Is AI Making Us Lose Sight of Marketing Reality?

It’s a fair question. Are we losing sight of the realities of marketing amidst all of the hype?

AI is not just on everybody’s lips…

It’s also on (almost) every coder’s project list.

lisech marketing strategy consultants,marketing reality, AI, artificial intelligence There are so many new AI tools being built and launched that it is difficult to keep up even with just the tools launched for the marketing industry.

The world has become fixated on it, and with good reason: Aside from reducing the costs of doing business, it allows smaller companies and solopreneurs to do more, and compete with larger companies for the same market segments.

We are talking about AI chatbots, AI email (and other platform-) funnels, project management, marketing analysis and insights, productivity tools, and many, many more.

But there’s a catch…

AI is not yet capable of acting like a human being.

Yes, it is evolving quickly. The proverbial genie is out of the bottle, despite repeated warnings from people who work with it – even Elon Musk repeatedly raised his concern about the lack of regulation.

For the time being, however, AI is not quite “human” yet.

That means that, for now at least, clients and customers will know – immediately – whether they are conversing with a real human being or not.

And when you have to “work your way past the AI” to be “allowed” to speak to a human being (because the AI cannot answer your question)…

Is that not the ultimate insult to your customers? It implies that you do not value your customer’s time.

And some of it is incredibly patronizing – such as when you are sent/given a totally irrelevant response.

Let’s take an example:

You have a serious question about the products or services on website “A”. You need to make a buying decision between that product or service, and another. The other one doesn’t quite do all you want it to do, but its information is clear and easy to find.

So, you go digging into the knowledge base. You come up empty.

Then you try the chat, only to run into an AI chatbox, which was trained using the KNOWLEDGE BASE.

The Knowledge base doesn’t have the information so AI has NO WAY of being able to answer your question – then you still have to convince it to connect you to a real person.

Depending on how frustrated the potential customer is by now, “A” could lose not only the sale, but also any recurring business from that particular prospect.

Although on paper it looks like you are spending less money and making more profits. You may even be closing more sales – these sales, I would guess are smaller ticket items.

Your real “big fish customers”, with high lifetime customer values…

Chances are that they place a very high value on their time. And if you pretend to have answers available immediately, while in fact it is just something that could waste their time before they are allowed to contact you (and wait until the next business day for a response anyway)…

Are you not just adding friction to your website?

Friction costs. Plenty.

The marketing reality of AI is this:

People buy from people. They buy because they feel they can trust you.

But if you seem unwilling to talk to them, how will you earn that trust?

Fair enough, the younger generations may be more willing to accept it. But your older clientele, who grew up in a world where human connection still meant something, may not.

So before you “go all AI” on your website, consider how many of your target market fall into that category. At the very least, make it easier for them to contact you – directly.

No “I think this is what you asked for” chatbots. No emails with canned responses (or, Heaven forbid, a system like Paypal, where you have to dig through the website to eventually find a contact form, type your whole message, and then receive a canned response with an instruction to type it out again).

Rather just add a phone number for those customers.

Yes, there will come a day when AI will be indistinguishable from humans. I suspect that, not too far from now, AI will be making outbound sales calls, engage with prospects and close sales.

And that will probably put many millions of direct sales people out of work – just like it is putting millions of support people out of work right now.

But we are not there yet.

And until we get there, there will be a percentage of the population who value their time, and value human connection.

Calculate their value before you decide to risk losing them.