Beyond ChatGPT: The Future of AI in Marketing
From supercharged content creation to a more appreciated human touch
6 December 2023
There’s a stat making the rounds in marketing news that AI can increase productivity “between 5-15% of total marketing spend”. That’s a very conservative, dry way to look at the tsunami that’s heading towards us.
Citing a quote like that, I’m looking at a wave ten times my size and saying “This will increase my sogginess by 5-15%”.
At the same time, it’s important not to get lost in hyperbole. Our industry isn’t going to be washed away into completely new territory, and as the wave passes, our seas will settle into a new normal.
So, while the ball game remains the same, AI marketing is changing how we’re swinging:
It’s already brought us new tools that are irrevocably changing how we do marketing. In the near future, it’s going to fundamentally change our relationship to our jobs and to the people we market to.
So let’s take some breaths, steady ourselves, and speculate – we’ve got a lot of things to look forward to, and some things to brace for.
Image: Hitesh Choudhary, Unsplash
HOW AI IS CHANGING MARKETING FOR THE BETTER
ChatGPT (and its newly announced competitor, Gemini) has its limits, but within those limits, it fills a lot of marketing needs. As marketers, we aren’t asking chatbots to be convincing poets – just convincing marketers.
Marketers are getting better at training chatbots to speak with just the splash of human flair that a short social post or a blog post needs to go viral.
Image and video generation are more visibly in the early stages, but we’re moving through those stages at remarkable speed. It wasn’t long ago that we were marveling at weird moving hallucinations – to see what’s capable today, take a look at cutting-edge companies like Runway, who boast that their tech is ‘like filming something new, without filming anything at all’, or Stable Diffusion’s remarkable image generator.
From written content to video, the barrier to entry for creating great content is breaking down. The most valuable thing a marketer can bring to AI-powered marketing is an idea.
In both SEO optimization and data analytics, AI is raising the baseline.
Any marketer knows that great content doesn’t count for much if it doesn’t rank well. That’s why so much time is spent poring over keyword analytics – the days of simple keyword stuffing are long gone!
The same is true for other kinds of data optimization. AI in marketing analytics will be available for all to synthesize territory performance, customer feedback, customer behavior, and more – into singular, coherent pictures.
This is how marketing gets supercharged. But when everyone’s got access to the same superpowers, are they really superpowers at all?
Let’s talk about the negatives, starting on that note.
Image: Felicia Buitenwerf, Unsplash
THE NEGATIVES OF AI IN MARKETING
Raising the bar
With AI optimizing content generation, SEO optimization, and data synthesis the barrier to entry is lowered and the bar for standards is raised.
That could mean a lot of people in marketing, from junior creatives to those with some years under their belts, have a quickly closing gap between them.
It means fewer chances for marketers to shine and flex their experience. It also means a lot more marketers can produce a lot more content, which brings its own problem 👇
Made-for-advertising (MFA) sites are the bane of our industry, and AI content generation makes them even more potent.
As our UK Country Manager Steven Filler put it, “the MFA approach is not even advertiser-first. It’s just revenue-first.”
MFA clickbait sites fill their websites with junk content and ads, hoping they rank for easy revenue. The issue with easy AI generation is obvious: junk creation is easier, with supercharged SEO optimization as well.
The remedy is securing brand safety and suitability, something we put a lot of stock in at ShowHeroes, and we’re on our A-Game in anticipation of the new era of MFA sites.
People don’t like being lied to, and there’s something about AI generated content that can feel naggingly inauthentic.
When language that feels human and natural, and images and videos that look like they’re made with painstaking effort, turn out to be made with AI in minutes, it can make someone feel cheated!
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re reading this post looking for clues that it’s been generated (it wasn’t, I promise!)
It’s not inconceivable that there’ll be consumer sentiment that responds more positively to content that’s got a more evident human touch to it.
While we haven’t got industry figures yet, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence of freelance copywriters losing clients to AI. Not all writing in marketing needs to be at the highest level and AI is great at writing that’s good enough. It’s affecting junior copywriters and freelancers.
Will it start affecting junior designers and animators soon as well?
Probably! And that raises questions about whether the most profitable decisions are the most ethical.
Marketers across the industry need to adapt by learning AI inside and out. I sympathize with those wanting to hold on to pure human creation, but with the benefits AI brings to marketing, that attitude results in you losing your job to another marketer who does know their way around AI.
Image: Ben Sweet, Unsplash
AI in marketing is here to stay
Let’s keep our excitement high, speculations reasonable, and concerns grounded!
It doesn’t look like marketing is going to have its Skynet armageddon moment anytime soon and, at the same time, it doesn’t look like miracle tools are being created that’ll turn every marketing team into a one-person thumb-twiddling seat warmer lazily telling their AI assistant to create their company’s next successful campaign.
But that doesn’t mean AI marketing isn’t both exciting and concerning.
Let’s keep the conversation going. If you’re curious about how we’re using AI for the benefit of advertisers and publishers worldwide here at ShowHeroes and would like to know what we can do for you, fill out the form below!
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