It’s not a fantasy anymore. Artificial intelligence is here and ready to change the world. Explore how it’ll impact marketing in Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing: How to Harness AI and Retain the Competitive Edge by Katie King.
Using Artificial Intelligence In Marketing
The marketing world will see a huge impact from AI, just like nearly every other area of our lives. Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing: How to Harness AI and Retain the Competitive Edge intends to explore AI in marketing, but sadly misses the mark by a mile.
The ideas presented in the title seem solid. AI is changing our world and marketing is an early area already seeing the application of this tech. Those that can make best-use of it stand to have a competitive advantage over others that are slower to implement and fail to capitalize on the power it presents. The problem is, this book does a poor job of crushing those points.
While the title specifically includes “In Marketing”, most of the book is not about the use of artificial intelligence in marketing but rather focuses on other areas of use. Those hoping for a book on the applications of AI within marketing specifically will be very much let down. Rarely is the actual topic of marketing discussed here.
Book chapters are for intelligently arranging information. Sadly, this book fails to do that.
Chapters are arranged in a strange manner, with each including both a topic and also a specific geography, which will have a focus too. They’ll talk about one area, then jump to the other. It doesn’t lineup well at all.
Some chapters talk about the topic piece as a whole, then go into applications in the mentioned geo. Other chapters focus solely on that geographic area.
There’s a reason books don’t generally arrange chapters like this. It’d be far better as two separate chapters with distinct focus. The author may to have gone that route as neither have enough information to justify a chapter on their own, but that’s a poor reason to group them together.
In many cases, the information presented in one chapter doesn’t fit well, and would be much better placed in another, where it would better align. Large pieces of chapter 5 would be better found in chapter 4, and so on. This book really needs a good re-editing and re-arrangement to make the topics be more subject relevant and flow better.
“Experts” Who Aren’t Experts
Using Artificial Intelligence In Marketing is also filled with commentary from experts who aren’t really experts. At very least, what they offer goes against the focus of the book or the advice offered by the other experts cited.
One CMO claims that change and investment in AI will come from small startups, not large companies. While the ability to focus on AI tech may be easy for those in small, nimble businesses, one only has to look at the investment that huge companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, and others are making in AI to see how incredibly wrong this “expert” is.
In the chapter which follows that claim, another expert goes on to point out exactly this; big players are the ones currently making the largest investment in AI tech and are the ones largely driving it forward at the fastest pace.
The chapter on transformational marketing has one “expert” claiming marketing isn’t where the opportunities lie, despite others in that same chapter pointing out it’s the place where the greatest opportunity lies. It’s also clear by the title the author has chosen for this book that they don’t agree with such claims.
Many examples given aren’t even that of artificial intelligence. It seems even the “experts” don’t understand it.
Sherif Mityas, Chief Experience Officer, TGI Fridays gives the example of being able to identify a frequent customer and their favorite drink, then feed that information to the hostess wearing an earpiece, who can then greet you by name and offer you your favorite drink. Not only is that creepy and impersonal (imagine someone you don’t know suddenly knows your name, drink preference, and acts as if they’re a friend), AI is in no way required to do that. It can be done using simple customer loyalty systems and other non-AI technology.
While including interviews, it’s still the authors job to direct the narrative of the book. With so much conflicting commentary from various sources, it’s very hard to keep track of what’s truth, what’s conjecture, and what’s just plain bad information. An author is suppose to cut through that and make the point clear to the reader, but fails to do so here.
So Much Out Of Place
Throughout the book, there’s a lot that feels completely off topic. In addition to chapters that are strangely arranged, it seems many pieces are randomly jammed in throughout the book, in places they simply don’t fit. Not everything needs to make the final cut, and the off-topic trash could be cut to make things much cleaner and easier to read.
At the end of the book is when things get really strange, and fall apart even further.
Out of nowhere, there’s an advertisement for Amazon Web Services (AWS). It’s presented by an Amazon employee the author included as an expert, but it’s so sale-focused in nature that it feels like they simply sent over some marketing copy, and it was included without a second thought.
If the strange ad for Amazon AI services isn’t weird enough, there’s a point right after that’s basically a full press release for an AI offering. I’ve never come across such inclusion in a book before, and hope I never do again. It’s truly out of place.
Confusion Rather Than Competitive Edge
We recognize the power of artificial intelligence to change marketing and know those who can best harness it will see the biggest advantage. While that’s the idea proposed by this book, it completely fails to provide useful information in an understandable way. Poor layout, questionable experts, off-topic additions everywhere, and more, make for a confusing read that misses the mark.
AI will certainly change our world (it already is) but if you’re looking to learn how to apply it in your own marketing, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing: How to Harness AI and Retain the Competitive Edge will only muddle the waters.