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The Future of Digital Marketing: What AI Holds for Marketers

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

The Future of Digital Marketing

Now, let me be clear. I'm not opposed to new technology.

The fax machine, the internet, email - every tool that has come along has had its place in our marketing toolkit. AI, with its data-driven promises, is no different. But there's a caveat.

As much as AI can analyze data, predict behaviors, and even write copy (yes, I'm looking at you, ChatGPT), it lacks one crucial element: human instinct.

It's that gut feeling you get when you know a headline will work even before the tests come in. It's the intuition that tells you when something is off, even if the data says otherwise. It’s the life experiences, the triumphs, the failures, the joys, and the heartbreaks that give depth to our decision-making.

Marketing isn’t just science; it's an art. It's understanding the hopes, fears, dreams, and desires of your customer. The psychographics, not just the demographics.

Can a machine truly understand the dream of a young entrepreneur, the fears of a new parent, or the aspirations of someone looking to turn their life around? I'd argue not. These are deeply human experiences, and while AI can mimic understanding through data patterns, it lacks genuine empathy.

That said, I'm not suggesting we turn our backs on AI. Far from it. It's a tool, just as direct mail was a tool, as the telephone is a tool.

The key is in knowing its place.

AI can analyze data

Use AI to enhance your processes, to give you deeper insights, to automate the mundane. But never forget that at the heart of every great marketing campaign is a deep understanding of the human condition.

The future?

It lies in combining the computational power of AI with the irreplaceable touch of human instinct. Machines will give us the data, but it's up to us, the seasoned marketers, to interpret it, to craft stories, and to connect on a human level.

In essence, while I appreciate the marvel that is AI, remember this: Machines don't buy products, people do.

See, I was giving a speech on why me, Gary Bencivenga, and a few of us copy guys were all trying to beat Gary Halbert’s Control. And we tried over and over and over again, but we couldn’t do it.

Why’s that?

We even had Gary read my letter, and he agreed that it was better, but Gary was still winning. And it wasn’t because he was a better copywriter or whether I was. It was because of his instinct. At that moment when he was writing his sales letter, why did he choose that exact word at that exact placement. We will never know. He doesn’t even know. It was that gut feeling. AI cannot replicate that. At least not yet.

Maybe if Elon figures out how to put chips in us, there’s a chance, but until then, I doubt AI is replicating what we can do.

Now let me break down how you can leverage AI for your marketing efforts, without losing the essence of what makes marketing truly effective.

1. Data Analysis:

At its core, AI excels at processing massive amounts of data at speeds we humans can't fathom. This means identifying patterns, preferences, and behaviors of your audience becomes not just easier, but also more accurate. Use this to sharpen your targeting, refine your messaging, and better understand the ever-evolving needs of your audience.

2. Personalization:

Imagine crafting a unique message tailored to each individual recipient, without doing any of the manual work. AI can segment your audience based on their behaviors and preferences, sending them content that resonates with them personally. It's direct response on steroids.


3. Chatbots and Customer Service:

We've all experienced the frustration of being kept on hold. With AI, instant customer service becomes a reality. Chatbots can handle inquiries, solve problems, and even upsell products round the clock. They’re the tireless sales force you didn’t know you needed

4. Predictive Analysis:

It's always been our goal as marketers to predict the next big trend or to foresee a consumer need before it becomes apparent. With AI's predictive analytics, we can forecast future behaviors based on past data. This isn’t just throwing darts in the dark; it's informed decision-making at its best.

5. Content Creation:

Now, I've always stressed the value of persuasive, well-crafted copy. AI tools are emerging that can create content, and while they might not replace a seasoned copywriter, they can certainly aid in generating basic content or providing suggestions to optimize existing copy for better results.

So there it is. How to use AI in digital marketing. If you want to learn more, you can always go to my NO BS Newsletter or to access more information on marketing or AI.

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