The age of AI driven automation is well and truly upon us. Pizza Hut is experimenting with robots called Pepper and virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa are a reality now.
According to Pizza Hut the experiment with Pepper will not only make the customer service faster and more efficient but will also make it easier for people to customize their orders. The company expects a reduction in customers’ wait time for orders and far superior and personalized user experience. This does indeed represent a threat to the first line of marketing personnel.
Although it is equally true, that Pepper has not been so successful outside Japan, where it is sometimes available at hotel lobbies as a virtual concierge and was actually fired from a Scottish grocery for less than satisfactory performance! But this can be seen as a step in the learning curve for AI controlled robotics and as we all know that this learning curve is indeed quite sharp.
Marketeers are confused as to how to react to the implications of AI and are yet to clearly understand its impact it on their jobs because AI has the potential of creating big winners across the marketing segments as well as create big losers at the same time.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai had some time back called AI, "more important to humanity than electricity or fire." Marketing is seeing a shift from mobile-first age to the AI powered age, but most marketeers are still not certain about the implications of AI on their domain.
Along with this comes the dreaded question - Will the rise of AI have an adverse impact on marketing jobs?
Yes, indeed some low-level marketing jobs will be lost to robotics and automation. Companies may not have a choice but to automate and use AI for much of mid-level marketing functions if they want to survive.
But marketing as a whole will not only survive but thrive in the age of AI and automation provided it changes, adapts and evolves to fit in an artificially intelligent future.
In fact, AI may make the life of a marketeer easier as he will have the perfect data at hand to prove what kind of marketing works and which kind doesn't work. He could use the power of AI for lead scoring as exemplified by Harley Davidson that increased sales leads by over 200 % by using an AI-powered system that scored leads “in a much more intelligent way.”
According to Outsourced CMO founder Vineet Arya, marketeers who have the ability to use Big data solutions and other AI techniques to indulge in a smarter search to quickly and more efficiently analyse customers, their tastes, preference, buying patterns etc stand to gain by the advances in AI. The use of AI will give marketers the tool to make more relevant and better targeted advertisements that can be pushed to different categories of customers.
Already, the large amount of data churned out by artificial intelligence marketing solutions gives amarketeer valuable insights into an ever-increasing number of relevant metrics. This allows them to gauge important trends and customer behaviour pattern that facilitates the creation of personalised marketing campaigns and strategies.
Customer-facing activities including marketing automation, support, and service in addition to IT and supply chain management are predicted to be the most affected areas by AI in the next five years.
To be continued ......