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September 6, 2017

Is Artificial Intelligence After Marketers' Jobs?

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Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is slowly sweeping the marketing space, and some marketers worry that it may replace them in the workplace. But according to a recent survey conducted by predictive advertising platform QuanticMind, most marketers realize that rather than pushing them out of the workforce, AI technology has the potential to make their jobs easier. Chaitanya Chandrasekar, CEO and co-founder of QuanticMind, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about what the future of marketing technology looks like given the onslaught of AI.

eMarketer: There’s a lot of excitement around AI and its applications for marketing. What’s the current state of AI in marketing?

Chaitanya Chandrasekar: So far, artificial intelligence has played a big role in collecting data, but marketers are now noticing that they can leverage AI and machine learning to gather insights as well. The volume of data that’s being collected is huge, but the key now is to use AI to bring insights to the surface, and lean on those insights to strengthen marketing programs.

eMarketer: Some marketers worry their jobs will be replaced by AI, but QuanticMind recently released a survey showing 97% of marketers believe the future will involve marketers working hand in hand with AI and other automation tools. What’s your take on where the future is heading?

Chandrasekar: A helpful analogy of where marketers’ relationship with marketing technology is heading is the construction industry. Back in the 1950s, construction was super manual. Everything was being done by humans, and it was a booming industry that created a lot of jobs. Eventually, it became more automated—we now have access to heavy machinery, tools and resources, but construction still creates so many jobs and people are still fundamental.

Marketing might face a similar shift. Marketers might have to retrain to catch up on the latest technology, but if they understand the fundamentals of marketing, they’ll still have jobs. In fact they’ll thrive, because they won’t be wasting time on tedious processes that AI can streamline.

eMarketer: How will marketers use the human touch to augment the insight that AI technology can provide?

Chandrasekar: Humans understand context in ways that machines can’t. AI technology has capabilities that are data-focused, but humans have a depth of context that you can’t necessarily program. Sometimes there are reasons that a marketer just knows something will or won’t work, but machines don’t have gut feelings.

eMarketer: How might the marketing technology stack look in a few years, given the growth of AI?

Chandrasekar: AI will shake up the data side of the marketing tech stack. It’ll bring together data sources like traffic data, behavioral data and other pieces of information. It’ll boost the intelligence of CRM [customer relationship management] systems and bring disparate pieces of insight into the data center. There will also be a decision engine that will sit on top the data stack, leverage machine learning to look for patterns and suggest actions based on insights.

eMarketer: For marketers still worried about their jobs, what advice do you have?

Chandrasekar: From a technology standpoint, keep enhancing your skills. Learn about new technology, maybe take some courses. But know this: Artificial intelligence will help you do your job, not replace you.


Copyright 2017 eMarketer Inc. All rights reserved. From http://www.emarketer.com.
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