Why AI will replace rocket scientists before it ever replaces marketers
“It’s not rocket science.” This is a phrase I’ve heard many a time during my time in the marketing world. Now, with reflection, that statement is actually pretty ironic. With artificial intelligence (AI) continuing to evolve and become even more intelligent, many professionals are left wondering if their jobs will still be relevant in the near future or if machine learning will cause those jobs to be obsolete.
As with any new disruptive technology, there has been quite a bit of talk around the potential power of artificial intelligence and the jobs it could possibly replace. But for those of us in creative professions, how worried should we actually be? Not very.
It’s true that AI has already had a significant impact on the marketing and advertising industry. Nearly nine in 10 marketers say they have used AI in some form, with most claiming the best success comes from using it to better control the media buying process. This has caused some people to speculate that AI could eventually become so popular that marketers’ jobs will become obsolete.
Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not true -- at least, not yet.
According to world-renowned inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, looking at AI as a threat is unnecessary. Instead, humans should embrace technological advancements and allow them to, in turn, make us smarter.
Machine learning has come a long way in recent years. AI algorithms have been honed and perfected, enabling machines to learn and update on their own. While this has affected all walks of life, when it comes to marketing, AI has helped improve the customer experience exponentially.
In today’s day and age, consumers expect companies to always be on, and they expect messages to be personalized. AI helps marketers achieve this level of personalization without having to work 24/7. It’s ironic because this automated, mechanical tool is making marketing more personalized and human.
However, despite all of AI’s capabilities, marketing is still much too nuanced to be completely replaced by AI. But it can be enhanced by it.
For example, if two ads are performing a certain way from a metrics perspective, there’s still something to infer beyond just the numbers. One ad may offer 40 percent off your product, and therefore, it may be performing better than the other ad that speaks to your product’s quality. But you can’t just sell your product for 40 percent off all the time -- that’s not a lasting business strategy. AI won’t know that, though.
This is where a marketer's touch and human intelligence come to play. At this point, and in the near future, there will still be a need for a human marketer behind AI tech to help steer the campaign in the right direction. If you're looking for evidence of this, consider the many issues that came to light as programmatic advertising gained traction.
Tools like machine learning and other AI marketing techniques are going to make a marketer’s job easier but not obsolete.
Rocket Scientists To Be Replaced Before Marketers
This is no jab at rocket scientists. I say this merely to point out that marketing is highly nuanced and requires a type of thinking that is not easily (or feasibly) replicated by artificial intelligence -- yet. Whereas rocket science is governed by mathematics and logic, marketing requires innovation and creativity to be truly effective.
Everything with AI is systematic and mathematic. Therefore, rocket science can be taught to a computer because the logic behind it is factual with no nuance or subjectivity. Marketing, on the other hand, is fact-driven but with an art behind it. Good marketers use gut feelings and creative know-how to be their most effective selves.
The fact is, these gut feelings are probably just facts and processes that our brains aren’t able to articulate quickly enough for us to understand. But while AI might become advanced enough to make those same judgment calls, it’s just not there yet.
Machines Are Friends, Not Foes
Marketing is rarely just math and logic, which means there is no need to worry about these jobs being taken over by robots in the near future. Currently, AI is only at the point where it can take over repetitive, blue-collar types of jobs. I believe creative jobs like marketing will be the last to go.
So, marketers should instead learn to embrace AI. It’s incredibly helpful when it comes to automating large-scale and repetitive tasks. This allows leaders to then put their energy toward planning, creative messaging and the aspects of marketing that require a human touch. After all, companies that are able to embrace and adjust to change are the companies that last.
Instead of being fearful of AI taking over jobs, be excited that technology is advancing in such a way that will make jobs better! Marketers are always going to be needed to create the right messages, drive results and incorporate the brand’s overall strategy.