As if worrying about your competition and engaging consumers wasn’t enough; marketers today also have to be concerned about whether their jobs will be eventually replaced by a bot. They’re not alone. Thanks to the rise of artificial intelligence, or AI, jobs in every industry are under threat.
Get ready for big changes, right now.
About a quarter of jobs will be replaced by software or bots by 2025, and that number will increase to 35% over the next 20 years. If that sounds like a long-way off, consider a recent partnership between tech giants Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft to set standards for the collaboration between people and AI systems. They’re getting ready for big changes, right now.
In marketing, the rise of automation and programmatic marketing are already starting to replace certain tasks, mostly junior jobs that help launch careers in the industry. It’s just the beginning, says Doug Stephens, founder of the Retail Prophet. “We’re in the very nascent stages of AI’s development and use,” Stephens says. Today, he says most of AI is being built to act within relatively narrow parameters. He cites the example of a customer service line that uses a chatbot to direct calls based on a set of pre-determined caller responses. “We are rapidly moving toward a much higher state of AI, known as ‘general AI’ that will be able to tackle far more complex and nuanced tasks that are currently only possible with human involvement,” Stephens says.
The way we connect with consumers is changing.
What does this mean for marketers? Stephens has a bold prediction: “From a brand marketing standpoint, decisions around what marketing to use, when and with which audiences, will become almost entirely AI driven.” Chat bots will conduct conversational research with consumers. The data produced will then be analyzed and insights will be found by other AI programs.
Stephens also sees more brands developing chatbots on the sales end, to connect with and serve customers online. He points to social media giant Facebook, which already built a platform to enable brands to do this through Facebook messenger. “Almost every routine, data driven task in marketing and sales will be touched by AI in some way,” Stephens forecasts.
So what does this mean for your marketing job?
“The jobs at most immediate risk are those that involve routine data oriented tasks – junior analysts, and researchers, for example,” Stephens says. “Anyone who analyzes, transcribes, transports or relays data in a routine way will likely lose their job to artificial intelligence within 10 years. In the world of marketing, this would account for a significant number of researchers and analysts.”
He says the “safest” marketing jobs in the future will be those that depend on creativity. “AI, for all it’s utility, is useless when it comes to creative tasks,” Stephens says. “So, anyone heading into the field of marketing today should move toward work that involves significant innovation, creativity and lateral thinking.”