Column: After Marketing, Will AI Take Over the World?
By George Farris
CEO, Farris Marketing
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Not long after I mentioned artificial intelligence in a column, I received an email from a reader: “Before I started using AI, I thought it might be dangerous. Now, I just don’t think about it.” I have the same attitude. As Mad magazine mascot Alfred E Neuman asks, “What, me worry?”
Like most humans, I trust that all inventions are safe. Sure, the Chevy Corvair was “unsafe at any speed” and the Ford Pinto had an exploding gas tank. But AI leaders at Microsoft and Alphabet say there is “almost” zero chance AI can take over the world.
AI for Marketing
I’ve been using AI marketing platforms for years, and I expect to increase the applications in my marketing practice.
Unlike the unwitting buyers of Corvairs and Pintos, there is enough information available for you to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of AI before implementing it into your marketing strategy.
One advantage is the ability of AI to analyze vast amounts of data quickly and accurately. AI systems can process and interpret data collected from various sources, such as customer
behavior, preferences and market trends.
You’ll find lots of AI-based services that can give you insights into your target audience, enabling you to tailor your campaigns for maximum effectiveness.
In addition, certain AI-powered marketing tools can automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time for marketers to focus on more strategic and creative aspects of their campaigns. By automating tasks such as data analysis, content creation and customer segmentation, AI can streamline marketing processes and improve efficiency.
You may have noticed that AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants have become popular in customer service and support. While first-generation versions were clunky, slow and, well, weird, new versions are much better. They provide real-time assistance to answer queries, resolve issues and even make personalized product recommendations.
Chatbots and virtual assistants can enhance the customer’s experience, improve customer satisfaction and increase loyalty. That’s three big wins for marketers.
There are also potential drawbacks to consider when using AI for marketing. One of the main concerns is the potential loss of the human touch in interacting with customers, not to mention the loss of empathy and emotional intelligence that could result in a disconnect between the brand and its customers, leading to a decline in customer trust and loyalty.
Another challenge is privacy. With the vast amounts of data being collected and analyzed, there is a risk of breaches and data misuse.
Last, implementing AI technology for marketing requires a significant initial investment. This includes the cost of acquiring AI tools, training staff and integrating AI systems.
You will have to decide if and when you are ready to adopt some AI tools for your marketing. Eventually, AI will be considered just another tool, like your laptop and the art, video, copywriting and media software you already use.
Personally, I think it would be a good idea to keep AI busy with marketing. The more time it spends analyzing response to ads, the less time it has to think about taking over the world.
George Farris is CEO of Farris Marketing. Email gff@FarrisMarketing.com.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.