The computer says no!
Depending on which day of the week it is, headline-writers will have you believe that Artificial Intelligence is a lifesaver, improving analysis of hospital tests and speeding up research into new treatments, or, contrastingly, that it will prove the very architect of mankind’s demise … think Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terminator.
Equally, the predictions of AI’s business impact range from salvation to destruction, says Tim Lenton, digital innovation and strategy director at Purpose Media.
Companies within every sector are considering its potential. Some, like BT, predict that AI will replace thousands of roles – 10,000 before 2030 in its case – while the World Economic Forum strikes a much more optimistic tone, estimating that it will actually help create 97 million new roles around the globe.
Analysis by recruitment firm Hays discovered that more than a fifth of businesses had already introduced AI in some form into the workplace – with the greatest take-up of any sector in marketing, where 37 per cent of professionals were using it.
But, while us marketing types are clearly already grasping the benefits that the technology offers, helping with research and crunching data, will it ever present our clients with an opportunity to ditch their agencies and trust directly in AI themselves?
What better way to answer the question than by consulting ChatGPT, the data-powered ‘bot’ created by OpenAI and already being used by millions?
Reassuringly, for us at least, the computer says no!
More accurately, it states: “Al is a powerful tool that has revolutionised the marketing landscape, offering data-driven insights, automation and efficiency. However, it can never replace the indispensable role of a good marketing agency.”
Of course, we agree with AI’s own assessment and, in true marketing agency fashion, will give you seven reasons to explain why:
- The human touch: While AI can analyse data and make recommendations, it cannot replicate human innovation. Marketing agencies are full of creative individuals who can create unique and compelling campaigns to resonate with audiences in a way AI simply cannot and can also ensure quality control and brand consistency.
- Providing context: Agencies invest time in understanding a client’s business, sector and competitive landscape, informing strategy in a way AI algorithms cannot fully grasp.
- Relationship building: Trust and rapport are built through human interactions and are essential for successful long-term collaborations.
- Customised solutions: AI lacks the depth of understanding required for truly customised strategies, while agencies can tailor solutions to align with a client’s unique needs.
- Adaptability and strategy refinement: Marketing agencies are agile and can harness intuition and judgement to adapt quickly to changing market dynamics.
- Ethical decision-making: AI is not equipped to fully comprehend the moral context in which a business is operating, and which may shape decisions around its messaging.
- Strategy integration: Good agencies integrate marketing strategies into a broader business approach, thinking holistically and considering long-term goals.
Smart companies will, of course, seek to exploit the virtues of both AI and a great marketing agency to help them achieve their goals.
ChatGPT acknowledges as much itself.
“It’s not a choice between one or the other, it’s the marriage of technology and human expertise that paves the way for marketing excellence in the 21st Century,” says the ‘bot’.
While Arnie’s Terminator in that dystopian version of an imagined AI-dominated future insisted ‘I’ll be back’, we marketing agencies don’t plan on ever going away.