Marketing Needs AI

As I huddled for warmth around various robots and gadgets designed to make my life easier at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to start off 2023, there was a buzz in the air. A topic that everyone could not wait to talk about and buzz about…

Artificial intelligence—and specifically ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) from the Elon Musk-backed company, Open AI.

How will this work with ChatGPT? was a common refrain. And me being the curious marketeer that I am, I set out to find out how this innocent little application would be used in the marketing world.

Now the trade show is about products and not really marketing, but marketing has a place there tucked away in smaller booths with the other “service providers.” I found “lead generation” companies, “digital marketing” specialists and even a hologram company that created “immersive 3D content” which were technology-based illusions designed to draw attention and wows from the crowd.

So it does beg the question — will AI improve marketing? I mean Ryan Reynolds even had ChatGPT write the script for a Mint Mobile commercial and he was pretty impressed (and freaked out) with what came out. Here’s the thing. Most marketing today has been taken over by SEO and funnel companies, lead generation companies and full-stack technology providers without an OUNCE of actual marketing training in their very short careers.

I think marketing needs ACTUAL intelligence, not artificial intelligence. You see, ACTUAL intelligence allows us to do the little things like:

  • Use empathy to craft a clear story about the customer that’s all about THEM as the HERO and THEIR problems
  • Build brands that are based on helping customers, not annoying them into submission
  • Use third parties in the media and influencer community to build trust and generate awareness for new products and services

And most importantly, to foster and nurture mutually beneficial RELATIONSHIPS with customers.

AI isn’t interested in doing any of that. Because it’s not human. Machines don’t understand relationships, not like we do. And if they start to understand them, then we have much bigger problems to deal with as our AI gets smarter and our children get dumber while doing the latest dangerous mind-numbingly stupid challenge on TikTok.

ChatGPT is a tool and it can write some things very well. Usually, it sounds like Wikipedia learned how to write in terms of tone, voice and purpose. But it will get better. AI will get smarter and disrupt things. That’s what all technology does and that’s why we love it.

In my opinion, marketing doesn’t need to get more automated and faceless at this point — we’re already there. We need to use our innate creativity and our humanity to do amazing things in marketing that machines simply could never imagine.