AI is an opportunity, not a threat. The marketers who embrace change will see their capabilities expand faster than they ever thought possible. Marketers who hide or ignore the trends will be left behind.
There are two ways to look at this situation. Let’s start with the negative way…
The Lost Marketers on the Beach
All the marketers sat on a beautiful beach that went on far as the eye could see. They chatted, laughed, built sand castles, and played in the waves. Then the ocean started to recede; a little bit at first, but as the minutes ticked by, it got farther and farther away from the shore until it couldn’t be seen.
The marketers looked at each other perplexed… some thought it was funny and ran out onto the wet sand where the waves used to crash. Others remained were they were, and simply discussed the troubling disappearance of the ocean. Still others ran inland towards high ground, screaming for the rest to follow.
By the time the tsunami could be seen, it was too late for anyone to change their mind. The wave rose, and rose, and rose, and it got closer, and closer, and closer. It swept up the people who had run towards the ocean first, then the people who did nothing, and then pursued the ones who tried to prepare for its arrival.
Everything they had built on the beach was destroyed. Most of the marketers were lost, sucked into the ocean or smashed against the shore. The remainder stumbled across a desolate landscape, picking up the pieces of what they had built, and began reconstructing from scratch.
I’m sure you guessed that AI is the tsunami, and the three groups of marketers are the ones that are happy about AI but aren’t taking it seriously, the ones on the beach aren’t doing anything, and the ones heading for the hills understand that AI is a game changer and are starting to prepare.
The good news is, this isn’t the only way to look at this situation!
The Adventurous Marketers on the Frontier
The crew was ready. Cargo stowed, flight checklist reviewed, engines in the green… the countdown had begun. The count reached zero and like a match being struck, the ship leapt into the air climbing higher and higher, faster and faster until the mountains and waves devolved into a mat of green and blue, and the clouds billowed below.
They were headed towards space, where countless new stations had been constructed near resource-rich astroids… or maybe to the manufacturing plants on the moon… or to the growing colony on Mars… or to explore the moons of Jupiter. The crew was excited with the endless possibilities this new frontier had opened up.
There would be danger and fear, but that would be easily squashed by adventure and opportunity, driven by courage, energy, and a ravenous appetite for advancement.
The frontier had been opened to everyone, and once that happened, the crew realized that the environment they had been operating in had become stale, monotonous, tedious, and boring. The frontier had saved them.
Which story do you identify with? Which one sounds like more fun?
Survival is stressful. Adventure is stressful. The difference is that you can choose adventure, while survival is just something we all have to do.
Your Marketing Career is Safe If You Want It to Be
I speak to a lot of well-established, successful marketers who have been in marketing for over 20 years. That puts them in a unique set of people who saw the transition from traditional offline marketing to digital marketing… the biggest change in the industry since the television.
They’re NOT worried. All they can see is possibility. Possibility for more effective marketing, for more efficient teams and workflows, for expanding markets in new industries, and for tech that makes they themselves 10 times more productive.
If you choose to view AI as an opportunity, you will have the right mindset for what’s coming next.
What’s coming next? A shift in the way we do things! It’s something we’ve faced before and will face again. That said, you still need several traditional marketing skills to succeed in the new age.
Here are 5 ways to safeguard your marketing career.
#1: Double Down on Marketing Strategy
With AI tools increasing the productivity of marketing managers, and allowing all marketers to produce content faster than ever while also managing paid media channels more effectively, the marketer that can produce the best overall strategy will win.
Note that I said “overall strategy” and not “paid media strategy,” “social media strategy,” “content strategy,” “product strategy,” etc. With marketers’ growing capabilities comes the opportunity (and necessity) of creating a cohesive strategic plan that can be created and executed by a single marketer.
At DigitalMarketer, we have the Customer Value Journey™ to guide overall strategy creation. It’s an 8-stage process that will turn strangers into buyers into active promoters, and you can incorporate all elements of marketing (AI, email marketing, social media marketing, copywriting, etc.) into it.
If you don’t have a well defined overall marketing strategy, you don’t need to create one from scratch. The Customer Value Journey has been used to make over $100 million for DigitalMarketer and billions for our students. Download this ebook and start solidifying your strategy today.
#2: Start Using AI
No, you can’t avoid using AI tools.
If you think that you can eventually hire an “AI Specialist” just like you do with a “TikTok Specialist” because you want to avoid the platform, you are 100% wrong here. You need to build a basic understanding of how AI works so you can evolve your strategy to match.
Your ability to both use and understand AI will directly impact your ability to manage marketing campaigns. Without a basic understanding, you won’t just SEEM out of date, you will be truly lost, and that will be very noticeable by your subordinates, colleagues, superiors, and clients.
Not using AI yet? Not to worry! Simply set up a ChatGPT account RIGHT NOW. Next, whenever you’re planning on doing a Google search for something, instead put the same search into ChatGPT. Review the answer and ask follow up questions to refine the result. This is the FIRST STEP to understanding AI and what it’s capable of.
#3: Ensure That You Understand All Marketing Methods
Do you still need to understand each marketing method if AI could potentially execute it for you? Of course you do. How could you manage anything you don’t really understand? You can’t!
Could you manage a group of doctors if you have no medical experience? How about mechanics if you’ve never fixed a car? All managers in skilled workforces have typically done the job in some way, shape, or form in the past. Marketers are no different.
At DigitalMarketer we call it the T-Shaped Marketer. A T-Shaped Marketer is somebody who has expertise in about 1-3 main marketing facets.
Being a T-shaped marketer means that you can help clients with their marketing strategy from A-Z. While you’ll have your bread and butter (like SEO, social media, paid ads, or community building), you’ll be able to create winning strategies amongst other marketing facets by collaborating with your marketing team.
While AI might ultimately replace some of the marketing specialities, your understanding of what role the method played will be pivotal to your advancement as AI becomes increasingly widespread.
Do a self-assessment, and find out where your marketing skills are really lacking. Here are the marketing skills that we promote at DigitalMarketer. Copy the list, then give yourself a 1 to 10 score regarding your knowledge and understanding of each one. If you give yourself a 5 or less on any of them, start researching, or take a course to learn more.
- Digital Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Search Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Ecommerce Marketing
- Analytics & Data
- Community Management
- Optimization & Testing
#4: Add Style & Creativity to Your Skillsets
AI isn’t magic… it’s just a new kind of program. You’ve used computers and programs for years, and you understand the limitations they have when it comes to new ideas, stylized content, and general creativity. It can only know what we know, so the best way to stay useful is to KNOW MORE.
How can you start to “know more?” You do more! You experience more. You open your mind to every possibility and identify and squash habits that prevent you from learning. This sounds simple, but it is far from it.
Hate to bring it up… but you know your aversion to using TikTok because “it’s for young people,” or “you don’t have time,” or “you’re too mature for the content?” STOP IT. That is a perfect case study of your tendency to limit growth because it’s uncomfortable and you fear change. ‘
Now that you’re open to learning, let’s talk about creativity. Who better to show you how to beat AI in creativity, than AI? Here’s what ChatGPT had to say on the subject:
So! According to AI, you can beat AI by leveraging your creativity to develop unique ideas, perspectives, and content by combining human intuition, experience, and creative thinking.
Let’s take it a step further by talking about style. If you can’t define your brand’s style in every aspect of the content they generate, then it doesn’t have a style.
Every piece of content you generate needs to have a unique and identifiable style that matches your brand. Every article, video, graphic, document, post, press release, event, physical location, website, etc. needs to look like “you.”
This is extremely important as more and more people generate more and more content using AI. If we all use the same tool to create content about the same subject, there will be no reason to go to one vendor over another. Your content needs to reflect you.
If you don’t consider yourself stylish or creative, stop it. You’re both of those things, you just need some practice.
Two tasks for you to do here… get creative and define your style. To get creative, set aside 15-30 minutes a day for creative exploration. This could be through artistic mediums like painting or drawing, but it could also be trying physical activities like yoga or weightlifting. The important part is that you try something NEW each week, every day.
For your personal style, open a document and define 3 unique aspects of the following (start with this personal list to really drive home the need for defining style in every aspect of your life):
- Your Writing Style
- Your Wardrobe
- Your Home
- Your Diet
- Your Hobbies
Don’t overthink it! Simply start to think about what makes you different from other people.
#5: Improve Your People Skills
AI isn’t people! We all know this. Just try to chat with a bot and you’ll quickly notice who’s a person and who isn’t.
There are dozens of facets of communication that we unconsciously execute every time we have a conversation. From body language to tone to mood to outside factors like the weather, time of day, and current events, a lot goes into how we converse with each other.
That isn’t likely to change soon, which means that your personal relationships with coworkers, managers, employees, customers, clients, and vendors will still require people skills.
“People skills” are more than just conversing as well. If you want to be a truly capable human, your skills will need to include emotional intelligence, empathy, adaptability, listening, openness, acceptance, authenticity, curiosity, clarity, patience, compassion, and an abundance of energy to make it all work.
That personal touch will be more important than ever as the more mundane tasks that used to suck up our energy and emotional reserves will be increasingly delegated to unfeeling machines (AI).
I think one directive sums up your new mindset well: BE INTERESTING.
Be interesting in your conversations. Be interesting in the way you approach projects. Be interesting when you talk to people you see every day. Be interesting to new people you meet.
For the next week take notes on any conversation that lasts more than 5 minutes. Note how interesting (or boring) the engagement was, and then consider how you could have made it more interesting. After a week, take one of your notes and apply it to your conversations for a day. See how the conversations go and adjust accordingly.
Conclusion: You’re Going to Be Fine
You don’t have be afraid of the coming changes, but you do need to be open and aware of them. Start using AI right now, and really start to think about what makes you special as a person.
If you want a huge leg-up, consider the AI-Powered Marketer course. We’re assembling a team of highly intelligent marketers who are embracing AI right now to enhance their results.