“Get busy living or get busy dying,” said Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, in the classic prison epic Shawshank Redemption. Andy’s conclusion, having been incarcerated as an innocent man, was to escape the confines of the prison and head for Mexico. The phrase has become proverbial though, particularly in the marketing world, as various solutions come and go for marketing plans. AI in marketing has seen huge growth, and yet the reality is that, unless some major changes take place, marketing AI will stagnate just as other solutions have.
Marketing firms and businesses are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to reach out to and capture the attention of consumers. Because trends and data are constantly changing, the volume of research has traditionally been substantial. However, with AI in marketing now becoming a reality, the need for massive research has been outsourced to machines.
In particular, ad trading across a wide swath of publishers and broadcasters has taken well to automation, allowing marketing buyers to have almost instant access to these portals. With increasing automation has come increasingly new and helpful ways for marketers to pinpoint and utilize specific devices and venues to maximize return for each marketing dollar.
Nevertheless, while these advancements have been substantial, new innovation must continue, or AI in marketing will stagnate and die, according to Andreessen Horowitz’ Benedict Evans. The AI investment insider has pointed out at least two issues that may cause the AI marketing boom to ‘get busy dying’ if they aren’t addressed.
First, Evans makes clear that the AI boom is often more hype than reality. While AI has very real applications and particularly within the marketing sphere, much of what buyers are looking for is more in the realm of science fiction than reality. The challenge facing marketing firms to to be able to sort out fact from fiction and help buyers understand the limits that AI in marketing has. According to Evans, “there is still a bit of a haze around AI right now, its limits and what exactly it can and cannot do.”
Second, Evans makes clear that the bandwagon perspective of AI in marketing will not last. While the automation process has allowed for some very real solutions, simply following the status quo and jumping in on what works will inevitably result in stagnation. With the target marketing boom continuing, Evans argues that simply following suit will also increase the ad blocking and banner blindness that has made the once innovative solution ineffective. Without evolving creativity in the industry, consumers and marketers alike will lose interest in AI in marketing solutions.
While Dufresne’s quip may seem bleak, it pushed him to escape the confines of the prison for a better world. The same may be true for AI in marketing. The need for creative and innovative solutions that are real-world applicable has never been greater. Whether marketers like it or not, unless these solutions come online soon, AI may be forced to ‘get busy dying’.
View our latest topics here.