If you are looking for a new book on marketing, let it be this one: Marketing Artificial Intelligence: AI, Marketing, and the Future of Business.
In it, author Paul Roetzer (Founder and CEO of Marketing AI Institute) warns of the great storm that is already starting to hit the industry, and which is only growing in category: AI, that is.
He begins with Demis Hassabis’ definition of AI as “the science of making machines smart,” which for him translates to “the science of making marketing smart.”
Roetzer argues that “traditional marketing is all human, all the time. But artificial intelligence possesses the power to change everything.”
Marketers versus AI
Key to his premise? That AI “will replace specific tasks and augment what you are capable of doing.”
Roetzer warns that marketers will need to develop strategic and creative thinking, instead of focusing on repetitive, machine-like tasks like acquiring and analyzing data, personalizing emails, working out the best schedule, and etc.
Machines will not only replace all of the above, they will do an impressive and far-reaching job humans can only dream of.
Roetzer argues that machines will allow us to spend more time doing the important tasks: using our human superpowers—creativity and the like. They will also (ironically) free up time for human interactions, another key element of business.
Nowadays, most marketers do everything: from coming up with the plan, researching the right audience, creating the copy, targeting the right audience, updating their CRM lists, and promoting on the right channels, while crossing their fingers it all works out.
Most are using a trial and error method. At the end of the day, few have time for strategic or highly creative endeavours.
Meanwhile, clients continue to be frustrated by agressive or erroneous targeting. They’re expecting more accuracy and personalization from brands, and some brands are just not delivering.
In addition, seeing as data abounds, most marketers don’t know where to start or how to read it. So they keep guessing.
They keep tweaking, unaware why certain campaigns are just not working.
“To the three great technological revolutions—the agricultural, the industrial, and the computational—we will add a fourth: the AI revolution”Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI
How AI works
The machine “continues to evolve and improve based on new data… in other words, it gets smarter,” writes Roetzer.
Make no mistake, says the author, “the machine is not actually intelligent.”
“It is artificially representing intelligence by performing mathematical calculations at superhuman levels.”
For example, a machine cannot experience fear or love for a dog; something most humans are perfectly capable of.
Roetzer’s Three Categories for AI Applications
Roetzer narrows down three categories for AI applications: language, vision, and prediction.
He offers the example of OpenAI’s GPT-3, whose early version was used to “produce things such as coherent blog posts, press releases, and technical manuals, often with a high degree of accuracy.”
However, as machines will start replacing most content writing, brands will have to be wary of bias, reminds Roetzer.
Remember: machines are not perfect. They are learning (often in a black or white manner) and they are not capable of loving.
For vision, he delves into the Salvador Dali deepfake used by the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, where a virtual Dali spoke with visitors and even took selfies with them.
Here, he warns of the deepfakes that might affect brands. Think of a video of your CEO speaking, suddenly appearing online. Only, your CEO never uttered those words, and he never recorded that video.
“It only takes about 500 images and 10 seconds of video to create a realistic deepfake”Siwei Lyu
”That means all those social media photos and YouTube videos your company shares could be used against your brand,” reminds Roetzer.
Otherwise, we will see how “AI-powered prediction enables personalization at scale.”
Imagine sending out a personalized mass email, so that each person receives relevant information based on their needs and tastes. Impressive? Yes.
Something humans are capable of? No.
Useful AI vendors
In chapters five to fourteen, Roetzer provides readers (aka marketers) with concrete AI tools for: advertising, analytics, communications & PR, content marketing, customer service, e-commerce, email marketing, sales, SEO, and social media marketing.
These highly useful sections are clearly divided so that you can easily skip to them as you would a new weblink.
Below are the vendors he suggests exploring for each:
- Advertising and AI
- Analytics and AI
- Communications, PR and AI
- Content Marketing and AI
- Customer Service and AI
- Ecommerce and AI
- Email Marketing and AI
- Sales and AI
- SEO and AI
- Social Media Marketing and AI
The dark side of AI and the art of keeping it human
Roetzer concludes by reminding us of the dark side of AI and the importance for an ethical framework that will keep bias (one machine favoured men over women) and other issues–think racist comments–at bay.
For him, the idea is not to replace the human. It is to let AI take over many of the repetitive and unpredictable tasks, and help us personalize at scale, so that we can have more time to think creatively and interact with our clients as… humans.
With Marketing Artificial Intelligence, Roetzer seeks to take us on a journey “from the origins of AI to a future in which humans and machines worked seamlessly to run personalized marketing campaigns of unprecedented complexity with unimaginable simplicity.”
He achieves this and more. The book is a wake-up call as well as a practical and accessible guide for how to get there.