The Future of Marketing: Automation vs Innovation

Does AI Understand Your Brand Voice?

AI is dropping jaws and blowing minds every single day. Evangelists will tell you there’s not much it can’t do. The advent of ChatGPT (as well as Gemini) and their integration into our daily lives and the online tools we use has caused a monumental shift in how we view technology and the possibilities it offers. However, the praise goes hand-in-hand with the caveats – and marketing is the perfect sandbox in which to test AI’s limitations.

AI Doesn’t Understand Feelings

One major shortcoming of AI is its lack of emotional intelligence. A brand is more than the sum of its products and services – it’s a living, breathing, continuously evolving entity with its own personality and voice. This is because a brand is a group of people sharing a common goal under one banner. AI sees the banner, but cannot grasp the human force driving it.

Marketers understand that a brand’s voice has a level of human insight that AI intrinsically lacks. As human beings, we don’t simply relay information to one another – there’s an emotional association underpinning all aspects of our communication based on culture, upbringing, and a whole host of other factors that AI could never take into account. For example, the phrase “I’m fine” could have a million different meanings, depending on the subtext. Can AI pick up on those nuances? Or does “I’m fine” simply mean “everything is good?” It can generate the word, but it still can’t understand what it really means. Now try to explain the meaning of Just Do It.

Generation Is Not Innovation

The fact that AI takes existing data and renders it as relevant information to you is one of the greatest technological advances of our time. Looking for the best way to express a thought? AI will scour our collective digital landscape in order to bring you the best possible results.

This can be hugely advantageous to a brand’s copywriting and communication capabilities in terms of timing, but it’s not a positive move towards creating innovative, emotive, original content.

The problem is this: It’s already been said and done before. Simply taking AI’s services at face value means you’re rehashing what already exists. You’re using another brand’s voice and simply quoting the best in the business is a surefire way to keep them at the top of the food chain.

What’s more, there’s something about a person behind a keyboard writing from a wealth of experience that AI simply can’t replicate. If you think it’s written by AI, it probably is.
And, while some sectors will benefit from having their more mundane tasks and messaging automated for the best possible results, repeating someone else’s content is never going to result in impactful, insightful communication that makes a reader sit up, take notice, and go out and purchase your product.

How Brands Can Utilise AI

AI is here to stay and it offers a vast amount of benefits in terms of productivity and speed. Every day, there are new revelations about the capabilities of AI, and what this means in terms of the way we approach our operations. We’re all testing new ways to use AI to our advantage, and that includes (obviously) the big players.

Big Companies Aren’t Sold Yet

For the moment, big brands are not placing their advertising strategies in the hands of AI, and with good reason – AI is far from ready. Emotional intelligence and human innovation are still the biggest assets to a brand’s voice and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

Somewhere between pure logic and random chaos lies the searing human truth that really sells a brand to its consumers – and that can’t be achieved artificially. AI might have experience scouring the Internet, but it has no experience as a human being.

Bottom line: A soda commercial written by a machine that’s never had the opportunity to sip an ice-cold drink on a hot summer’s day just won’t be quite the same.

Using AI as an Innovation Tool

At its best, AI is currently on par with a great personal assistant. Need some ideas to get you going? Have at it. Just don’t entrust your entire strategy to an assistant – you’re still the expert and they have a lot to learn. Besides, anyone who thinks that marketing can be fully automated probably has a very low opinion about the purpose of marketing, or simply doesn’t understand its real power. And we all know what happens to a business that doesn’t truly value marketing as a means to achieve ROI.

A tool is only as good as the person using it – we’re still in the process of figuring out the kinks and optimising the benefits. So, when it comes to AI, it’s best to remind ourselves that, while technology can be helpful, the heart of any brand lies in the very real human hearts behind it.

Alex Melone
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Alex Melone is the Co-Founder and Chief Production Officer at CodeCrew. Alex has extensive experience in the email marketing industry. He started his career as a project manager and became a self-taught expert in deliverability and back-end functionality before branching into entrepreneurship and founding CodeCrew. Alex strives to continue pushing the limits of email’s capabilities. He believes that digital innovation, continued development and rising to new challenges are the recipe for success in the modern era

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