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Debunking AI Myths in Marketing

This updated post was originally published by Iterable on August 30, 2018.

In the half-decade since this post was initially written, adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) has more than doubled. McKinsey reports that 52% of organizations are already investing into AI, and 63% expect that investment to increase over the next three years. Companies of all sizes are seeing value in AI—from cutting-edge startups to industry giants.

In 2018, we posited that we were only a few years away from a turning point, in which most businesses will use AI in some form. And with the recent skyrocketing popularity of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, it’s safe to say that a turning point has arrived.

However, misinformation continues to stymie the conversation around real-life, practical applications, especially when it comes to digital marketing, so we’re back to re-evaluate the three most common AI myths we encountered five years ago and weigh in on whether they’re still debunked in 2023.

AI Myth #1: It Will Take Marketers’ Jobs

This remains a common fear, especially as the role of AI in marketing evolves. And yet, Gartner reports that the strongest demand for AI talent (i.e., people who are skilled in AI) comes from non-IT departments, such as marketing, sales, and customer service.

AI does not “think” or operate on its own—a user is always driving the experience and providing the inputs. So regardless of how sophisticated AI tools become, there is still going to be a need for humans to be involved in their utilization.

Much like any other technology advancement that came before, AI solutions will play a support role to make our work more efficient. 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,” something that AI isn’t quite capable of reproducing.

Truth: AI Will Open New Career Doors

Rather than stressing 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 martech 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. But 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. For instance, we recommend Iterable customers have at least three months of active user data so Iterable AI can provide the best insights.

Once your technologies are up and running, you still need the human 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.

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 does.

In 2017, Forrester Consulting found that nearly half of marketing executives surveyed assume AI will cost too much. That sentiment has vanished, as new research demonstrates that 70% of marketing and sales departments are seeing AI-related revenue increases and 28% are seeing AI-related cost decreases.

As McKinsey definitively states, “The bottom-line value realized from AI remains strong and largely consistent.” 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

The majority of businesses are already leveraging AI to some degree—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?

Savvy marketers and customer experience professionals already have access to a host of AI-powered tools with Iterable AI, including channel and send time optimization, predictive goals, user sentiment analysis, and copy generation.

Our glass-box approach ensures our AI functionality is always explainable and customized to your specific business needs—so it’s easier than ever to create authentic experiences your customers love.

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

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