An Investment in Creativity: What the UK’s £1 Billion AI Investment Will Mean for Marketers

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In the last nine years, the UK’s spend on marketing has made the steady climb to £8.44 billion. This can perhaps be credited to a realisation that a combination of customer data and creative thinking is the single most valuable tool for distinguishing products in an increasingly competitive market.

But the UK is about to undergo an even more rapid revolution–one that will see our capacity for creative thinking accelerate exponentially. This is because almost every other menial task that previously weighed down human resource will be removed. Enter a £1 billion investment into the UK’s artificial intelligence industry. The opportunities from this deal will open possibilities never-before-seen in the UK. Roughly 1,000 new PhDs with an exclusive focus on AI will be granted funding, skyrocketing the country’s status to the position of a global leader in AI research.

Roughly 1,000 new PhDs with an exclusive focus on AI will be granted funding, skyrocketing the country’s status to the position of a global leader in AI research.

But apart from removing process-based tasks that free marketers to think and not just do, why else is AI so essential to the future of marketing and advertising? How is AI transforming the roles of marketers and reshaping their relationships with clients? And exactly how can this artificial co-worker make marketers into artists, not data analysts?

Less Numbers, More Creativity

Placing AI at the heart of our marketing frees us from the endless treadmill of analysis to focus on the creative solutions needed to maximise their market opportunity. If we take a view through the lens of the Four p’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place & Promotion) AI can provide real-time analysis of our business against each criterion, directing data driven decision making whilst saving huge amounts of time. For instance, knowledge of a competitor’s promotional strategy may explain a dip in media performance rather than an issue with the media strategy. Knowledge of our product range and price position may explain upturns and downturns in sales performance, combining knowledge of our promotional, product and price strengths can also automatically direct the right advert to the right prospect at the right time to maximise our Ad spend efficiency. The more our AI learns from these daily battles the more it can automate analysis into action to deliver our commercial objectives.

The opportunities are endless.

The job of the marketing team then becomes the much more enjoyable task of deciding how to react to our competitors’ creative promotional campaign or working with product teams to drive innovation around a data-driven understanding of our customers’ needs and attitudes towards our products or services. The opportunities are endless.

AI has the capability to predict leads well in advance, and this is predominantly based on specific behavioral insights. By accessing profiles from a range of online accounts that each potential customer has chosen to make public, AI has the capacity to build a far more grounded understanding of the potential target’s interests. Through this breakthrough, advertisements can be positioned on websites where individual customers are far more likely to express interest. And even then, due to the vast span and sheer diversity of the AI-processed data, the chance of customer targets engaging ads is far stronger. The customer is not simply a random social media user but has been found through hyper-targeted content. The result? They are the perfect customer for your product.

Now, this won’t lead to a loss of jobs—as some marketers have expressed concerns over—but will in fact remove the time-consuming task of analysing swathes of data. AI can help marketers to understand exactly who is most likely to buy their product, and where online or offline they are most likely to be most intrigued by it. By better understanding the mood, activity and context of a target customer, they can create online branding that is not just unique but truly thought-provoking.

Clients as Art Critics

The record investment from the Artificial Intelligence Sector Deal has clear intentions of making AI more accessible to businesses. The plan is that this will come from research bodies such as the University of Cambridge, where the infrastructure of their new £10 million AI supercomputer will be made available to businesses. As such, marketing clients are even more likely to be expecting their hired agencies to utilise this new AI revolution.

With clients aware that their marketers have accurate AI-driven behavioral insights into where their customers can be best accessed, they can pay far more attention to whether the ads conceived by marketers are lined up with their brand’s image. Does the creative output accurately portray the client brand’s artistic direction? And for the marketers, the role becomes far more exhilarating in their mission to transform specific data, specialised for select groups of customers, into adverts they will engage with.

The central focus of data analytics in a marketer’s role will soon be over. With more AI investment being adopted by UK marketing companies, content will not only become more specialised, but more original. Ultimately, AI investment will free up time for marketers to be more creative while ensuring campaigns are highly targeted, intelligent and relevant.

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