Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the minds of many marketers today, as they wonder how it will improve their ability to connect with customers in meaningful ways.
But there’s also concern about whether AI and machine learning will reduce the need for living, breathing humans to create and power campaigns. The good news, says John Travis, Adobe’s vice president of brand marketing, is that this isn’t the case yet.
“Instinct, emotion, all of the things which marketers always talk [about] are more important than ever,” he told CNBC. “Marketing will never be done by robots.”
AI is a hot topic this week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France. CNBC reported that Proctor & Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard echoed Travis’s sentiments while speaking on a panel at the event.
“Can machines sift through massive amounts of data? Yes,” he says. “Can machines come up with brilliant creative ideas that touch human emotions? No.”
More on AI & Machine Learning:
- Q&A: IBM’s Erin McElroy on Optimizing AI in Marketing
- The Impact of AI on Brands
- On-Demand: AI for Marketers—What It Is, Where it is Going and How to Use It
Programmatic is a key area where P&G is utilizing artificial intelligence, increasing its spend there to better target customers browsing online while decreasing its ad dollars on Google and Facebook.
One of the biggest artificial intelligence stories out of Cannes was the appearance of Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun, who appeared to discuss the importance of the agency’s new AI solution Marcel.
The new platform—built with the help of Microsoft AI—aims to connect 80,000 Publicis employees, spread across 200 disciplines in 130 countries, to help improve communication and customer service. Currently in beta-test mode, the goal is to start a large-scale rollout in January and have 80 percent of the company connected by 2020.
Publicis created a bit of controversy earlier this year when it announced the company would temporarily stop submitting to awards competitions such as the Cannes Lions to focus funding on Marcel. Almost 400 entries were submitted for Publicis campaigns by clients and partners.