AI isn’t going to take your job (unless you really want it to) 

That was the key takeaway from the DMA’s Customer Engagement Future Trends 2024 event in Bristol this May. 

Julie Atherton, Founder of Small Wonder, introduced Scott Logie, CCO and Chair of the customer engagement committee at Sagacity, who talked through the results of this year’s Future Trends report.  

If you’re not familiar with the report, the DMA has been producing these informative reports – aka the marketer’s best friend – for the last seven years. They explore the trends in how organisations connect with their customers.  

This year, the report notes the growing influence of generative AI, how personalisation is getting a makeover in a post-cookie world and how in-person brand experiences still count. 

A very high-energy (some may say slightly unhinged – but in a good way) session from Richard Norton, co-founder of The Peeps, followed about AI in imagery.  

This featured Richard’s face on various different bodies, predominantly famous killers and David Bowie. And the less said about his work with Princess Diana the better.  

It was amazing to see how this technology has come on leaps and bounds in the past five years and just how creative you can be with it. But just because you can do it, it doesn’t mean you should! 

From both talks, a theme emerged – AI isn’t going to take your job… unless you want it to. Here’s why: 

  • AI does the things you won’t 

Norts – as Richard calls himself – pointed out that AI only gets created to do the things we don’t want to, or can’t, do. No-one working at the cat sanctuary is hoping for an AI application to play with the kittens, are they? AI should make the laborious bits of our jobs that bit easier. Embrace it and feel free to do more of what you actually enjoy doing.  

  • It’s not as cheap as you think 

That’s to say, it’s not going to price real people out the market. In a panel discussion – also featuring Herdify’s Head of Data Science, Ed Barter – it came up that there was a perception of AI being a cheaper alternative to hiring humans. And whilst it can be cheaper – and quicker – than human labour, it still needs time and investment. Which brings us to the next point…  

  • There’s no AI without humans 

It’s true that computers can do a lot more, a lot quicker than the good ol’ human brain. But humans are still absolutely essential to AI. We create it. We train it. We give it the inputs or the prompts and we sure as hell have to check the output. Racist Twitter bot, anyone…? 

  • Not everyone likes or wants to use AI 

It’s hard not to be excited about the world of possibilities AI brings, but it’s worth remembering there’s still a lot of people who are suspicious of it. In fact, the latest Future Trends report shows 59% of over 65s are concerned about AI’s role in marketing. So, if that’s your audience, you need to think about how you use it. Maybe it’s something for internal use only. Today’s ‘UK-based call centres’ could be tomorrow’s ‘speak to a real person’! 

  • It’s just a tool 

You might have the best hammer on the market, but that doesn’t mean you’ll make a good table. It’s the same with AI. You have to know how to use it and how to get the best out of it. That takes time and experience – there’s no getting away from it. 

It’s clear Generative AI (GenAI) is likely to be a more disruptive to marketing than the internet, social media and mobile put together!  

At Salocin Group we believe the organisations that will really benefit from GenAI will view it as an actor – a member of the team – to enable you to get more stuff done, at a faster rate, to then optimise the model that sits behind the AI to generate a point of difference. 

Microsoft Copilot 

We’re really proud to be one of only four partners worldwide to be invited to provide feedback to Microsoft on their evolving Copilot AI tool. It’s amazing now, but what we’ve seen coming down the line is even better. If you’d like to talk to us about how Copilot could help your organisation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to be able to help you. 

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