By now we’ve seen all the headlines and think pieces about technology rendering humans obsolete, as well as the rebuttals saying robots will never replace intrinsic human creativity. Today, the most likely path lies somewhere in the middle. Marketing is one industry where applying machine learning techniques to human intuition go hand-in-hand. As Acquia’s CMO Lynne Capozzi wrote, “You need to have both the tech-supported insight and creative inspiration to design relevant campaigns based on the real-time needs and interests of your audience.” However, employees are often reluctant to accept artificial intelligence (AI) solutions because they cannot understand how a machine produced an answer. The lack of transparency into machine learning behavior can cause issues of trust that need to be overcome before a business can successfully adapt and use AI technology to its full potential.
Bridging the AI trust gap in marketing involves a combination of changing employees’ perspectives, changing the process by which marketers comprehend customer behavior, and ultimately, changing the way teams interpret and act upon the AI-driven insights. To tap into the full potential offered by AI technology, marketers first need to understand the advantages these tools offer and how to take ownership of all the new information at their fingertips.
How Machines Shift Marketing Priorities
Digital transformation is not a total elimination of old ways, but an evolution. Just as automation boosted factory workers’ productivity during the Industrial Revolution or power tools gave an unprecedented advantage to construction workers far beyond the basic hammer, computer algorithms can help today’s marketers and digital leaders improve their customer understanding and give them more time to dedicate to producing impactful business results.
Marketers are in the business of creating relationships with people and learning how to meet human needs. However, people are so uniquely complex that trying to understand the values and desires of individual consumers becomes impossible when dealing with millions of potential buyers around the globe. Today, businesses spend countless hours simply collecting, validating and organizing datasets before any real analysis can even begin.
Powerful algorithms cut down on the number of repetitive tasks in a typical workday. The traditional way of doing things involved long hours spent identifying subjects, determining lead ratios and qualifying prospects. All of that can now be done much more efficiently through predictive technology. AI lets marketers devote more time to strategy and creative thinking so they can develop meaningful programs.