What Could Marketers do with an AI Assist?

I think it’s pretty normal these days to spend part of your time contemplating how adoption of Artificial Intelligence will impact your industry, your organisation, your role. You don’t even have to be in the industry to be interested in discussing how AI will impact marketing and advertising, if my group of friends is anything to go by. Since it’s been on my mind and a hot topic in my world, I attended the Mumbrella 360 session called The Rise of the AI Operator – Is It Going to Change the Job of the Marketer?

Positivity vs Fear Mongering
As Or Shani, the CEO and Founder of Albert (an AI platform for digital marketing campaigns), downplayed and debunked fears related to AI, I realised the presentation was resonating with me because I tend to have a positive outlook on where AI will take us. Admittedly it’s great when someone in a position of authority, or at least subject matter expertise, takes the same position on a topic as you do

I’m no AI expert, but if measurability can play together with automation and reporting, if deep segmentation can be done in the blink of an eye, if customer data can be analysed for insights we’d likely never think of because our human brains just cannot process all the permutations of all the data and find all the trends as quickly as applied artificial intelligence can, won’t that have a positive impact on campaign performance?

As marketers, we can’t be everywhere at once, so we create silos of specialists who focus on search, on native, on social and so on. What if we could use artificial intelligence to remove those silos, rapidly handling and querying and analysing vast amounts of data and coming up with better, more effective ways of buying cross-channel in real-time?

The industry is being maligned by accusations of and worries about fraud. We spend so much time reporting amid calls for greater transparency. Data management regulations are becoming stricter, and rightly so. Couldn’t we use artificial intelligence to bear the brunt of tasks like measurement and reporting, to benefit our clients with more transparency and compliance while freeing up the time of many a marketer to contribute in more valuable and creative ways?

“Sit back, put your feet up and let AI do the work for you”

Sure, I may be paraphrasing but Shani said something like that and while it sounds great initially and so very chill, that isn’t exactly what I think we marketers could do with an AI assist.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for taking the robot out of the human by putting AI and automated processes in place to remove repetitive, routine tasks. I think it would be great to take reporting off our hands. Besides, it sounds like it can be done so much more quickly with more in-depth analysis by robotic underlings than by me. But I don’t intend to then put my feet up. I intend to do more of the work that drew me to this gig in the first place.

I got into this with a desire to be part of the evolution of our industry. No longer are we buying TV based on TARPs, Display based on Impressions, Search based on Clicks; we’re buying to converting audiences. We’re sequencing messaging at a one-to-one level and tailoring creative to individuals. Gone are the days of so-called “vanity metrics”. Driving results for clients and fixing ad land is my M.O. and I welcome a little help from AI to see it through.

It doesn’t pay to be an ostrich
Fear of change can cause avoidance, procrastination and immobility. Career plateaus and job loss can come simply because we do not embrace the changes impacting our industry, and the technology requirements that go along with it. One potential impact of the adoption of artificial intelligence will be that some level of increased technical capability related to the use and implementation of AI will spread across more and more roles within the marketing and advertising industry. If we’re going to get the most value from adding artificial intelligence applications to our business, then we have to be able to see its potential and direct it to where it will do the most good.

We need to be up for that challenge. A healthy skepticism is great, and it kind of comes with the territory in ad land, but the more we resist AI the harder it will be to find our place in this changing industry.

Klara Eichholz, Digital Media & Data Manager, Audience Group

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