The truth about AI in marketing – overhyped or game-changer?

Last updated: April 25, 2024

Aaron Rudman-Hawkins

Aaron Rudman-Hawkins is a dynamic digital marketing expert and a driving force behind The Evergreen Agency's success. With a passion for technology and a deep understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape, Aaron has become a trusted name in the industry.

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The marketing world is abuzz with the AI craze, but is the hype justified? As an agency that lives and breathes marketing, we’ve been kicking the tyres on AI to see if it’s the game-changing force it’s made out to be.

First, let’s talk about what’s driving the AI frenzy. There’s no denying it – the stuff AI can create for creative services now is downright mind-blowing compared to just a year ago. We’re talking photorealistic digital avatars, coherent songs from written prompts, and convincing audio/video clips. It’s reaching legitimate “Black Mirror” levels of capabilities.

But before you freak out that AI will automate all of us marketers out of relevance, there are some serious limitations to consider.

The biggest one? AI is essentially a box of information without human context and guidance. Sure, it can ingest tons of data lightning fast to spit out hyper-personalised audience segments or creative content. But as our Paid Media Director, Kon, bluntly put it, “AI is an absolute moron” if you don’t feed it the right parameters.

Without understanding the core business drivers, market landscape, and commercial nuances, AI runs the risk of formulating generic or misguided strategies. As our paid search and paid social teams see it, AI isn’t a marketing mind-reader, it’s a potentially powerful tool that needs careful human oversight.

That’s why we believe the true unlock of AI will come through human-machine partnerships. By having actual marketers set the guidelines based on their expertise while leveraging AI to automate tedious tasks and turbocharge content production, you get the best of both worlds. AI becomes a force multiplier augmenting human intelligence rather than a complete hand-off to an AI overlord.

Now, that’s not to say there aren’t implications for the industry to ponder. Some big brands have been called out for trying to pass off AI-generated work as human-made to sidestep paying creatives. Regulatory bodies are already mandating disclaimers on AI-derived content. Quite frankly, the ethical considerations around this rapidly evolving space deserve serious discussion.

But at the end of the day, we at Evergreen see AI’s role in marketing as one of partnership over obsolescence. Yeah, it may put some low-skill production tasks on the chopping block. But for marketers who embrace the human-machine synergy, while staying mindful of AI’s flaws and ethical minefields, it can be an incredible accelerant for stand-out campaigns.

So don’t buy into the doomsday AI rhetoric just yet. It’s powerful tech, but we marketers have the intellectual smarts to keep it as a supporting capability, not a replacement for our strategic chops. Embrace AI prudently and it could be a total game-changer.


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