How Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Disrupting the Marketing Industry

Paulie Anthony
April 15, 2019

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This guest blog was written by Jennifer Birch

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the single most disruptive technological innovations of the past decade. With applications in major industries like healthcare, military, banking, agriculture, and global logistics, it should come as no surprise that AI is also changing the face of modern marketing.

At the forefront of this change is social media and digital marketing, which are taking over traditional forms of marketing and advertising. Social Media Examiner reveals how AI algorithms are being used by companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google in order to predict the actions and movements of consumers. Using AI to process its user data, Facebook can predict, and then show ads and posts that are tailored to the interests of their users. A similar technology is being used by Netflix to predict your next go-to shows. Meanwhile, e-commerce websites use AI to determine which products you’ll want to check out next, based on your previous activity. For advertising agencies, AI can help determine the best course of action when it comes to strategizing future ad campaigns.

AI is able to do all this because of one valuable resource: big data. The more AI matures, the better it gets at crunching the numbers – picking apart and analyzing the data in order to pinpoint actions that could lead to more revenue. While this has raised concerns over AI taking over human marketing jobs, Brandpoint content marketing manager Valerie Turgeon begs to disagree. Turgeon believes that AI marketing tools simply help to gather the data that’s required to understand consumer behavior: “But to create the campaigns and determine how to use AI, that has to come from the brainpower of human marketers whose core role will never change – to provide helpful, informative content for their customers and build business.” Turgeon stresses the fact that humans are still the only beings that can fully understand other humans – at least for now.

In fact, there’s still an above average growth in the demand for marketing jobs, which is something that AI has supported. As AI marketing tools get better, more and more specialists are needed to use these tools to their full potential. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job market for marketing professionals is above-average with a 10% increase in jobs expected by 2024. This includes jobs in consumer data analysis, campaign strategizing, creative advertising fields, accounts management, client servicing, and many more. AI is not the enemy; it’s simply a new tool for streamlining marketing-related processes.

At the same time, however, there are notable AI innovations that can actually replace some human marketing jobs. Working with Honda Connected Car services, a company called Bright Box has released an AI platform that effectively works as a personal consultant for customers in car dealerships. App Developer Magazine examined how Bright Box used their 90 terabytes of connected-car data to develop their AI service. They found that the company could evaluate a customer’s lifestyle and driving behavior in order to recommend ideal car models and accessories. But again, while this may suitably replace a typical car dealership consultant, the reality is that even customers who are happy with what the digital consultant recommends will still want human feedback. 

While AI is truly disruptive, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will negatively impact all marketing jobs. As we stated in our article 2019 Technology Trends and Our Sci-Fi Future, AI will augment employee roles and make them more productive. The more we recognize the role of AI in streamlining marketing tasks, the better we can specialize in using AI tools to boost our own performance as marketers.