February 1, 2021 |

After running out of things to do in lockdown boredom, I’ve recently got into a new show called ‘Billions’ – it’s not perfect but it’s binge-worthy. At one point in the series, an employee leaves and sets up their own firm after they realise that using a complex algorithm, they could automate their trading and generate better returns. Robots taking over the world, or at least business.

It’s a big twist in the show, but the way the characters and firms react to AI – it summed up my feelings towards the industry at the moment.

AI in marketing can make us better, quicker and help us make smarter business decisions but it will never build a formidable campaign on its own.

Today, most people are using AI to help take the guesswork out of identifying and targeting customers, understanding big data, running loyalty programs and providing better customer experiences.

If businesses do not adapt to this, they will fall behind.

Quite like some UK stores that failed to provide a ‘clicks and mortar’ solution and are now joining the long list of historic brands in the retail apocalypse.

Whilst AI is a necessity, it is not something we can fall back on. This is because great marketing is not a perfect algorithm; it’s an art form. It requires experience, empathy, creativity and sound judgement – something a machine can’t do. (Please do not replace me with an empathetic robot Trev).

The same can be said for the churn of content, often fuelled by data for what has worked before rather than an original idea. In fact, there’s that much of it, most of us are numb to it. Which is why, more than ever in marketing, we need personalisation, fine-tuned for each audience or content that is so good and so different, it eats the weak content. (Shameless campaign plug).

I’m sure we’ll eventually find a perfect synchronicity with man, machine and marketing, for now, let’s let the robots do the heavy lifting and concentrate on the true marketing craft of creating something unique and understanding our audiences’ pains, worries and aspirations.