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AI in marketing – threat or opportunity?

Jun 28, 2023 | 4 min read

The debate about AI in marketing is more intense than ever.  

One could argue, that those who make a living creating advertising images, have reasons to feel concerned. Today, a simple descriptive text can produce an amazing image in a few minutes. On the other hand, perhaps they shouldn’t worry? Most of us struggle to describe what we want. The dialogue between client and artist is an important part of the process. Also, perhaps an artist is better equipped to describe the details of an image? 


However, AI will inevitably replace some professionals. Disruptive technologies have completely or partially replaced the need for humans many times before. Every time this happens, some categories of professionals disappear or are reduced.  Once a whole village helped out with the harvest. Now, one farmer and a tractor with a combine harvester does the job.

As long as any object is valued only as a product, market forces will drive the production of that product toward the most efficient, fastest, and most cost-effective method of production without regard to the impact on individuals. 

AI written with graphic elements

New opportunities

Disruptive technologies can also be an opportunity of course. When Apple launched the iPhone, the number of mobile app developers grew from a handful to millions world wide. The disruptive nature of AI-technology is however different from other technological leaps. This time, it is not a single industry that is disrupted, but pretty much everything. 

Marketing is one of the industries where AI will drive enormous change. In fact, a McKinsey study found that, along with sales, it is the single business function where it will have the most financial impact.

What can you do with AI in marketing?

Here is a recent example by Coca-Cola. It’s dubbed “Create Real Magic” and combines GPT-4 — used to produce human-like text from search engine queries — and DALL-E, which turns text prompts into images.

The resulting campaign saw Coca-Cola prompt fans to create their own digital artwork based on dozens of branded assets, such as the brand’s distinctive contour bottle and script logo.

Fans were allowed to download and submit their creations, with the best artwork appearing on digital billboards in New York’s Time Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus.

Global chief marketing officer Manolo Arroyo explains:
“We see many applications of AI — including content creation and rapid iteration, hyper-personalizing content and messaging for consumers and customers, and driving two-way conversations with consumers.”

AI Marketing

AI tools and utilities

The opportunity to create big AI driven campaigns isn’t there for everyone. AI in marketing will probably have more impact in day to day tasks. A plethora of tools and utilities are popping up every day. Let’s take email marketing as an example.

Email marketing is often about tweaking headings and copy in order to impact those all-important open and click-through rates. Small copy changes can also make the difference between an email finding its way to the intended recipient or getting identified as one of the 148 billion spam emails sent each day. Another aspect is scheduling. When is the recipient open to suggestions on what they should buy?

Example of an AI toolbox: 
Phrasee can automates the creation of subject lines. Seventh Sense can optimize the timing of mailshots. makes it easy to create personalized newsletters.

An AI for you?

No matter what you think of the use of AI in marketing, it’s here to stay. Pick and choose AI tools that are right for your brand. For example: if authentic language is important, then you should probably stay away from copying and pasting the output of an AI. The AI scheduling tool however, could be a game changer? 

We will see more and more applications for AI technology in marketing. What kind of AI would you like to get your hands on?