What AI won’t ever replace in marketing and advertising
A boy dreams of being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
He aspires to be a famous rockstar, even considers becoming a luthier. (A professional guitar builder is more realistic, right?)
He feels aimless after high school—which included one expulsion, one victory lap, and a lot of house parties. So he applies to college.
He’s torn between Acting for Television and Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications. He doubts he’ll be the next Dr. Drake Ramoray, so he chooses the latter.
- He graduates and starts selling ad space for a media company
- He works as a marketing manager for a family business
- He becomes a full-time copywriter at an integrated branding consultancy
And he experiences countless ups and downs throughout it all. From big wins and tragic losses to outright failures and lucky breaks. He experiences love and heartbreak, pleasure and pain.
He experiences Life.
That’s what makes him human. That’s what makes you human. Which is exactly what AI won’t ever replace in marketing and advertising.
You, the human
Sure, AI can sift through data faster. Pump out content quicker and create imaginative graphics with a single prompt and the click of a button. But artificial intelligence doesn’t have your life experience.
In fact, AI doesn’t experience anything at all. Nor does it think for itself, really, because it’s trained on historical data. It’s missing your emotional intelligence; your intuition, opinions, and shower thoughts—AI lacks individual creative inspiration.
The messy, unpredictable human condition, all the nuance, is beyond AI’s current abilities.
Marketing is tied to building relationships and making connections. Just as advertising is linked to capturing attention and persuading action. Which all boils down to trust.
And humans trust humans above all else.
So the real question is how can marketers use AI to leverage their human advantage and establish trust with their audiences?
Your personal AI assistant
All marketers share one common trait: our passion for creativity.
We love to make, show, and tell. We’re solvers of problems, big and small. We’re writers and designers and coders. We’re strategic thinkers and presenters and we love to nerd out about human behaviour.
We are creatives.
And we’re all busy. Like, REEEALLY busy. According to HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2023 Report, the average marketer works on five campaigns simultaneously. Safe to say, we’re all keen to be more efficient.
And that’s the real advantage of AI. It saves time by performing low-impact tasks, freeing you to do high-impact tasks.
Examples of low-impact tasks
- Data entry and mining
- Basic research and ideation
- Pattern recognition and trend spotting
- Summarizing articles, reports, and transcriptions
- Surface-level competitive, market, and consumer sentiment analyses
Examples of high-impact tasks
- Strategic planning and complex problem solving
- Ethical content creation and decision making
- Customer relationship management
- Storytelling and creative expression
- Brand strategy and identity
Ultimately, AI gives you more time to focus on meaningful creative work that resonates with your target audience.
“AI tools are great for enabling, assisting, and augmenting human work. But creativity and judgment are where humans distinctly shine.”Nataly Kelly, Globalization Expert
If AI can do it faster, let it do it faster. But don’t remove yourself from the process, especially if you use generative tools like ChatGPT, Jasper, or Midjourney. From plagiarism to outdated stats to flatout false claims, you can’t trust content written exclusively by AI. (And what’s with its inability to draw human hands and spell text in images?)
Truth is, 96% of the time, AI produces results that are incomplete without human intervention, per 2023 AI Trends for Marketers. Put bluntly: AI is a new tool, not a replacement part.
The output is only as good as the input
AI will continue to evolve and disrupt marketing. Transformation is inevitable.
More jobs are being automated, while some are becoming obsolete. Yet new positions are filling the gaps, from AI prompt engineers to developers to consultants. Some roles are even expanding, like Chief Technology Officers being asked how to integrate AI into processes, what tools to use, and how to navigate legalities.
Marketing has always been a dynamic field. AI is just another layer of the onion.
In the end, AI is bound by the past. It’s not forward-thinking and is incapable of original thought. It creates iterations of what it was trained on as a result—work that feels like it’s “already been done.”
Bringing us full circle to what AI won’t ever replace in marketing and advertising: the depth and complexity of the human experience and our creative expression.
AI can optimize, but it can’t innovate or create impactful work without you. Because the output is only as good as the input—your prompts, your fact-checks, your insight into what moves people.
Artificial intelligence is set to become synonymous with our industry (as if it isn’t already). Let it handle the mundane and routine, while you focus on the human touch, injecting authenticity, creativity, and trust into your marketing and advertising.
Ready to craft meaningful connections and create trust with your audiences? Contact Alphabet® today and start telling your story in a way that positively impacts your business, communities, customers, and industry.