By Jess Dickenson, Managing Director, Precis Digital UK
When I speak with clients there is still a lot of apprehension about adopting AI, especially generative AI. The benefits are clear when we consider process improvement or data modelling, but when it comes to marketing, content or creative development; “giving up control” is a hard barrier to circumvent. However, when the likes of Google and Meta are investing billions of dollars into AI development, advertisers will need to adapt to maintain a competitive edge. There’s no doubt the media landscape will undergo a considerable transformation in the coming years – so what does this mean for the marketing team of the future?
Marketing science skills will become pivotal to understand the nuances of bidding algorithms and how to leverage the latest developments in AI and automation. The hiring focus should move away from experts who can select the right keywords or audience, and towards those who can leverage business intelligence to optimise for the right outcomes. Businesses who can optimise for data signals beyond a “conversion”, such as profit, lead quality, or CLV, will be the ones with the competitive advantage.
Data interpretation will also be a key skill to hire for. There is little point in investing in AI-powered data models if there is no one who can translate that into informed marketing decisions. Businesses should be investing in roles focused on surfacing performance insights and translating them into testing opportunities.
Another key role you should be hiring for is someone who can bridge the gap between performance and creatives. As digital channels become increasingly visual and gen AI opens up more creative possibilities, focusing on creative excellence will be the winning factor when driving performance. It’s a complex role to get right – they need to be able to connect what is happening in the marketing platforms with creative development and testing, whilst being a guardian for the brand.
Also, Gen AI isn’t a replacement for creativity. It can’t create truly original concepts so to avoid homogeneous content it’s important to continue to invest in creatives. Businesses also need to focus on breaking down silos and building agile teams who can keep up with the pace of digital creatives.
Big picture thinkers
The final skill on my hiring list is the one that connects everything together. AI advancements are often “black-box”, which means it becomes harder to understand what is working and what performance means. AI is also susceptible to bias, so it quickly becomes a self fulfilling prophecy unless we fuel it with innovative ideas to learn from. A generalist is needed to understand holistic performance and inform budget decisions; connect a granular testing plan with overall performance; and ensure learnings are being shared between platforms and between teams.
In conclusion, AI is a powerful tool, but only as powerful and the inputs provided. As AI and other emerging technologies revolutionise the marketing landscape, businesses must adapt and evolve to stay ahead of the curve. As marketers, we also need to embrace the change and develop new skills. The marketing team of the future combines data, creative and media expertise; working hand in hand to fuel the right business outcomes.