The rise in awareness and access to AI-powered marketing tools has transformed the way businesses approach marketing. Because AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to predict consumer behavior and create personalized experiences, it’s no wonder why businesses are quick to jump on the AI bandwagon. But as AI becomes increasingly integrated into marketing strategies, it’s essential not to lose sight of what truly connects us all – our humanity.
The Importance of the Human Touch When Dealing with Customers
While AI can quickly and efficiently assess a customer’s basic questions and concerns and then generate a viable response, it lacks the emotional intelligence to ensure that the customer is not left with the impression of coldness that comes when you realize you are “talking to a machine”. The importance of a genuine human touch in customer interaction cannot be overstated. Customers seek authentic connections, empathy, and understanding, especially when needing assistance. These are traits that are inherently human and, for the time being at least, AI has not been able to convincingly pull off.
As we move deeper into an AI-driven world, a business that maintains human interaction with its customers may become a rare commodity and one that is better poised to grow a loyal customer base. Responding to nuanced queries, providing real-time assistance for complex issues, and conveying genuine empathy and compassion will likely become some of the qualities that sets one business apart from the pack. Companies that continue to prioritize genuine human interactions demonstrate that they see their customers as much more than a simple business transaction.
Humans also have an inimitable ability to adapt to unpredictable scenarios and think “outside of the box” to solve problems. AI, on the other hand, often falters when faced with an unexpected request or a customer’s rapidly changing or hard to read emotions. Human customer service agents, on the other hand, can adapt and respond quickly, offering solutions that are unique, relevant, and empathetic. This adaptability fosters trust and loyalty, building lasting relationships between businesses and customers.
The Uniquely Human Art of Storytelling
We seem to be entering an era where content creation is becoming more and more machine generated and automated. Nowhere is this more evident than with blogging and content creation. With the explosive widespread use of ChatGPT, producing a “publishable” blog can be done in seconds rather than hours, so it is understandable why businesses would be tempted to take full advantage of this remarkable new tool. But this practice comes with dangerous consequences.
We’ve written an entire blog just on this topic, so we are not going to get too far into the details here, but we do want to elaborate a bit on the importance of the human touch. As more and more people get exposed to AI content, reading something that offers a unique human perspective, with that “think outside of the box” insight, and possibly some human emotion like empathy, pathos, or humor, can really set that piece of content apart and make it stand out from the machine-generated offerings from your competitors.
This advice is basically rooted in one of the very foundational elements of what set man apart from the animals since the dawn of time: the art of storytelling. You may argue that AI can generate stories and fiction, but we would counter that unless your business is a large corporation that has many years of web presence and widely recognized branding and messaging, it is unlikely that AI can produce something that uniquely expresses the brand feel, messaging, and humanity of your business. If you are trying to grow your brand, leveraging AI, which draws from existing web content to generate new content, will probably leave your business as coming across a bit generic and bland.
Good business content, whether it be a blog post, video, or social media post, should convey the business’s unique messaging, values, and mission that resonates with their specific audience, connecting empathetic and compassionate solutions with real human need. That content can convey real life challenges and triumphs of the business and its staff, unique industry insights and perspectives based on years of human experience, or even relatable narratives that show the evolution of a solution – basically the business’s brand story. All these things foster human connection and are excellent examples of good storytelling. And we’ve been talking about how important good storytelling is to internet marketing since our beginning.
The Delicate Balancing Act of Automation and Authenticity
In the end, it’s clear that AI offers some marketing advantages that will be impossible to not leverage to stay competitive and we’ve stated our position on AI to our clients and in quite a few blog posts now. It is basically this: know when to be human! It’s all about finding that balance between the AI and the human – the automation and the authenticity.
The big pitfall we see businesses falling into is being so enamored with AI and the idea that at the click of a button all their content needs seem to disappear, that they go all in and let go of a large portion of their content creators and marketing department and/or dramatically reduce their marketing budgets. They basically put their most valuable web asset, their brand authenticity, on the chopping block to save a little money. While AI technology is still quickly evolving and gaining widespread acceptance, this is an extremely risky move.
Sometimes in business it’s better to move slowly when others are quick to jump. We definitely feel like that’s the case here. By all means have your marketing department start exploring how AI can be effectively used in marketing your business, but also tell them to focus more than ever on putting authenticity and humanity into everything they do.
If you are struggling with how to carefully leverage AI for your business marketing or develop your unique brand story to grow your customer base, we can help! Call or Email us to find out how we can serve you and your business!