You’ve undoubtedly heard about all the developments with OpenAI, ChatGPT, and generative AI more broadly by now. I hope you’ve taken a few minutes to play around with ChatGPT, ask it questions, and have it write you a poem. It’s awe-inspiring and embodies exciting new possibilities for AI.
The capability to create something from scratch vs. making edits or suggestions is fascinating. An AI that can respond to questions and complete long-form written dialogue is genuinely revolutionary. I don’t think we’re living out the movie Her at this point, but as ChatGPT develops, it feels more and more like Her is almost here.
As I played with ChatGPT and engaged with co-workers sharing their ChatGPT interactions, it became clear to me (as well as many others) that ChatGPT and the other AI software tools available for marketing have the potential to replace marketers. The impact of AI on jobs is not a new phenomenon, of course. However, what’s happening with ChatGPT is already changing how people think about AI and hiring.
How did we get here?
I worked briefly in the contact center space, and the potential of AI to replace jobs was a common concern among call center workers. With the introduction of intelligent routing, chatbots, and intelligent virtual assistants, it’s easy to see why people felt threatened. AI and robotic systems were starting to perform people’s daily mundane tasks.
Their concern was, of course, pushed aside with the broad statement that the work allocated to AI was “low value” or “better suited for a machine.” By taking low-value tasks off people’s plates, call center representatives could spend more time on complex topics, customer complaints, and VIP customer service. As a result, ideally, customer satisfaction would increase.
It is debatable if this is true. Intuitively, taking some mundane work off of people’s plates is good. Likewise, spending more time with customers sounds like a good thing. But when you look at published studies on CSAT or NPS scores, customer service scores are getting worse today.
Do you still need a marketing team? There’s an AI for that.
I’m not going to dive further into the call center space, but that area shows AI’s evolution in part of the business. However, AI is already permeating marketing. So if you don’t think you’re using AI in your marketing programs, you need to look closer.
From writing blogs to driving results, AI is at the center of everything marketers do. It’s embedded in systems and platforms that allow you to run campaigns and bid on ad spaces. ChatGPT shows how accessible AI can be to the marketing team and spotlights new skills that AI can replace.
The marketing team’s meetings look a little different these days. Image created with OpenAI’s DALL-E 2
Teams no longer need to worry about content strategy or how to position the correct headline in a search auction. Instead, ChatGPT can augment the humans who would do those tasks, freeing up teams to focus on more important work, like analytics and measuring the results of a campaign, except …
Oh, wait … there’s an AI for that. Many platforms like Pecan AI offer advanced analytics support with campaign management, optimization, and measurement. For example, Pecan can model your campaign data, customer data, etc., and make predictions that can be used to prioritize leads or optimize a campaign to drive higher ROAS. Pecan can also be used for marketing mix modeling to show how your channels deliver top-line revenue growth.
Where are we headed with marketing + AI?
Generally speaking, I don’t have a strong POV on this. ChatGPT is cool and exciting. I’m sure the buzz will wear off soon, and people will get back to work. The Wall Street Journal, reporting on Forrester’s fourth annual industry predictions, mentioned that AI is one of the top 6 trends to watch in 2023. With these AI tools, brands can better monitor online content and optimize marketing investments.
But it is concerning in some ways. One of the things I enjoy the most about advertising is creating a campaign that people want to engage with, respond to, or be part of. However, I feel AI tools take people out of the “promotion” in the “4 Ps of marketing.” With the rise of the metaverse redefining “place” and subscription businesses locking in “price,” the only thing left is the product, which feels like a cold and heartless entity without the other elements.
Although these tools are extremely important and can provide significant scale (to resources, time, and budget), brands must remember to take a hands-on approach to how AI works.
It’s also vital to remember that marketing is about appealing to people. How can you get to know your customer if you replace the people element of your marketing and customer experience with an AI writing tool or a chatbot? Asking AI to try to simulate this appeal could cheapen the experience. Ultimately, this choice could hurt more than it helps, especially since it is counterintuitive to how platforms like Google, Meta, etc., are designed to work (Google came out against AI content for SEO).
That said, some parts of the marketing function can be replaced or augmented with AI. But be careful about what is replaced or augmented. Just because you can use AI doesn’t always mean you should. In the words of the late Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Ready to learn more about how AI can augment your marketing analytics team’s capabilities and provide a future-focused perspective on your campaigns? Get in touch with us to learn if AI-powered predictive analytics is right for your team.