The year is 2033; velour tracksuits have made an unfortunate comeback, easyJet can send you to Mars for just over a fiver and Artificial Intelligence has officially taken over the world. Although we may have another 14 years before the robot revolution, AI is already dominating the multi-media sectors. With 72 per cent of businesses hailing droids as a marketing advantage, is it time for humans to step aside and leave Alexa to it?
Stone Junction’s marketing executive, Tasha Bodger, discusses the pros and cons of leaving PR purely to the bots.
One of AI’s biggest benefits is the connection it establishes between a business and its customer. Thanks to intelligence software, corporations no longer need to make costly assumptions about their client base. Whether it’s targeting a specific ad or recommending a tv show — that Netflix match-rating to Ru Paul’s Drag Race is no coincidence — AI knows exactly what to market to who and when, without any of the human error.
Speaking of error, AI will also evolve your marketing campaign by monitoring past mistakes, audience engagement and customer insight, without you having to post a single thing first. Machine learning allows intelligence software to alter its programme based upon patterns and inference rather than explicit instructions; meaning you don’t need to risk a post being ghosted to figure out exactly what your audience wants.
According to Forbes, companies who use Artificial Intelligence as part of their marketing strategy see a 52 per cent sales lift in comparison to those still relying on non-bot marketers. Although it seems easy enough to analyse sales data without AI, the simple fact is it takes humans so much longer to do so — and bots don’t need to check the group WhatsApp every few hours for memes. Unfortunately for us, taking just a little longer than average could make all the difference when trying to produce relevant online content.
Using AI to respond to your customer insights seems like a no-brainer, but do your customers actually respond positively to AI?
The answer? Unfortunately, not.
In a survey conducted by the Business Insider, 52 per cent of customers indicated they would abandon a brand if the communications they received via chat, telephone or DM were impersonal or ‘canned’. Although it’s extremely cost-effective to have complaint channels or customer service lines manned by robots, it ruins the experience for the people potentially buying your products. We can probably all think of a time we’ve internally — and sometimes audibly — groaned when we’ve realised we’re dealing with a ‘help bot’ and not a human being. As of 2019, automated bots don’t have all the tools needed to reply to customer queries correctly, and sometimes than can be more frustrating than the initial complaint.
Although customer service isn’t directly part of a marketer’s job, without great client satisfaction it can be extremely difficult to promote your brand effectively.
What is part of a marketer’s job, however, is being creative; something which AI hasn’t quite yet mastered — listen to one of Alexa’s jokes and you’ll see what I mean! Without a crazy idea or a kooky PR stunt, marketing campaigns tend to get lost in the sea of social media. AI can tell you when to post, where to post and if you’re beating the algorithm, but it can’t write your content for you… yet.
Image courtesy of flickr user Methodshop via CC2.0.