In what feels like the blink of an eye, the marketing communications industry has undergone a seismic shift. Gone are the days of physically delivering ad films and color guides to newspaper houses, or flying across the country to ensure a Pan-Nigeria radio campaign breaks immediately. Today, technology has streamlined these processes, allowing campaigns to be launched from the comfort of one’s living room. Ads are shared electronically, client presentations are conducted virtually, and the rise of these practices was inevitable, with or without the push from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), a term that has become increasingly familiar in the global lingo, has made these advancements possible. It wasn’t until the emergence of tools like Chat GPT and other generative AI technologies that the industry truly acknowledged the staying power of AI, shaking off the notion of it being a passing fad. With this acceptance comes concerns about job losses, ethical dilemmas, and originality. However, AI is not merely a job-stealing threat, but a potent ally, offering immense support in areas like consumer journey analysis, audience measurement, and precise targeting.
The Evolution of Marketing Communication: A Shift Towards AI
In the early 2000s, marketing communication was a cumbersome process, involving physical delivery of ad content and personal meetings. Fast forward two decades, and the scenario has drastically changed. Technology advancements have made it possible to launch campaigns from home, share materials electronically, and hold virtual meetings. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift towards virtual meetings has been more pronounced, marking a significant evolution in the way businesses operate.
Impact of AI in Marketing Communications
AI started gaining prominence in global discourse a few years ago. Although it was already being used in programmatic advertising, modelling and predictive analysis, it took the advent of generative AI tools, like Chat GPT, for the marketing industry to fully embrace its potential.
Despite concerns about job losses and ethical issues, AI has proven to be an essential tool in areas like consumer journey analysis, audience measurement, precise targeting, and fraudulent ad detection. AI doesn’t pose a threat to jobs, but rather creates new opportunities and optimizes existing processes.
The Pros and Cons of AI in Marketing
Like any emerging technology, AI comes with its share of challenges. Concerns about originality of communication, connecting with the audience on an emotional level, and potential biases are valid. However, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
AI is not a replacement for human intelligence; it complements it. The true potential of AI lies in how we utilize it. By leveraging human intelligence, creativity, and design thinking, we can unlock the full potential of AI in marketing communications.
Embracing AI in Business Strategy
In the past, technology strategy was a domain exclusive to the IT department. Today, it forms a key component of the overall business strategy, requiring the attention of the CEO. As technology continues to disrupt business, it is crucial for CEOs to understand and drive digital transformation strategies.
AI is a powerful tool, but it is a product of the human mind and nothing surpasses that. Businesses need to incorporate AI technology into their strategies to unlock growth and profitability.
The evolution of marketing communication from physical deliveries to AI-powered strategies underscores the influence of technology on business operations. As the world continues to change rapidly, businesses must adapt and pivot, or risk being left behind. AI is not a threat, but an enabler, and its effective utilization can lead to significant growth and profitability. It’s time for businesses to embrace these changes and make the most of AI in their marketing strategies.