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Busting the 3 Most Common AI Myths in Marketing

Artificial Intelligence (AI) may not be an entirely new innovation, but its prominence inside the enterprise has certainly grown over the last decade. And it’s likely we’re only at the beginning of a longer-standing relationship with AI as a business partner.

As we’ve discussed, the potential for AI to make waves in the marketing world is huge. Forrester indicates that 46% of businesses are exploring AI investments for marketing and sales applications. Companies of all sizes are taking interests in AI—from cutting-edge startups to industry giants.

Enterprise AI startups

AI companies span across industries and are growing rapidly. (Source: CBInsights)

It’s an exciting time, and we posit that we are only a few years away from a turning point, in which most businesses will use AI in some form. But before we get there, a lot of learning, observation and education needs to happen.

Misinformation stymies the conversation around real-life, practical applications, so we’re here to dispel the three most common AI myths we encounter.

AI Myth #1: It Will Take Marketers’ Jobs

This is a common misconception about the role of AI in marketing. Yes, artificial intelligence will eliminate some jobs (primarily in manufacturing), but Gartner reports that by 2020, AI will create more jobs than it will disrupt. The popular job search engine Indeed.com supports this notion and recently reported job listings containing “AI” or “machine learning” inside their role descriptions grew almost 100% over the last three years.

As a marketer, replace your panic with optimism. The promise of AI-driven optimization is an exciting endeavor for marketers. We’re already seeing opportunities to automate routine tasks, access new insights and increase customer engagement.

AI can remove the day-to-day drudgery that typically hampers the creative process—imagine a workday without digging through data, pulling reports or running queries!

Eliminating rudimentary burdens gives valuable time back to marketers where they can focus on high-value projects to dial-up engagement. Invest this time in nuanced storytelling rich with elements of a “human touch;” that’s something that AI isn’t capable of reproducing.

Truth: AI Will Improve Career Paths

Rather than stress about technology minimizing your marketing role, apply a growth mindset. Learning and experimentation are synonymous with marketing and finding new (and better) ways to reach your audience will impact your business substantially.

Marketers who understand the importance of AI and can leverage it in their technology stacks will lead the charge inside their organizations and cultivate deeper relationships with customers.

AI Myth #2: It’s a Magic Bullet

Successful businesses are driven by results—improved operations and higher revenues. Simply adopting AI technology won’t guarantee your company these results; success will come from the marketers who’ve thought critically about their goals and the specific challenges that AI can impact.

AI has not yet advanced far enough in determining whether its choices for your business are subjectively “good” or “bad.” These solutions are designed to operate as quickly and efficiently with as little input as possible—their strengths align with execution.

If you prioritize AI adoption over strategy, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Truth: AI is a Process

Just as it takes time to understand the problems you hope to solve using AI, you must also plan for the time you’ll need to spend preparing for its use.

In most cases, AI is anything but out-of-the-box ready. Collecting, routing and cleaning your data is just the beginning.

You also need to budget time for AI algorithms to learn from this data and optimize its output effectively. Forrester indicates that this process takes weeks, if not months.

Once your technologies are up and running, you still need the expertise to make sure any AI decision-making is accurate and useful to your operations. Marketers must still provide oversight to ensure campaign quality control.

AI can’t make judgment calls beyond its specific scope and your operational guidance will be necessary for the following:

  • Identifying, targeting, and segmenting the right people
  • Monitoring performance on a per-campaign basis
  • Evaluating and fine-tuning progression toward critical benchmarks

Setting the right expectations will be a vital component of your company’s success with AI.

AI Myth #3: It Isn’t a Fit for My Business

Modern businesses run on some form of marketing operations and analytics; this likely qualifies your business as an eligible candidate for AI, even though you may not think it.

A recent report found that nearly half of marketing executives surveyed assume AI will cost too much. And nearly one-third believe that implementation will be too difficult to execute.

This is not the case, especially if you set the right expectations and consider that AI is a process, as we’ve stated in our previous point.

Forward-thinking business leaders are already moving the needle by using AI technology, so don’t let your uncertainty keep you from taking action.

Truth: The Time to Act is Now

It’s widely assumed most businesses will leverage AI to some degree in the coming years—including your competitors. Why not familiarize yourself with the AI landscape now and prepare the path for experimentation?

Hesitation will only set your brand further back from your peers who are identifying and driving new opportunities for growth.

Separating AI Myths From Reality

Don’t let these three AI myths dissuade your company from missing out on the next wave of innovation.

We all could benefit from making sense of complex data and executing specific business functions more effectively—AI provides this assistance, so why not take advantage of it?

To see how Iterable is using AI to help modern marketers master customer engagement, schedule a demo today.

Iterable

Iterable is the growth marketing platform that enables brands to create, execute and optimize campaigns to power world-class customer engagement across email, push, SMS, in-app and more with unparalleled data flexibility. An integrated, cross-channel solution—built for marketers, trusted by engineers, designed with intelligence.

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