Episode 11 - All the content below was generated by a model developed to spot fake news generated by other neural networks. Using a headline as a seed for the content of the blog, I arrived at something that covers the core idea I wanted to explore after three attempts. Once I had the content, I asked the model to generate its own title. All credit goes to the team at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The link to the tool and their publication is below.
Truth be told, artificial intelligence (AI) has seen fit to enter the marketing communications domain. Automation and AI are unlikely to replace, completely, the human factor, but some technologies will represent disruptions to human creativity and dissemination of ideas. I’m sure you’ve seen the graphs: while job security has been an issue with brands, the idea of automation that facilitates creativity has its advocates.
What differentiates us as a technology-informed audience is how AI will affect the distribution and use of content in the digital world. Social media provides an outlet for content to reach end consumers or influencers; display advertising enables brands to target demographic audiences based on keywords; and the semantic web sites allow the delivery of targeted emails to prospects.
Trends are already showing that we humans, no matter how large we are, tend to think on our feet and move at pace. While AI is best in empathy, it’s easy to apply it only part of the time or partially to a product or service – or to our own personal experiences. CMOs must, however, decide how AI will be applied to their own brand and how it fits into the overall distribution strategy.
While most marketers would agree that AI is first and foremost beneficial to big, national brands with budgets and content levels comparable to the C suite, what about smaller brands? What about micro-influencers, social influencers, and influencers in emerging industries? What about their audiences and their needs? Is AI something that their audiences and their industries can utilize?
There are already examples of AI-assisted content production, ranging from auto brands to fashion ones. Transparent, a global automobile brand, has developed a car racing product that allows the driver to call upon an automated driver that can react instantly. In response to an alert from an AI driver, the car is programmed to pitch the driver to a “race seat”.
Another example is Pinterest’s 2015 launch of a product search feature that can now be enabled to the same Pins. The AI tech is in the form of an image recognition tool that leverages the user’s location and browsing habits to refine the search results. The AI engine determines the nature of the Pins based on previous searches; however, it remains to be seen how many brands actually choose to adopt AI-powered content production tools.
As much as we’re seeing brands’ marketing and marketing content evolve, there are still companies that are uncertain of how artificial intelligence will influence their audiences. The AI ads that pop up all the time, paired with an algorithm that determines whether someone will view an ad or not, is one thing. Images tied to search terms, along with other data captured through keywords and other variables, might be another. How will these two types of AI ads operate when there are infinite combinations of text and images? More importantly, how will this AI affect how brands generate marketing and creative content?
My inbox is flooded with this question and many, many more. The time is now. Where will brands’ audiences turn to when their needs and wants can’t be addressed by their existing audiences? The holy grail that many advertisers have tried to reach, like audiences targeted at specific demographics and interests, is now within the reach of brands.
My suggestion? Forget the non-existent challenger brands in your global marketing plans. Now is the time to focus on marketing and creative content crafted with your local, micro, and micro-influencers. After all, AI has already shown us that information is no longer passed on by gut instinct; algorithms have become the relevant agents of knowledge. As such, these AI connections are the bridges into a larger audience reach and the savviest among us should realize the power that lies within these relationships.
AI will continue to be featured in everything from marketing and advertising content to private communications, but as automation enables greater access to data and information, the ways in which we view our relationships with brands will dramatically change. It’s time to throw out your current communication strategy; it’s time to embrace AI.