Am I worried about the rise of AI when it comes to the marketing industry? As a human marketing copywriter myself, the thought of being replaced by a robot is a bit unsettling. I may make typos, take coffee breaks and use the occasional PTO, but I have feelings, darn it! How am I supposed to keep up with something that doesn’t do any of those things?
DEEPER DIVE: Forecasting 2023 PR and marketing trends
AI is changing the marketing agency world quickly. It’s making marketers rethink how we approach creativity, leverage our human value and bolster our productivity in ways we never thought possible.
Here’s how the rise of AI is changing the marketing and PR industries — for the better, and also for the uncertain.
Don’t have the time to create something? Ask AI to do it. But be warned: It’s not always easy to get what you really want out of AI.
AI can take creative direction — a prompt, guidelines, audience information — and crank out things like social media posts, blog articles, even radio scripts and video commercials in fractions of the time it takes us humans to do it.
There’s no guarantee it’s going to be something award-winning. Actually, it might come out unforgettably unsettling, because creepy art is just AI’s thing. (Have you seen that beer commercial it made?!) But hey, it produces those bone-chilling commercials quickly!
As AI improves and moves away from cranking out Eldritch horrors from our nightmares, industries like ours will start moving toward automation. However, automating marketing materials is just a jumping off point. It takes a human eye to edit, interpret and adapt what the AI is producing. It takes a humble human to write the AI prompt, and human intelligence to understand and interpret a client’s needs.
At The James Agency, we’ve planned for this with a business model we call Stratagem. Agency models still operating as deliverables-based businesses — creating a logo here, a brochure there — can easily be left in the lurch in our AI-driven world. Instead, our agency leads a deep dive with our clients, fully understanding their industry, their pain points and their specific marketing needs. From there, we develop a strategy road map that will lead their campaigns with data and real human interpretation of those insights.
Inspiration jumping-off points
AI is an incredible tool for creative inspiration.
Not sure what a tiger wearing a space helmet in a grocery store would look like? Give AI a whirl. Need some headline ideas to break a stale routine for a luxury beachside resort? AI can crush your writer’s block.
These powerful algorithms and language processing tools gather ideas from across the internet and their databases, pulling together ideas that have worked to give us entirely new thoughts to work from — but you might not want to use them word-for-word.
In March, the U.S. Copyright Office published guidance that makes using AI-generated content a legal grey area. Giving completely AI-generated content to your client could land them in legal hot water, but there’s no reason we can’t bounce some ideas off our robot companions and use their ideas as a jumping off point for our own human brilliance.
The numbers — what do they mean?!
Consumer data and demographic information will always be one of the more complex tasks an agency can perform. Data analysis allows us to draw informed conclusions about our clients’ consumers and helps us make informed decisions about creative direction, content development, media buying and more.
But those numbers … it can be a lot to sift through. AI is already an excellent tool for things like language translation and creative ideation, so it’s a no-brainer that these programs are great at data analysis. With AI, we can uncover trends in consumer data with confidence and identify patterns that may otherwise go unnoticed to the human eye.
Public relations communications
In PR, the only way to be effective at your job is to have strong connections with the media. That starts by building your personal brand as a publicist in real life, with real human communication. It’s meeting a journalist for lunch, preparing your client for a high stakes media interview, and schmoozing the crowd at an influencer event for your client’s new restaurant.
As for the content writing portion of the job, trust us, we’ve tried to created a solid press release by prompting AI with the client’s details. But (for now, at least), AI doesn’t seem to understand the nuances of news writing. It has difficulty understanding what the most important details of a news story are, and how to interpret them to an audience in a way that is exciting, factual and easy to digest.
When it comes to pitching an article to reporters, AI can certainly generate a two-paragraph summary of the story we would like a reporter to cover. But it has difficulty adding additional helpful context that would really make a reporter “bite” on a story — the visuals we can provide, the client’s schedule for interviews and what other news makes this story relevant right now.
AI is revolutionizing the marketing and PR industries, empowering agencies to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness. Embracing these advancements will be crucial for marketers and PR professionals looking to stay competitive in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. And for us at The James Agency, we’re confident that we still have the upper hand on our robot overlords… for now.