The last few weeks have been a lot of fun for the digital marketing industry, with a deluge of fearful articles about how content writers, graphic designers, and other creatives are going to go extinct because of AI. So, why aren’t we sobbing on the phone to our mums, hiding under the bedcovers, and racing to reskill? Well, because AI tools are just that – tools! They’re not replacements for humans quite yet because they can’t do what the human brain can.
The reality of AI
Don’t get us wrong – AI tech is exciting and incredible, not just for the digital marketing industry, but all sectors and daily life! But the AI that exists is very different to what most of us imagine – and what a lot of the fear around it is based on.
AI technology is smart computing that uses something called narrow intelligence. This means it pulls in data and can perform an action based on the set of parameters, contexts, and constraints that are applied. Machine learning is a part of this, allowing the program to refine actions to make them more insightful and relevant.
For example, let’s look at Siri. This is a tool that processes human language, directs it to a search engine like Google, and gives you the results. Ask Siri what the weather’s like outside and you’ll get an accurate response, and the system will even prep answers to common questions to suggest them for your convenience. Ask Siri how to deal with a bad breakup and you’ll get a vague, pre-programmed response and content on the subject rather than an accurate answer on the exact actions you need to take.
This is very different to general intelligence, which is what humans have. Here, we can think for ourselves, be critical of the information we receive, be creative with fluid and flexible thinking, deliver empathy, work in a greater context, and even understand the tone and cultural references.
Despite being a rather squishy blob that forgets where you put the keys and makes mistakes when it’s tired, the human brain is the single most powerful computer in existence by light years. While computers are far better than us at simple tasks that need to be performed accurately and repetitively in a step-by-step process, human brains handle complex tasks and information streams in a flash, with quantitive analysis and emotional intelligence capabilities far beyond even the world’s most advanced computers and AI.
Combining the power of AI and human intelligence for exceptional results
So really, it’s all about letting AI and computers do best while we handle what we do best! And that’s why we’re not scared about AI, ChatGPT, and other technologies.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at how AI supports digital marketing – and what it can and can’t do for your business.
- Automation for affordability – Digital marketing has a lot of standardised processes and administration for every client as well as the business itself – and that’s part of the cost because it uses up hours and hours of time. Putting AI-driven automation saves time and money for teams and clients, as well as reduces human error risks while gathering data, sending out reports, onboarding clients, assigning tasks, and more.
- Crunching data for better targeting – Nothing collects and compiles data like a computer – there’s just no human comparison! That’s why we use AI-driven data gathering and analytics tools to analyse channel and content performance, consumer behaviour, global and local trends, and more. Using these results, human brains can get to work doing what AI can’t – identifying your target audiences more accurately, aiming for their specific needs and buying preferences, and developing personalised strategies and content to bring in the KPIs that matter most.
- Easy, quick (but raw) research – AI is fantastic for research, pulling in data from billions of online sources and compiling it based on keyword searches. This creates raw material for exceptional content creation! And we call it raw material because AI can’t tell fact from fiction, use it to generate insight for consumers, put a unique brand voice into it, or customise it for specific business values and audiences. The human touch is needed for all that, as well as for creating content that builds relationships, loyalty, and engagement. Not only that but using only a product like ChatGPT will mean that everyone who puts in the same keywords gets the same result, accurate or otherwise. And when Google’s algorithm spots that (which it’s designed to do), your rankings will suffer AND you’ll get called out for any inaccuracies. Ouch.
- Content forecasting – If you want to know what the future holds, AI can tell you. Well, it can tell you better than a human can! This is thanks to all the patterns, trends, and scenarios it can run to generate revenue predictions, competitor analysis, customer behaviours, and economic indicators. This creates a solid foundation for all aspects of your digital marketing that content teams can capitalise on. For example, in an e-commerce clothing store, it will tell you when sales of certain items are likely to peak and what customers want from those products. This can then inform inventory and supplier choices. Following that, it will identify who is most likely to buy it, allowing teams to create content targeted at those products and consumers that drives sales – all at the perfect moment for maximising conversions.
AI has fantastic potential for all businesses and sectors, especially when used – rather than feared – by digital marketing companies. In a digital age, customers want a very authentic, human, and personal experience from businesses, and while AI will show you who those customers are and where they are, human teams need to be there to deliver the content they want.
Looking for a digital marketing agency that delivers the best of both worlds? Our Melbourne digital agency’s teams cover every digital marketing service you need, from web design and email marketing to PPC and social media marketing, and we aim to give you a digital marketing strategy that works – no fuss, no big price tags, and no so-called quick fixes – just good marketing done right.