AI has revolutionised the customer experience. Once considered time consuming and unrealistic, personalisation is now mainstream – we have entered the age of behavioural marketing.

Machine learning has empowered marketers to predict and shape consumer behaviour. Personalisation technology uses big data to learn what to recommend customers and when so engagement improves, more people convert and eCommerce revenue grows. Happy days, right?

Sure, the marketing ROI that AI delivers is impressive. But what tasks will AI master next?

Some marketers are concerned that as AI evolves, they will end up out of a job. Will there still be a role for marketers in the future? Put simply: we think the answer is yes. Read on to find out why as we explore why AI won’t replace human marketers.

Benefits of AI

AI has a great deal to offer marketers. Without it, processing big data would take forever and a day. We wouldn’t be able to draw insights from the data we have on our customers quickly enough to be able to act on them.

Machine learning sits at the core of behavioural marketing. Technology that can respond to consumer behaviour with the content most likely to prompt the desired next action is incredibly powerful. It allows us to increase engagement, drives conversions, and grow revenue.

Marketing automation has freed marketers from repetitive tasks. Now that product recommendations and behavioural triggered emails are automated, marketers can focus on strategy rather than mundane execution.

Skills that machines can’t replace

We urge you not to fear AI. There are many skills that you possess as marketers, that machines simply can’t replace. Here are some of the key ones:

Brand culture

A brand’s culture is made up of the shared values of the people behind that brand. A machine can’t replicate that.

Brand culture is something that employees live and breathe. Brand reputation is maintained and spread by the passion of those employees.

Customers can spot inauthentic brand culture when they see it. Machine learning can never replace the power of people to give authenticity to a brand.

Interpretation of results

We can’t deny that the technology at our fingertips can produce awesome reports. Machine learning’s ability to pull together data from thousands of disparate points and produce amazing graphs may leave us in awe.

But results and reports are nothing without interpretation. Machines are great at telling us what has happened but they fall down when it comes to explaining why.

Humans understand context in ways computers are yet to glean. We can make connections to subtle cultural differences. We can understand nuances of meaning in product messaging and the impact that may have had.

Marketing departments will always need humans to interpret results and analyse the why behind the numbers.

Dave Trott relays how the obvious reaction to data can result in the wrong conclusion. He tells the story of Abraham Wald, a mathematics professor who was tasked with improving the armoured protection of US bombers during World War II.

Wald collected data looking at damage location of planes that made it back from mission. The obvious reaction was to add extra armour over the areas that received the most damage – this is where the bombers were being hit most frequently.

Wald argued the opposite. The planes being analysed had managed to return undeterred by the damage they received. It was the areas that had no damage were the biggest problem and needed extra protection.

Being able to look at data creatively is an advantage the human brain will have over AI (for the time being!).

Creative nuance

We may be able to use AI to come up with a subject line — but can AI replace the roles of our writers, editors, and designers in full?

We believe the answer is no. Human creativity is complex and nuanced. The double meaning behind messaging or imagery is often missed by a computer.

In order for our copy and images to resonate with human minds, humans need to create them.

Brand and marketing strategy

Strategy is a key area where humans will always be needed.

We are living in an age of purpose. Consumers are drawn to brands that stand for something. That mean something. That speak to them.

Brands with the best brand and marketing strategies have a clear identity. Their strategy is based around communicating that identity. They use marketing to connect with those who share that identity.

Developing strategies is enormously personal. At the very least it’s about understanding human needs and meeting those needs on a human level. And an outstanding strategy is found in the sweet spot between the values of a brand and the values of their audience. A machine simply cannot replicate this.


We hope that reading this has inspired you to feel empowered as a marketer. Your role is valued and needed. Machines are here to enhance what you do, not to replace you.

Marketers give meaning to the work that machines do. It is our role to harness technology, use to execute our strategies, and to create space for our creativity.

Personalisation technology is here to complement our work as marketers and help us deliver better results. To discover how our technology could enhance the work that you do, book a demo via the button below.

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