A Handshake or a Handover

In my last blog I covered the specific areas where artificial intelligence (AI) is making inroads in marketing primarily dynamic segmentation, copywriting, and graphic design. These are all areas where AI is doing things that humans have already been doing although AI can and will deliver more:

  1. More granularity in dynamic segmentation and much faster
  2. More copywriting per unit of time than a team of experienced copywriters can do although AI still has a way to go before it can really generate great copy
  3. More graphics designs per unit of time than any large team of humans can do although legal and ethical issues discussed in my previous blog continue to be the main reason AI graphic design is not going to be widely available any time soon

This entire conversation has so far ignored the affordability of such AI services mostly because a) it is a new area so prices vary widely between suppliers and b) like most new technologies competition will intensify and this will only make the products get better and costs go down. Additionally pricing models will evolve to offer pay per use, monthly subscriptions and potentially other models. Then there is the role of today’s marketing agencies and freelancers, will clients start replacing for instance their graphic design agencies with AI based designers or will agencies use AI graphic designers to offer more competitive pricing to their clients. It is hard to tell but would be interesting to observe.

But let us talk about the real potential of AI in marketing, I mean beyond these individual main areas discussed previously, let us look at an environment where AI is looking at website traffic, social media sentiment and client profiles and creating a segment of one for each client then automatically and instantaneously generating copy and graphics for an email, a popup or a social media ad specifically targeting this one individual using his/her preferred (explicit or implicit) mode of communications.

What we are talking about here is a total revolution in marketing, no more broad campaigns, no more mass communications, no more human involvement, everything is on auto pilot. Naturally AI continues to ‘learn’ from each client interaction, continues to do A/B testing, continues to refine its copywriting and graphics on a per client basis.

Scary scenario? Yes, but is it within the realm of possibilities? Yes, is it happening soon? I’d say no, will it be adopted by all companies large and small? No.

So, for now marketers can enjoy a warm handshake with their new and exciting AI tools but with time (maybe 5 to 7 years) one can expect the handshake to turn into a something of a handover. Humans will of course move up to the next level and find themselves a new place in marketing just like they did in other areas including insurance claim processing, vehicle assembly etc.