As AI Takes On Marketing Tasks, How Can Marketers Prepare?

Moving every few years as a child taught me to connect. Public relations and investor relations for PropTech Group (ASX:PTG) and Juwai IQI.

Artificial intelligence tools are becoming more sophisticated every day. I think anyone in marketing or a related field is at risk of seeing their career cut short. Luckily, there are things you can do to protect yourself. Here, we will discuss five strategies you can choose from to ensure you thrive rather than just survive in an AI world.

You might think that my claim that machine-generated content could replace marketers within just a few years is just hyperbolic clickbait. If so, then you may not have been paying attention.

A tool called Dall-e recently came out that takes its cues from short text snippets. The website explains that you type “an astronaut riding a horse in a photorealistic style” and receive an image of just that. Revise your prompt to “in the style of Andy Warhol” or “as a line pencil drawing” and Dall-e presents a suite of images according to your revised criteria.

Dynamic video tools like Imposium can create personalized videos for your social media, email and website marketing campaigns. Creating personalized videos targeting your customers was formerly so time-consuming as to be uneconomical. Now, it can be as easy as clicking a few buttons.

And the AI music creation tool Soundraw generates copyright-free tunes in multiple genres. Just enter a few criteria, like mood, tempo and instrument, then sit back and listen to more than a dozen nearly instant compositions.

Text creation tools like Jasper can write blog posts, Facebook ad headlines, Amazon product descriptions, LinkedIn business bios, personalized cold emails and just about anything else. For the marketing director of a fast-growing technology company, automated text generation can provide huge quantities of content on every SEO keyword that might bring incremental traffic to your website.

Companies are releasing and improving powerful new tools like these with startling rapidity. That is why some experts believe that as much as 99.9% of online content will be AI-generated by 2025 to 2030. If your job depends on creating online art, music, text or video content, your job could be at risk.

It is already happening in journalism. Thomson Reuters and the Associated Press (AP) use machine learning algorithms to write stories or assist with aspects of journalists’ jobs. And the editors of regional media outlets are driving incremental readership by using automated content generation to cover every local sports result, real estate sale and neighborhood weather forecast. For example, Dutch regional news outlet NDC plans to use robot reporting to cover every single one of its 60,000 local soccer matches; the outlet’s sport product manager called the prospect “engagement gold.”

Strategies To Help Marketers Thrive

AI and automated tools represent risk, but also opportunity.

Although their book Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines is no longer brand new, I think the solutions that Julia Kirby and Thomas H. Davenport offer still represent some of the best advice available anywhere for marketers threatened by automation.

Kirby and Davenport list five possible strategies for anyone wanting to thrive in the AI age, which I’ve offered my perspective on below. The authors say you can step up, step aside, step in, step narrowly or step forward. What you shouldn’t do is stand still.

1. Stepping up means you become the person who deploys AI tools, not the person they replace. People who step up make high-level decisions. They are senior executives like marketing directors and CMOs who decide how the new systems fit into the business. If you hope to step up, ask yourself what steps will qualify you to take such a senior role. Consider an MBA or more specific training.

2. Those who step aside choose to focus on generating value in ways that machines cannot. Stepping aside means embracing sources of insight and accomplishment in areas where computers alone do not suffice. Stepping aside could mean taking a role that requires human empathy, taste, humor or just a physical presence. Do you have an abundance of any of these qualities? If so, seek out roles that make the most of your human talents.

3. When you step in, you take a role in creating, monitoring and managing the use of automated tools within your organization. You know how to make smart tools more productive because you understand them as well as you understand your business’s needs. As I write this, LinkedIn returns more than 22,000 job results for the title “marketing automation manager” in the United States. If you choose to step in, start by volunteering to assist those in this role at your current business, then seek a job that makes it your full-time responsibility.

4. To step narrowly means hyper-specializing in an area about which you are passionate but that is too attenuated to automate. You become the expert in a particular topic or field that others mostly overlook. Because there will be at most just a few people working in your specialty, it may never pay to automate it. You can use computers but are unlikely to be replaced by them. If you choose to step narrowly, be brave in delving into the depths of your specialty. Others may not understand it at first, but they will likely come to respect it.

5. Stepping forward means choosing to build smart tools for others. Like those who step in, you will help usher in the automated future. This role is likely to be remunerative. Perhaps you take a role as a marketer, product designer or customer success specialist at an organization that produces automated tools. Even robot sellers need human employees. Learn as much as you can about the field and seek out roles at the companies you find most exciting.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start preparing for the future of automated marketing and content. Choose your path to the future today and stay ahead of the curve.


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