Is AI to copywriters what Google Translate was to translators?
When most people think about artificial intelligence (AI), they often imagine sci-fi films and novels – human-like robots and sentient machines. However, the reality of AI is much simpler, especially when it comes to AI in marketing.
AI is a system that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. And with the popularity of ChatGPT, it’s becoming much easier to use.
As the hot topic of the internet, you barely need to scroll through social media for a few moments before coming across an opinion piece, post, or advert on artificial intelligence. Bill Gates has even offered his view, saying: “The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone.”
Many people believe that AI will revolutionise our lifestyle, but will it revolutionise marketing?
You could say that it already has.
Understanding the history of AI
The term ‘artificial intelligence’ was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy at the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence (DSRPAI). At this event, the first artificial intelligence program was introduced – Logic Theorist. Designed to mimic the problem-solving skills of humans, this proof of concept is what started it all.
From 1957 to 1974, artificial intelligence bloomed. Computers were able to store information, as well as getting faster and cheaper, making them more accessible.
In the 1980s, AI flourished thanks to two sources: funding and the expansion of the algorithmic toolkit. Through ‘deep learning’, computers began to be able to learn through experience, and at the same time, expert systems were introduced to mimic the decision-making process of a human expert. This means that the program could pose questions to an expert, and once these were learnt, the computer could offer this information to non-experts.
By the 2000s, many of the landmark goals of AI were achieved. In 1997, a computer beat the reigning world chess champion and Grand Master, Gary Kasparov – a massive moment of success for artificial intelligence. That same year, speech recognition software was implemented on Windows, and software was even launched that could recognise emotions.
Jump forward to 2023 and where are we now in terms of AI? Well, we live in a ‘data-driven’ world. All the data in the modern world is too large for a human to collect, so computers do it for us. You can find AI nearly everywhere – marketing, banking, technology, and media.
Apps are already utilising AI
Snapchat has rolled out its new AI chatbot powered by ChatGPT. For a monthly fee, users can chat to ‘My AI’ and ask it for help with anything – emails, creative writing, etc.
Email marketing platforms such as Transpond are also rolling out AI to aid in the writing of emails opening up ‘outsourced’ copywriting to small businesses with minimal budget. However, using AI in marketing comes with pros and cons.
Advantages of artificial intelligence for marketing
Using data for relevant recommendations
AI can use predictive analytics to help businesses to understand user preferences, meaning it can recommend things based on customer data. An example of this would be streaming services that recommend shows based on what you’ve previously watched.
Marketers can do the same thing with AI, in which it recommends products and services to customers based on their previous preferences. This is a powerful tool that can be a real time saver.
Predict which leads will convert
Through deep learning, artificial intelligence can identify user behaviour and accurately predict which leads are most likely to convert. This allows marketers to streamline their efforts and save time by focussing on the demographics that count the most.
By collecting a vast amount of data through demographics, purchase history, customer location and more, AI can identify possible potential customers. This data can then be used to personalise current or new products, helping to ensure customers.
If customer interactions are to be carried out with a computer – rather than a human – then AI can be a less costly option. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that 55% of customers prefer to talk to a human rather than a robot (source).
Disadvantages of artificial intelligence in Marketing
What do you think of when you hear the term AI? I can’t imagine words like ‘welcoming’, ‘understanding’, and ‘personable’ spring to mind. That’s because although artificial intelligence has many advantages, it also can’t replace the human touch.
Customers prefer humans
Many people are instantly put off when their inquiry is replied to by a robot. The lack of human interaction can come across as impersonal and leave the customer feeling unvalued.
Whether you’re a small business or a large organisation, chatbots should be used as little as possible. We all know how frustrating it is when you can’t speak to someone about an issue!
Computers need humans
Artificial intelligence is by no means a replacement for humans (no matter what science fiction says!). Yes, it can aid in the marketing efforts, but not without humans.
Computers are not able to make important creative decisions, change their minds, or use an imagination to design something unexpected.
Lack of cultural awareness
Computers are not aware of current creative and cultural references, so creating marketing campaigns that are on trend, self-aware and relevant to the current culture needs to be done by a human.
No brand TOV awareness
Great copywriting is crucial to any marketing campaign. But it isn’t as simple as putting together words that sound good, it must be tailored to each brand. That’s why TOV is so important – every piece of marketing produced by a brand (whether that’s social media, brochures, or radio adverts) must be written in the brand’s specific language and tone.
Artificial intelligence can’t do that. So, even though the writing might be ‘good’, it likely won’t be appropriate for brand TOV and will need heavy editing.
It can be wrong
I know – it’s hard to imagine a computer being wrong. But humans are more complex than computers, we aren’t crafted only from mathematics and figures. We have unexpected nuances and are constantly changing, which computers can struggle to keep up with. Meaning… the algorithm can be wrong.
Our varying tastes, opinions, and desires are what make us human. And marketing focuses on this.
Doesn’t grasp SEO
SEO is key to marketing – in fact, it can make or break your rankings. With no grasp of this, artificial intelligence will not consciously input SEO into the copy it creates, so your campaigns or websites could be damaged by the use of AI.
On the other hand, marketers better understand SEO, ensuring it’s utilised to its full potential.
Octima’s thoughts on AI
Of course, we cannot deny the amazing capabilities of artificial intelligence. Its ability to aid your marketing, streamlining efforts and utilising valuable data should not be underestimated. However, we strongly believe that AI should not be a replacement for marketing teams.
Humans know what humans want.
So, if you’d like a helping hand with your marketing, give us a call. We’re humans, and we understand your customers.
Contact us on 01202 022108 or at email@example.com.
(History of AI source: https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2017/history-artificial-intelligence/)