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Marketing & Ecommerce

Should Marketers Re-Think the Way They See AI's Impact?

by Robert Woolliams
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Content Standard's Kyle Harper has written a piece questioning whether we should reframe how we talk about artificial intelligence, as there appears to be various opinions out there about whether or not AI actually will be good for mankind. 

"Artificial intelligence isn’t the cataclysmic force of destruction that Hollywood or marketing technicians sometimes fear it be" - Kyle Harper.

Harper believes the fair of AI stems from popular media, and that a lot of the conversations regarding the technology today, often takes a paranoid tone. It does not help that famous scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk raises their concern, but Harper thinks it is time to change how we think of AI.

"There’s a fear that as we improve efficiency, we may also lose touch of some of the human factors in the marketing process; that machine learning’s data-driven approach may not perfectly hit the mark for understanding people, that automation could threaten to displace too many people from much-needed jobs", Harper writes.

However, Harper urges the readers to look at it from a different perspective - from the view of a company leadership. He poses the scenario of a small company that develops a product that surprisingly turns into a success overnight. If this company wants to scale and continue providing interesting content to its audience who now is considerably larger than first anticipated, AI solutions can be the solution to gather fast and accurate insights that can guide marketing specialists and content creators.

If this company wants to scale and continue providing interesting content to its audience who now is considerably larger than first anticipated, AI solutions can be the solution to gather fast and accurate insights that can guide marketing specialists and content creators.

Another example is two companies who have newly merged and needs to serve and understand their combined audience by looking at the analysis of historical data as well as present reviews of their markets as a new company. "Put yourself in the shoes of any creative agency that’s juggling several client needs when, suddenly, a ball drops, requiring them to quickly shift focus and produce new work on a tight schedule", Harper says. It is in situations like these that AI is the solution.

According to Harper, AI is more of a promising next step in the history of marketing technology, enabling marketers to focus even more on the human part of marketing equation, rather than being a Hollywood-painted force of destruction.

As most of the conversations around AI has focused on in what ways computers can improve, or replace the work of marketers, the reach of the this technology is a lot more impactful, Harper writes. He mentions how tedious jobs can be automated, hence opening new avenues for marketing insight and action. The problem is just convincing marketers that they do need new marketing technology to complete these unprecedented tasks for reasons they have not yet considered.

Harper uses two examples to prove his statement: First, looking at the AI-based marketing company Adgorithms that uses machines to connect analysis of user behavior across all of a company's promotional channels. This removes an enormous amount of constant analysis from people, allowing marketers to be free to not just focus on the execution of a campaign plan, but making it "fun again", as Adgorithms' CEO Or Shani said.

Secondly, looking at SwiftKey, a popular app that applies natural language processing in order to shorten texting-time by autocompletion, there is potential of marketers using this to craft messages or complete stories for specific audience segments.

So, is your marketing-job safe, Harper questions? He believes it is hard to say, as it is likely that some jobs in the marketing space will be replaced by technology. However, roles will evolve as a result to information that can be analysed by AI.

"As long as marketers are willing to focus on the places this new marketing technology can lead them, they’ll continue to find ways that AI will enable us all to do better work, remain dynamic in an ever-changing marketplace, and to engage with our own creativity on a more regular basis", Harper says.

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