There’s no denying consumers’ purchasing habits have changed. They are demanding a more personalised experience than ever before – and businesses must deliver in order to succeed.
The challenge is: human-driven personalisation doesn’t scale. Smart marketers have realised that artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation are critical to their success. But while these technologies are redefining the art of marketing, using them merely as buzzwords often does little more than perpetuate myths and steer people away. As a result, many are yet to realise the benefits of AI marketing.
Here are some of the myths I am often asked about.
AI is a silver bullet:
Many marketers believe that AI will solve all their problems. In reality, AI is only as good as the data you feed it. Marketers should adopt AI to enhance their brand’s wider marketing strategy – and not for the sole purpose of having the latest, shiny tool.
By the same token, before adopting AI, it’s important that marketers first get their house in order. As excited as your team may be to have access to a new solution, it is not advisable to try to leapfrog from a standing start to full automation. Netflix is a great example. The streaming on demand service has billions of hours of content streamed per month. However, Netflix’s success cannot be explained without its granular knowledge of its subscriber base and its AI-driven focus on personalisation
AI simply means automation:
AI is more than an automation tool designed to help reduce marketers’ workloads. Marketers should be using AI to augment the customer journey through the creation of unique pathways for each customer. Only when businesses have a rich pool of information on their customers can they really deliver one-to-one personalisation.
Yes, AI helps a business scale. But, more importantly, it arms businesses with the ability to unearth and implement knowledge that can drive commercial success through happier customers.
AI will steal your job:
While AI will replace certain tasks and play a major role in automation, there is no need for fear, uncertainty and doubt. Marketers’ roles will not become obsolete. Rather, AI will reduce time spent on labour-intensive tasks – including aggregation, analysis, recommendations and segmentation of data – enabling them to invest more time and energy in developing creative campaigns and marketing strategies.
Further, AI is no substitute for human creativity. Marketing needs stories to encourage customers to actively engage with its brand, and marketers will continue to lead the storytelling process.
I have no doubt that AI will shape the future of the marketing industry. However, many marketers are still playing catch-up with what they see as complex technology. While conversations about AI are usually accompanied by fear-mongering, the reality is this technology will make marketers’ lives easier. Often, the hardest part is taking a leap of faith and just getting started.