In our latest Good Stuff session, we sat down as a team (virtually) to discuss our thoughts on AI in marketing. Including our opinions on AI, based on our job roles as part of a creative marketing agency, to the future of AI in general and more.
We centred the conversation around the following statement “AI will completely replace marketers / designers in the near future.” With various media outlets claiming this statement to be true, we each first spoke about our own personal experience with AI in marketing recently…
“I’ve found that from an SEO perspective, some of the AI tools out there can be useful in sparking an initial phrase or keyword, however when it comes to the more technical or specific topics, for example when doing some SEO research for our client ActOn Finishing, it doesn’t hold up too well. To me, it seems that without understanding and knowing the client the way we do, it isn’t able to provide useful suggestions.” – Alison
“For me it gets the message down for you, but it needs human intervention to make sure it’s got the right tone, the right audience in mind and all those other things that only we can navigate knowing the client really.” – Lauren
“Rather than seeing it as an objective replacement versus a non-replacement, I see it as a tool that we can control with language, almost like a co-pilot. It’s great for speeding up the process a lot of the time, and the abstract designs it can create are often useful when it comes to concept creation.”
AI, and specifically AI in marketing, is certainly a hot topic at the moment, with 34% of companies currently using AI, and an additional 42% exploring AI. But, it’s not exactly new. Artificial Intelligence has been around for over 10 years, so why the sudden spike in interest? Theo, gave some insight into why this might be.
“The tools are going in the right direction, I don’t think it will take over our roles though, if anything it will enhance our abilities. From what I’ve been reading, it seems to be more about our understanding of AI and making sure we’re aware of all the ongoing changes, with the likes of MidJourney and Adobe Firefly, introducing quite a few new features that seem to be of interest to many.” – Theo
And whilst it’s true that AI tools are developing and updating at a rapid speed, it’s fair to say there’s some areas where AI is yet to have any or very little impact on as of yet, as Sam and Iain shed light on.
“From a video point of view, it seems to be a little bit premature at the moment. A lot of what it produces is very abstract and psychedelic – if you give it a prompt, it can get quite bizarre and a lot of it’s not appropriate for the clients we have, so it seems like there’s a way to go.” – Iain
“Project management is very intuitive and as a creative marketing agency what we offer is quite bespoke. For example Monday.com’s new AI feature helps with generating tasks, but having tried it out, it’s not really that useful because every client project is different and so are their needs.” – Sam
It was also recently reported that 44.4% of marketers have used AI for content production. With statistics like this, it’s easy to see why more marketers want to increase their usage of AI in their marketing efforts to stay competitive, but this can impact our expectations and doesn’t account for the constraints of a brief…
“Without a doubt, public expectation is skewing the way we view AI in marketing. A lot of people expect AI to magically create exactly what you want, but you still have to think creatively and use AI to your advantage rather than expecting the world from a piece of technology.” – Lewis
“It starts to become a bit more difficult when you have to work it around a client’s brief and imagery. AI seems to struggle to meet the constraints of a brief, which is why our input is essential in successfully executing projects.” – Alison
“There’s also a massive issue around rights of use at the moment, some of the things AI creates can only be used for personal use and that’s where it starts to get a bit tricky.” – Theo
“How you work with AI will depend on the results you get. The tools can only get you so far, but how you stitch them together is down to you.” – Lauren
So, whilst AI is able to accelerate what we do in some areas and provide new ideas, there’s still quite a few teething issues when it comes to AI in marketing, specifically the technical and legal issues that arise. Having tried various AI tools over the last year or so, it’s clear to us that human intervention is required. AI requires the assistance and guidance of professionals to direct and shape the information it generates. No AI tool we’ve seen as of yet is able to compete with human skill, and the emotional intelligence needed to develop standout marketing assets, but only time will tell.