Tools powered by artificial intelligence don’t care whether they replace you. So, here are three spaces they can’t fill — at least not for a while.
Artificial intelligence-based marketing tools can now learn, predict, personalize, strategize, make decisions, take action, provide insights and create content.
So, what can human marketers do to make sure they are still useful?
To get some ideas about what skills humans might retain as the waves of AI-powered change roll in, we asked a veteran of marketing’s ups and downs, Bonnie Crater.
She’s CEO and president of San Mateo, California-based marketing analytics firm Full Circle Insights, and she’s held marketing exec positions at Realization Technologies, VoiceObjects, Salesforce, Genesys, Stratify and Netscape.
First of all, she said, remember that even the smartest platform is desperate for one thing:
While there is software to clean and optimize data, she said, it is likely there will be a long-term need for marketers with data management skills.
Human marketers, that reasoning goes, can best find and select the most appropriate data sources, monitor the processed data for quality, and understand the budgetary tradeoffs. Ambitious marketers, of course, can also learn higher level skills that are closer to those of a data scientist, a role that also seems viable for the foreseeable future.
But, if data isn’t your thing, consider operations.
Of course, platforms like Aprimo provide tools for managing operations. But, even when a future AI makes today’s seem like a three-year old child, someone will need to manage the interaction between technology, money and humans.
In other words, the ace-up-the-sleeve for human marketers could be that — although it’s easy to forget — we still live and work in a world of atoms. Until androids can manage people or argue with the boss about budgets, human marketers will have a role wrangling that intersection.
Crater also pointed out that this realm includes the whole marketing subset of promotion, such as public relations, publicity and events.
“Yeah, a lot of demand gen will get automated,” Crater conceded, but buzz gen may still remain on our side.
Finally, there’s the whole creative thing.
The remaining question, though, is whether inspired creative marketing — like the Apple 1984 TV commercial or the political argument of will.i.am’s “Yes We Can” video — can ever be mimicked by a cognitive platform.
“Good creative captures the intuition of individuals,” Crater told me, adding that intuition needs the human spirit.
“And,” she said, in a vote for our side, “the human spirit will survive.”
Take that, AI.