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AI in marketing: future or failure?

Artificial Intelligence: can be a little like marmite, you might either love it or hate it. As a marketeer, you may absolutely despise it. You may think that can lighten the working burden or provide ease to let a computer write your texts, which could be the case, but in my view, it’s not. It’s not only making jobs disappear because of automation, but it also has more disadvantages. Which ones, you ask? Well, here’s my take.


Femke de Boer - Imagen Insights Gen Z consultantBefore I dive in, let me explain to you what AI actually is. It’s a computer program, which has the ability to think and write on its own. It can do things humans can, like writing texts, making drawings and other mundane tasks. Our favourite virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa used day-to-day are great examples of AI. 

There are three types of AI: weak, strong and super. An example of weak AI is a self-driving car, which performs one ‘simple’, pre-defined, function: self-driving. Strong AI takes this a step further: it can understand and learn any intellectual task a human can. There are no real examples of strong AI, but it’s believed to be a threat to human existence. Researchers are striving to reach this type of AI. Last but not least, super AI is the stage of artificial intelligence where the capability of computers surpasses human beings. Thankfully, that is just a hypothetical situation for now.

AI can write fast, faster than any human can. Which is nice, but obviously not good for the writers out here. If your job consists of writing, you could be in some trouble. If you write a lot of stuff for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), blogs, reviews or other things, AI is a competitor. Ask a question in ChatGPT, and it will write a full article for you. Sounds great, but not for those of us who write for a living. The only flipside is that our keyword research, campaigns and website audits could have never been done by a human alone because of the amount of data there is. At least that’s something AI is good for in my opinion.

Luckily, we humans can think outside the box where AI can’t. It also can’t learn to do that (again, at least for now). Sure, it can write articles that have never been written before, but it can only do that with data that is pre-fed. It also relies on past experiences, but it can never be creative in its kind. It will always miss that touch of human sparkle.

Over to AI content. Is it actually helpful, or do search engines identify the AI-written content as spam? Well, here’s the thing: we don’t know – at least for now. But one thing is for sure: your AI-generated content isn’t original, it’s just an excerpt of everything that exists on the internet. Combining facts from all over the internet isn’t the same will never be the same as a human writing a piece in their own words and creativity. In my opinion, AI content can both be seen as helpful and as spam. The content made by AI is still mass-produced, which means that quantity is more important than quality. 

Using AI to produce lots of SEO content can be helpful. Google won’t punish you for it, so there’s not really a reason to not use it. However, we don’t know which rules Google will introduce when AI-generated content becomes more popular than it already is. Google does have some safeguards to protect its users from spam, so consistently using AI to produce the content of your liking is probably not the best idea.

It is said that AI is supporting marketers, so they can do what they’re good at, innovation. And innovation is something AI can’t do because it only relies on data that already exists.

AI is seen as the future of marketing. Sure, I get that. But it also has its flip sides. In the end, it’s your choice to make the decision between quantity and quality. Want my advice? Choose quality. Once it’s not allowed to use AI to create content, you’re basically screwed. Better safe than sorry.

Authored by: Femke de Boer Gen Z consultant at Imagen Insights