As artificial intelligence becomes a reality, thought leaders like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have said we should fear for our survival. Their concerns are credible. AI is already replacing us in all sorts of areas. Smart machines are doing dangerous jobs in industries like mining. On top of that, AI is already improving modern medicine by using machine learning to detect dementia. Could robots replace marketers?
AI is an opportunity to improve humanity rather than enable irrelevance. By focusing on the following three things as we develop smart software, marketing will thrive in the age of AI.
Automate the unimportant stuff
Machines have been replacing jobs for centuries. In fact, the term “technological unemployment” predates World War 2. What we often forget is that machines create newer, more meaningful jobs. When the printing press replaced the town crier, it created the news agent. When the Internet removed the need for newsagents, it created the systems administrator.
AI is only an extension of this co-evolution. In fact, prescriptive AI includes tools that can “make” decisions for us based on built-in rules and their own understanding. Marketing executives can save time by deploying prescriptive AI to make small decisions for them. These decisions can be as simple as what keywords to use when optimizing content for search engines. By saving time for more advanced decisions, marketing executives can use AI to make their own work more meaningful.
Focus on conversational AI
The ability to talk to computers is still a relatively new phenomenon, but it has fundamentally changed the way we treat technology. Today, we use intelligent interfaces to satisfy our daily demands. We ask our phones to order pizza and plan our trips, often treating these AI assistants as though they’re human.
This humanized interaction is laying the foundation for a new digital experience in marketing. Consumers are already interacting with organizations entirely through AI, creating connections that once required around-the-clock employees. By offering consumers branded AI assistants as well as optimizing online content for voice-activated search, marketers can take advantage of this ongoing development to reach time-strapped customers.
Reinvent the marketing cycle
Consider the later stages of the marketing cycle—distribution, advertising, etc. When a consumer can simply say, “Alexa, we need more milk,” what’s the point of building interest in brands? For the future, we need to focus on feeding a preference for our products into AI assistants. After all, we can’t trust consumers to say, “Alexa, order two liters of Brand X milk.”
Still see AI as an enemy instead of an ally? Put your mind at ease by reading more about the latest developments in machine learning.