Ernest Hemingway famously wrote an evocative short story in only six words: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” This mini masterpiece is one of those examples that convinces us that AI—like ChatGPT—is not taking over high-demand marketing services anytime soon. There’s an ineffable “human element” involved in masterful marketing that simply can’t be replaced.
Not yet, anyway.
Great marketing campaigns rouse emotions and engage people’s minds, making an imprint and inviting people to begin establishing a long-term relationship with a brand. While AI can successfully mimic the final product in some cases, by synthesizing existing work and capped prompts, it can’t quite generate a unique voice, idea, and spirit.
But artificial content generators are only the most recent example in a long list of ways that marketing was already starting to lose the human touch—much to the detriment of business outcomes.
For example: Almost every commerce website has some kind of help box, search box, or chat box. Almost none of them connect directly to a real customer service agent; most of them are operated by bots. This can lead to confusion and frustration, which actually worsens the user experience and can harm their overall impression of the company and brand. Is there an easy fix? There are two solutions that can at least mitigate the more stressful elements of being intercepted by AI: Make it clear that the box is not a real person (and not trying to replicate the experience, when it will surely fail), or make it easy to connect with a real person if that’s what the customer is trying to do.
Another example: Design trends change rapidly; sometimes, we go through phases of seeing a lot of splashy colors and quirky shapes or minimalist designs on a website or social media page. This means losing a lot of images involving real people, actually engaging with the company’s products and services. It can also mean eliminating staff photos, showing that real people are on the other side of the glossy web page, ready and willing to help clients and customers achieve their goals, and just one email or phone call away. It’s important to find the right balance between trendy, appealing design and keeping some representation of real people on the page. Is there an easy fix? A few options include adding testimonials and videos or getting creative with the About Us page. Using real names of team members instead of “Contact Us” and offering personalized, non-templated engagement on social media pages can also be a great investment with a lot of payoffs in terms of brand loyalty. One final idea is replacing “no-reply” emails as much as possible with real email contacts and implementing processes that allow any responses to be triaged and personally handled in a timely manner.
We advocate for audits of existing brand presence and collateral to find opportunities to add more of that human element back in 2023. Learn more by reaching out to us—we promise, a real human will get back to you right away!