel to send it on, all based on individual behaviors (and their inferred preferences), with the goal of increasing the probability that the consumer will see & engage with the message
As a result of these insights & actions, consumers receive only the most relevant, contextual, and timely messages possible. The consumer becomes more and more attached to the brand as they see the brand “getting them” time and time again. Here, the brand becomes humanlike as it intuitively understands a person’s wants and needs. (Yes, AI makes marketing more human, not less!).
Without an AI-powered marketing tool, marketers are more susceptible to making inaccurate decisions about how to message. Not only must they put manual work into messaging, which costs time & effort that they don’t have, but the result of that manual work is not optimal, leading to messages that are not optimized for those receiving them and therefore don’t impact marketing metrics in the way the marketer would have hoped.
But with AI-powered decision-making, B2C marketers across industries are reaping major bottom-line impact, with one restaurant bookings platform achieving a 54% in conversions and one ticketing marketplace achieving a 29% increase in conversion campaign revenue.
The fact remains: Marketers will always be able to offer what machines can’t—the art over the science. That said, human marketers and other professionals aren’t going anywhere. It’s just that now, they’re empowered with a technology that can help them do their jobs that much better: make better decisions, increase metrics, all while minimizing time & effort in the process.
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