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AI marketing should be embraced, but creative agencies are not being replaced

AI marketing is evolving, and the professionals are getting nervous.

Lauren at PMW delves into how it is affecting businesses and why creative agencies won’t be replaced . . .

 

As I sit here at PMW HQ, I can tell you that we’re not losing our heads just yet. I’m choosing to ignore the industry’s “we’ll be out of a job soon” way of thinking. Instead, I’ve taken some time to explore some of the possibilities and limits that AI for marketing offers.

AI advertising is covering more and more ground, from design AI that creates artwork and even video, to tools that can generate voiceovers, write copy and code, and ad platforms that analyse data to enhance the personalisation and placement of ads.

Whether it’s a tick box on Meta Business Suite to autogenerate the optimal ad settings or popping a brief to an AI application to produce a business logo, clients are starting to ask why they can’t simply use the AI tools themselves – and it’s a very reasonable question given that the AI world is developing at such a rapid pace.

 

So, why can’t clients do all their own marketing with AI?

My answer to this is: by all means, give it a whirl, but to get truly good results from a marketing perspective, do you really possess the skills, or have the time to train yourself to get the outcomes that your business and brand deserve?

With AI tools now useful for some of my everyday tasks, I’ve discovered that by embracing new technologies, there is a wealth of perks to benefit from. This comes with a caveat. The input of experts is crucial if you want something that actually looks good. Despite saying that, if AI is utilised effectively, there are abundant incentives that we can pass on to our clients.

 

Even with an agency, AI can save you some cash and valuable time

As a cost-saving exercise, why wouldn’t you look at taking on marketing with AI yourself to improve efficiency?

A common misconception about marketing agencies is that they’re expensive. Whilst that depends on what the project is, I’m always looking for the most sensible solutions for our clients based on what is affordable because happy clients need a worthy ROI. If you’ve got a tight budget to work with, then AI could offer you marketing solutions that might not have been an option for you previously due to their traditionally costly nature.

For example, you might need a video to deliver internally or have a very specific creative photo you need to stage, but the financial implications of filming or a costly destination or model, instantly wipe that idea off the table. Well, with AI options such as InVideo and Midjourney in the hands of the right creative professional, you won’t have to fork out anywhere near as much as you would have for a glossy production on location with expensive overheads. Submitting a brief to these AI marketing tools might seem like a simple prospect, but to really get what you want it’s still best to leave this task to the pros.

For idea generation and copywriting, the headline-hitting resource ChatGPT can be extremely valuable if you’ve come up against a creative block. Just today, I saved a time-consuming ideas generation session by simply asking the chatbot to come up with witty dog puns for a Halloween campaign (clearly a tough day in the office). This free tool churned out reams of suggestions and does the same for any copywriting you need. And if you don’t like it, you simply ask it to do the job again.

However, the output from AI bots such as this and competitors like Google Bard, have their limits. The AI is only as reliable as the websites it’s programmed to scan, and it can get a bit repetitive with its responses. The technology collates all its ‘knowledge’ from a vast amount of data on the internet but, using ChatGPT as a specific example, the database it works from currently has a cutoff date of September 2021. This means, that whilst it can be extremely helpful when it comes to sparking creativity, you need to have the talent to mould its responses and simply can’t rely on it for facts, the latest news or what’s trending.

 

How to embrace the use of AI

If you want a logo or poster created, of course, I’m not going to stop you from giving it a go with AI. But if you’re not a trained graphic artist and you want something original, authentic, and impressive, you still need the professionals. Here’s why . . .

By appointing a marketing agency to a visual design project, you’re harnessing the experience of people who know the art of putting together a detailed brief for AI in the language that it understands. Not only that, but we agency professionals have spent years honing our craft and training our creative eye to instinctively know what looks and sounds right. Without this know-how, working out how to brief the AI marketing bot would not only be a painstaking and time-consuming task but is likely to result in something lacklustre or, worse still, plagiarised.

When it comes to using AI in digital marketing, through years of practice my digital colleagues have honed their craft, knowing how to experiment in the right way with audience targeting, images and personalisation to get the perfect result for each client. With Meta and Google now giving AI options for ad generation, data-informed suggestions for ad improvements and even writing ad copy, the team has found huge success with AI for some client campaigns. Whereas other client campaigns have proven more successful with a tailored approach. Without this pre-AI industry experience, it would be up to guesswork and assumptions that the AI advertising generated by these bots would be the best route to take. Whereas when you enlist the pros, we know when to apply these different strategies to achieve the desired results by considering a range of influencing factors that can only be gained through experience.

AI writing assistants offer a huge time-saving incentive by churning out press releases, blogs, essays and even a weekly meal plan with a shopping list if that’s what you’re after. It’s a fantastic piece of tech but if you want something truly exclusive, you won’t find it here, and you’ll probably get a lot of repetition. A professional writer can work expertly through this copy and craft it into something entirely unique using humour, current knowledge and verified facts that AI simply can’t do.

To wrap this up nicely, I thought who better to describe the reasons why human input is still vital in marketing than AI itself? Here’s what ChatGPT has to say on the matter:

“What sets human marketers apart is their ability to think critically, employ strategic reasoning, and offer original thought. Unlike AI, humans possess creativity, intuition, and emotional intelligence, which are essential in crafting compelling marketing campaigns and connecting with target audiences on a deeper level. AI may excel at processing vast amounts of data and identifying patterns, but it lacks the inherent human touch that allows us to understand complex human desires, motivations, and cultural nuances. Human marketers’ expertise lies in leveraging these qualities to develop innovative marketing strategies that resonate with people and drive business success.”

The benefits that design AI tools and new marketing technologies bring to the table are worth exploring. I’m an advocate of utilising its capabilities in aspects of my daily work as it doesn’t threaten my skills as a creative. Whilst even AI admits its own downfalls, it is here to stay and grow. At PMW we’re embracing it as a valued team member – but I’m not rewriting my CV just yet, because let’s face it . . .

Artificial intelligence can never replace actual intelligence.

 

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Lauren Hogg
Account Director

Article by:

Lauren Hogg -
Account Director

A multi-media specialist with more than 15 years’ experience in regional press and account management, Lauren is responsible for the smooth running of client accounts. Her duties include ensuring campaigns are on track, within budget and in line with expectations and objectives.

Among the many clients she’s worked with are Sussex Police, The Martlets Hospice, Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Sussex University and ASB Law.

In her spare time, Lauren can be found on the side-lines watching her son play football, and is also a loyal Brighton & Hove Albion FC supporter.

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