Sure, A.I. feels like an over-hyped buzzword right now, but in reality, marketers have been using some form of the technology for decades, and the leaders who recognize how to capitalize on the next iteration of A.I. will see measurable value in the adoption of the technology.
Let's start with the fear that A.I. will take over the marketing function. According to Velocidi president Mark Kovscek the use of tactical A.I. can already be found in systems like media mix optimization, response modeling, and programmatic marketing. For example, in the latter use case, A.I. powers real-time bidding on ads served to a site. The technology is making the decision for the marketer on which ads to select. Tactical A.I. is a valid example of A.I. taking over a marketer's job function in very specific ways.
We can liken this to the trend of U.S. manufacturing jobs. CNN Money reports that U.S. manufacturing jobs are at 1940s levels, though manufacturing output is at an all-time high — a difference that accounts for manual labor being replaced by machines. Companies are starting to invest more in workers who are enabled by technology, rather than at risk of being replaced by it. For example, Apple recently announced that it will funnel $1 billion into "advanced manufacturing" to support "highly skilled jobs that will help lay the foundation for a new era of technology-driven manufacturing in the U.S."
This is indicative of a shift, which can be reflected in marketing's new focus on A.I. Unlike tactical A.I., strategic A.I. is more about using the technology to enable decisions rather than make them for you. This form of marketing artificial intelligence looks for patterns and trends in data, then surfaces insights that a decision-maker can use to drive brand growth and market share. The strategic use of A.I. can be found most readily in mature marketing intelligence solutions, like Velocidi's own platform.
Most important, strategic A.I. is not a threat to the marketer's job function. In fact, it can and should be used as a competitive advantage. Strategic A.I., in a sense, helps you make smarter decisions based on marketing performance. CMOs that embrace A.I. will better enable their teams’ data and analytic processes through insight generation, increased efficiency, and actionable recommendations that improve marketing performance.
Still not sure about how A.I. will function in marketing? Read these:
- How A.I. Will Change the Marketer's Role in 2017
- 7 Sci-Fi Inspired Fears About A.I. That Marketers Should Let Go Of
(Photo by Edwin Andrade.)