Now that AI has become mainstream, it seems like new programs and systems are popping up every day, particularly within the digital marketing industry. Even better, these programs are only getting more refined, meaning companies and brands can utilize them for all kinds of tasks and projects.
However, in the race to take advantage of AI, there's one question that businesses must ask—is it better to leverage the power of artificial intelligence or still use human beings for marketing purposes? The answer to that question is a bit muddled, but the short version is "it depends."
For some tasks, like data collection and analysis, AI is far better and faster than a human could ever be. However, in other cases, human experience and insight are still invaluable assets that a company can't ignore. So, let's look at how AI and humans stack up in different marketing categories and see which side comes out ahead.
Let's kick things off by looking at a task that AI is uniquely suited to do. For many brands, the sheer amount of raw data is far too incomprehensible for a single person or team to collect and digest effectively. Even worse, as the brand's online presence expands, the job only gets harder and harder.
For example, let's say 1,000 people visit your website in a single week. How long would it take a person to compile their activities (i.e., clicks, page time, and bounce rate) in a single report? Even a skilled data entry worker would probably take a few hours, while AI can do the same task in seconds or minutes.
What's even better about using artificial intelligence is that it can capture far more detailed data than you may have thought possible. AI programs can tell you what your visitors are doing, where they're coming from, and how long they spend on your site or landing page, all in real time. Those kinds of results are virtually impossible for a human to do accurately and quickly.
Generative AI, like ChatGPT, creates content by scrubbing the internet for articles about similar or identical topics and spitting words onto a page. While these programs are very fast at doing that, they have some glaring flaws.
Firstly, an AI program can tell you all about a topic (assuming there's data online), but it can't necessarily tell you why it's meaningful or important. Sure, the software can search for personalized blog posts about why other people say it's important, but it can't internalize it and create a fresh perspective.
Another problem with generative AI is that it's not always accurate. "Hallucinations" are somewhat common, and they can happen very easily. So, if you're not fact-checking a piece before it goes out, you could wind up with incorrect information that could damage or ruin your reputation.
Fortunately, people are much better at understanding the deeper meaning behind a topic or idea. Better yet, people can come up with new ideas based on old ones, providing unique perspectives and fresh takes that expand everyone's knowledge of the subject.
Overall, when it comes to creating high-quality marketing content that resonates with your audience, AI simply comes up short.
One of the biggest game-changers with modern AI programs is that they can not only capture data but interpret it and analyze it to achieve specific results. While the specific details of those results are not always clear (see: the black box problem), the potential for predictive analysis is far better than it's ever been in the past.
For example, an AI program can look at visitor data for your website and landing pages from the last few days, weeks, months, or years. Then, based on that data, the program can potentially predict what a new visitor is most likely to do. Maybe visitors from a specific social media site are more likely to buy products. Perhaps mobile users are more likely to watch video content.
These predictive insights are hugely beneficial for your business because they can tell you what's working best with your marketing campaigns. From there, you can focus your attention and resources on elements that "move the needle" and shed anything that doesn't offer any traction. Again, if you had a person do this, it could take hours, days, or weeks to compile and analyze the data. For AI, it's only a matter of minutes or hours.
Expertise and Insight
As the saying goes, "Experience is the best teacher." Unfortunately, AI programs don't "experience" anything. Instead, they process digital information and leverage that to create something "new."
For example, you could ask AI to create a manual on how to drive a stick shift car. The manual may get many of the technical details right, but would it offer insight into how to troubleshoot different issues? Or provide tips and tricks on how to drive a stick if you've never done so before?
Expertise and experience are human traits, and they will continue to be human no matter how advanced artificial intelligence becomes. For marketing, that means it's more valuable to work with someone with years of experience in the field than it is to supplement your campaign with a program.
Here is where the comparison between AI and humans gets a little messy. Technically speaking, AI can be "better" at content creation because it's so much faster. What could take hours or days to complete with a team of humans could take a few minutes with AI. Programs like MidJourney and Synthesia can create images and videos (respectively) far more easily than any person could.
On the other hand, though, there are some strict limitations to the type of content an AI program can produce. Again, it uses existing content on the internet, so if you're trying to create something new and unique, the software will struggle to keep up. If you've ever submitted a text prompt and received something far different than what you were expecting, you know what we're talking about.
So, in this instance, it seems that AI and humans should work together. AI can be ideal for generating ideas or rough drafts; then humans can come in and provide the finishing touches. Also, if you come up with unique content, AI can help generate pieces of it or make the content creation process more streamlined.
Bottom Line: Leverage AI as a Tool, Not a Replacement
As you can see, both AI programs and human marketers bring value to the table. As with other advances in technology, the future isn't a war between humans and machines but rather co-existence. AI tools can make digital marketing far easier and faster, but humans are still necessary to ensure it's worthwhile.
If you need assistance with your next marketing campaign, let us help! Even with advanced artificial intelligence, developing and publishing new campaigns can be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive. We make it easy to bring your ideas to life, and we have the experience to ensure you get the best ROI. Contact us today to find out how we can transform and enhance your marketing goals.