Ever since ChatGPT and generative AI rose to prominence, the alarm bells started ringing for many in the marketing world. The potential of ChatGPT to churn out advertisements and tackle streamlined tasks both quickly and without error posed a seemingly existential threat to traditional marketing roles. But, is the future really so bleak for marketing professionals? Not necessarily.
Here's why marketing people aren't going anywhere, despite the advancements in AI:
Ethics and Moral Oversight: While AI models like ChatGPT can produce content at a rapid pace, they lack the human touch necessary for ethical discernment. There's always a risk that AI-generated content might unintentionally offend a certain group or propagate biased views. Human professionals are essential for ensuring marketing campaigns are ethically sound and align with brand values.
Lack of True Creativity: While ChatGPT is remarkably proficient at generating content based on existing data, it doesn't have those "Eureka!" moments that human marketers do. Inspiration strikes in the most unexpected ways for humans, often leading to groundbreaking marketing campaigns. Machines, no matter how advanced, cannot truly innovate or think outside their programmed box.
The Essence of Human Communication: Marketing, at its core, is about forging connections. Especially in the post-COVID era, people are valuing human interactions more than ever. Face-to-face communications, relationship building, and understanding nuanced human emotions are domains where machines falter. No AI can replace the genuine human touch and understanding in marketing strategies.
Strategy Development and Big Picture Thinking: AI can analyze data and provide insights, but it doesn't possess the intuitive understanding of market shifts, cultural nuances, and global events the way humans do. Marketing professionals use a combination of data, experience, and intuition to draft long-term strategies, foresee market trends, and pivot when required.
Adaptability and Crisis Management: When a marketing crisis occurs, such as a negative PR event or a product recall, humans can react with empathy, swift decision-making, and appropriate emotional responses. ChatGPT, while efficient, doesn't possess the adaptability and emotional intelligence to manage these crises, making human intervention indispensable.
In conclusion, while generative AI like ChatGPT is a valuable tool in the marketer's arsenal, it's just that—a tool. The essence of marketing lies in understanding, creativity, and connection. And these are realms where humans, with their depth of emotion and capacity for innovation, continue to shine brightly.
Marketing @ Chicago-based NGO | Northwestern Medill '22.