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AI is Not Killing Marketing (Yet)

6 min read
Aug 17, 2023

Marketing is dead, apparently. At least that’s what some proponents of AI would have you believe. After all, how can a lowly marketer compete with tools that generate optimised content in mere seconds?


ai not killing marketing 55 percent

Source: Neil Patel  

As a marketer with more than a decade of experience, I can tell you that is the wrong question to be asking. What you should be asking is how are marketers going to harness the power of AI to innovate and radically change the industry forever.

Because I’ll let you in on a little secret, marketing dies every few years or so. Every time there is a leap forward in content or distribution technology. Marketing after the advent of the internet? Dead. Marketing when Facebook took over the world? On life support. Google phasing out third-party cookies? RIP marketing. 


How is AI affecting the marketing industry?

In the year 2023, the silver bullet in the heart of the marketing industry is language models. An AI language model is a type of artificial intelligence technology that is designed to understand and generate human language. It uses a combination of machine learning algorithms and vast amounts of text data to learn patterns, grammar, context, and semantics of language. The primary goal of an AI language model is to generate coherent and contextually relevant text that simulates human-like language understanding and production.

Language models like GPT-3 are examples of AI language models. They are "pre-trained" on a large collection of text data from the internet, which enables them to learn the nuances of language and various topics. They can then be fine-tuned for specific tasks, such as answering questions, generating creative writing, offering recommendations, and even engaging in conversational interactions.

The main ones that are believed to be the major “threat” to marketing are:

  • Chat GPT: ChatGPT is an AI language model developed by OpenAI that generates human-like text responses. It's trained on a vast amount of internet text to understand language patterns and context. It's used for tasks like answering questions, generating text, and having conversations. ChatGPT's "chat" capability allows it to engage in simulated human-like conversations.
  • Bard: Google’s foray into the language model/chatbot world. Built on the Pathways Language Model 2 (PaLM 2), Bard is centred on search functionality and strives to facilitate organic language inquiries as opposed to reliance on keywords. Bard's AI is educated using authentic conversational prompts and corresponding replies, aiming to offer contextualized responses rather than mere answer listings. Its structure is also tailored to address subsequent queries, introducing a novel facet to the realm of search capabilities.
  • Bing Chat: Launched in February 2023, is a new feature for Microsoft Bing’s search engine. It is powered by OpenAI's GPT-4 and allows users to pose inquiries, receiving comprehensive responses, complete with referencing footnotes leading to the primary materials and current data sources. It can also be used for creative endeavours, with the ability to write poems, essays, songs, and even images through Bing’s image creator). 

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of generative AI, with other language models cropping up every day, not to mention the AI tools that allow you to generate images, code, and perform data analysis. It seems as though AI has every aspect of the marketer’s job role covered. 

Essential guide to marketing strategy

Will AI replace marketing?

The concern that AI will replace human marketers is a valid one, but it really doesn’t offer a like-for-like replacement. While AI can automate routine tasks, provide data-driven insights, and even help generate quality content, the essence of marketing goes beyond algorithms. Human creativity, emotional intelligence, and the ability to build genuine connections remain indispensable aspects of effective marketing.

AI isn't a magic wand that replaces human creativity—it's a tool that amplifies it. Marrying data-driven insights with imaginative storytelling is where the magic happens. There's a unique essence that human marketers infuse into the art of marketing—something that AI can't replicate, such as:


  1. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Understanding the human psyche isn't just about data points. Human marketers grasp the nuances of emotion, crafting campaigns that evoke genuine connections. Empathy can't be coded, and emotional intelligence goes beyond algorithms.

  2. Creative Ingenuity: AI can generate content, but it lacks the innate spark of creativity that humans possess. The wild tangents of imagination, the sudden flashes of insight—these are the human nuances that birth groundbreaking ideas.

  3. Authentic Storytelling: The warmth of a relatable story, the authenticity of a brand's journey—these are human elements that resonate deeply. AI might analyse data, but it can't truly feel the pulse of a narrative.

  4. Adaptive Intuition: Human marketers rely on intuition honed over years of experience. This gut feeling guides decisions, sometimes against the odds. AI, while data-driven, can't replicate the gut instincts that often lead to marketing triumphs.

  5. Niche Expertise: In the vast world of marketing, there are niches that require intimate knowledge. Human experts in those fields bring a depth of understanding that AI might struggle to match.

  6. Building Relationships: Personal connections can't be automated. Networking, understanding client needs, and nurturing relationships—all are uniquely human abilities that breed trust and partnerships.

  7. Cultural Context: Human marketers grasp cultural sensitivities and regional nuances, ensuring campaigns are respectful and resonate authentically across diverse audiences.

  8. Flexibility and Adaptability: The marketing landscape isn't static. It's the human ability to pivot, adapt, and innovate in real-time that keeps strategies relevant amid shifting trends.

  9. Ethics and Values: Making ethical decisions isn't just about algorithms. Human marketers navigate complex moral terrains, ensuring their strategies align with societal values.

  10. Problem-Solving: When unforeseen challenges arise, human marketers strategize solutions creatively, drawing on their experience and resourcefulness.

In the symbiotic dance of AI and human marketers, the human touch remains an indispensable ingredient. AI may excel in processing data, predicting trends, and automating tasks, but it's the emotional, intuitive, and innovative capabilities of humans that propel marketing beyond mere algorithms. It's not about humans versus AI; it's about harnessing the unique strengths of both for marketing that truly thrives.


Will AI change the future of marketing?

In short, it already has. Beyond the tools I mentioned earlier, AI has been around for decades in some form, and marketers have had to adapt. Voice search is an excellent example of this. More than 1 billion voice searches take place every month on devices like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant and marketers have changed the way they optimise their content to compensate for this. 


ai not killing marketing yet image 1

Source: Demand Sage

As generative AI and language models become ubiquitous, it inevitably pushes marketing into new realms. But this doesn’t mean it will replace the person on the other side of the keyboard. Rather, AI's role is to assist marketers, streamlining processes, optimising campaigns, and improving efficiency among other things. However, the creative and strategic elements of marketing, such as crafting compelling narratives and understanding cultural nuances, require a human touch that AI cannot replicate.

The future of AI and marketing, then, relies on marketers embracing AI tools. The bigger question is then how do you do that?

  1.  Personalisation with Precision: AI analyses user behaviour to tailor content—boosting engagement and conversions. Remember those product recommendations? That's AI at play, making your customer feel seen.

  2. Chatbots: Chatbots powered by AI provide instant responses, enhancing customer service round the clock. A seamless experience for your audience translates to loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

  3. Data-Driven Insights: AI crunches data at warp speed, revealing trends and opportunities. Marketers can predict customer preferences, adjust strategies, and refine content for maximum impact.

  4. Automated Content Creation: It's not about replacing humans but augmenting creativity and productivity.

  5. Predictive Analytics: AI's predictive prowess helps marketers anticipate market shifts, optimising campaigns ahead of the curve.

Remember, AI isn't killing marketing; it's redefining it. It amplifies their capabilities and enables them to navigate the evolving digital landscape more effectively. The key lies in striking a balance between leveraging AI's analytical power and harnessing human creativity to create impactful marketing strategies. As AI continues to evolve, marketers who embrace its potential while staying true to their creative instincts will thrive. 


Implementing a successful AI strategy relies on analysing vast amounts of data. Try Hurree today for free, and see for yourself how you can use our dashboards to display all the data you need.

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