AI tools in marketing offer efficiency, data insights, and personalization. They automate tasks, provide consumer insights, and enhance engagement. Yet, challenges include high costs, reduced human touch, and data privacy concerns. Balancing AI benefits and drawbacks is key for effective marketing strategies.
ChatGPT produced the above copy for us, and we’re glad to see that our robot overlords still have capacity for a little self-criticism.
While my job as a copywriter isn’t at risk (yet), it’s important to understand the pros and cons of AI tools in marketing, as this is the worst version of AI we’ll see; it’s only going to get better.
Don’t forget, while ChatGPT is stealing all the headlines, it’s not the only AI available. AI can be used to help produce text, images, video, research, design, presentations, spreadsheets and much, much more. It’s an incredibly versatile tool, but you must be careful to not overuse AI.
So, without further ado, here’s our list of the pros of cons of using AI tools in marketing.
The pros of AI in marketing
AI is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s arsenal. Here’s how AI tools can help us to market to our target audience.
Boost customer relevance
To succeed in marketing, you need to understand your target market really, really well.
Only by knowing who you’re targeting, what they need and, perhaps most importantly, the things they like, can you determine what tactics you need to use to connect, persuade and convert your audience into customers.
A good marketer relies on data, and they likely have loads of it at their disposal (often from third-party sources such as socials, analytics, your CRM, etc.). However, it’s incredibly time consuming to sift through the rubbish data to find the nuggets of gold. AI can draw from data, helping you refine audience groups via changes in behaviour, demographic data and previous campaign successes.
AI helps to home in and improve the relevance of all your marketing comms, meaning that when a marketer is creating content, they can be confident that what they’re producing is highly tailored to their target audience.
Dramatically improve efficiency
As mentioned, AI speeds up many processes.
It’s great for handling monotonous jobs such as:
- Data management
- Sending email campaigns
- Quantifying leads
- Scheduling social media
- Answering FAQs (in the form of a chatbot)
AI’s not only great for the mundane, it can also be used to help with content ideation, marketing research and ongoing analysis.
If you’re ever in a content slump, ask an AI what things you should be writing about. You’ll be surprised at how well it can spark great ideas.
By improving your overall productivity and efficiency, AI tools help marketers spend more time doing what they do best – putting together a killer marketing strategy and driving warm, relevant leads. A good marketing agency will use AI to help you make better use of your spend, meaning you get more bang for your buck.
Create hyper-personalised content
While it might seem a little Black Mirror-ish, we’re starting to see AI assist with impressive levels of personalisation.
Whether it’s on TV, Amazon or social, you’ve likely seen ads that seem a little more personal to you than normal. It might list your name, your town or your city; they seem to know everything about you!
Big brands often use AI to tailor ads to speak directly to you, but it’s not something to be too worried about – most of the data they use can easily be gathered through geo-targeting.
In the same way, have you ever suspected that your phone is listening to what you say? Perhaps you mentioned wanting to stock up on bath bombs then, lo and behold, all you’re seeing is ads for bath bombs?
While it seems a little suspicious, it’s actually our friend AI once again. Brands can combine data with AI to track what customers want, and at what time they’re more likely to be searching. This data then presents ads to you seemingly out of nowhere. It’s not that they’re listening to you, it’s just that AI knows exactly what you want, which is only a little bit terrifying.
The cons of AI in marketing
As robust and compelling as many AI tools are, they’re not a true threat to human intellect.
Sure, AI has its place in marketing, but it does have some (pretty serious) drawbacks. These shouldn’t put you off, but you do need to be aware of the cons of using AI in marketing.
The privacy of your customers/clients is, of course, a very important thing for any business.
Users have a right to know what data you’re gathering about them, and how you’re using it to market to them. It’s very hard to stop having your data harvested, but you do have a little bit of control (this is a big part of GDPR).
When using AI, you can never be 100% sure whether the data it uses is lawfully acquired. This is likely to change, so we highly recommend keeping up with legislation to ensure you’re always compliant.
Requires a fair amount of human management
There’s no T-1000s (that we know of), meaning that AI still needs a fair amount of human input to keep it functional.
This means that if you’re planning on using AI in your marketing, you need to invest in either training, or a team who is already familiar with using the tech.
‘AI Consultant’ is a job role that’s becoming more and more common, and roles like copywriters (hello) and designers aren’t completely redundant (yet!).
For example, many businesses are turning to AI to help with their ongoing blog content. While AI is great at churning out copy at incredible speeds, it doesn’t necessarily produce the best work.
It’s a helpful tool for getting the ball rolling, it doesn’t yet match up to the ability of a human writer/designer.
This is because AI cannot fabricate writing from nothing, it needs to create by drawing on content that already exists. If every business exclusively relies on ChatGPT for their copy, then everyone’s going to start sounding the same.
Overreliance on AI leads to formulaic, repetitive and jarringly inhuman content and work. This is why partnering with content marketing experts is important for any business looking to grow organically.
A good agency will ensure that the work you produce is highly targeted and ready to convert – AI just can’t do that. AI is a good assistant, but a poor replacement.
Bending the truth
Not everything that AI produces is exactly truthful.
For example, a Lawyer in America used ChatGPT in court, but he didn’t take the time to double check what it produced.
Turns out, ChatGPT fabricated cases, citing legal precedent from things that never happened! The lawyer presented his ‘findings’ as fact, and now a judge is considering sanctions – not fun.
AI has been known to do this fairly regularly, which means that any data that you source using AI should be thoroughly fact checked. Better yet, source your own data and simply use AI to sort and analyse; that way you’re protected from any fake data.
Easy to over-rely on AI
It can be very easy to develop an overreliance on AI.
Yes, it’s incredibly useful, but it does not replace the marketer, it simply makes them more efficient.
If you use AI too much, you may find yourself making mistakes, using inaccurate or false data, or sounding just like everyone else who falls into the same trap. This can have a seriously detrimental impact on your SEO, as sounding the same as others is a sure-fire way to damage your rankings.
Our advice: keep the human, enhance with AI.
Poor at measuring qualitative data
AI is amazing at measuring quantitative marketing data. Its downfall is in the analysis of qualitative data.
For example, AI is great at measuring clicks and engagement, but perhaps less so about analysing the overall success of a campaign; it cannot truly understand the quality of a conversation that your sales team had with a lead, or that your social media manager had with a prospect on LinkedIn.
This data, for now, is best left in the hands of marketing experts.
So, should you be using AI for your marketing?
Yes, of course, but it needs to be used correctly.
We can’t take the human out of marketing yet (sorry Arnold), the tech just isn’t quite there. Successful marketing is heavily reliant on the human aspect (a sentence which I didn’t think I’d ever need to say!).
To find success in marketing, you need to connect with your audience, and ChatGPT just hasn’t quite got that figured out.
Want to see the difference that proper, well executed marketing can make? Talk to our team at Catalyst.
We focus on data-driven, fact-based marketing – we’re here to deliver tangible results, not vanity metrics.
Got a question? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team of experts. We’re on hand to revolutionise how you market your business, and to help your business grow in the way it deserves.