In the Age of AI, What’s Left for Marketing to Actually Do?

Marketing in the age of AI

My journey with LinkedIn is a love-hate saga that’s becoming all too familiar in the marketing world. On one side, it’s a treasure trove of connections and inspiration. On the flip side? It’s a breeding ground for every AI-driven gimmick under the sun, promising overnight success with as much substance as a soap bubble.

The influx of AI “magic” and viral growth hacks isn’t just annoying—it’s turning the marketing profession into a joke. Suddenly, everyone with an AI toolkit thinks they’re a marketing guru, ready to disrupt the industry without a clue about the grind it takes to make a real impact.

Let’s not beat around the bush. The marketing landscape is under siege by AI tools and overnight experts, leaving us wondering: What’s left for the genuine marketers?

Crafting Strategies That AI Can’t Mimic

AI’s got the data game locked down, crunching numbers and spitting out insights at warp speed. It can even whip up copy that sounds almost human. But it takes a marketer’s brain to fuse these insights into a strategy that actually sticks. AI can’t see the big picture or feel the market pulse—it’s all algorithms and no instinct. Crafting a strategy that cuts through the noise and hits home? That’s on us. We’re the ones weaving AI insights into narratives that resonate, making sense of the data chaos, and driving campaigns that matter. 

The Power of Big Ideas

In the rush to automate and optimize, there’s a risk of sidelining the big, bold ideas that catapult brands into the public consciousness. These ideas—the ones that spark conversations, shift perceptions, and forge emotional connections—are born from creativity and intuition, qualities that AI can’t replicate. The marketers who don’t settle and push for over-the-top ideas are the ones who will not only succeed but be most in demand. 

Screens Down, Eyes Up

Here’s a radical thought: Get back into the freaking office for a day or two. Shake off those PJs, ditch the endless Zoom marathons, and re-enter the world of actual human interaction. AI might manage our calendars or suggest networking opportunities, but it can’t replace the warmth of a handshake, the energy of a live event, or the power of a face-to-face conversation. Building relationships, whether with clients, customers, or collaborators, remains a fundamentally human endeavour—one that’s more critical than ever in the digital age.

Get Back to Basics

Navigating the AI landscape demands a return to strategic fundamentals. Understanding your market, your competitors, and, most importantly, your customers, requires a depth of insight that transcends data analysis. Crafting a marketing strategy that aligns with your brand’s values and speaks to your audience’s needs is a creative process that AI can support but not lead.

Brand is All We Have Left

The B2B playbook is obsolete. In a landscape dominated by AI and endless noise, brand strength is paramount. Forget traditional storytelling and product features—if your audience doesn’t trust your brand, you’re invisible. Brand isn’t just part of the strategy; it is the strategy. In today’s market, trust and authenticity are the only currencies that matter. Building a trusted, strong brand is now the only way forward.

Where do we go from here?

In the age of AI, the hype-fueled blather from so-called marketing gurus has only served to underscore what truly matters in our field. We must keep the true essence of marketing—strategic thinking, groundbreaking ideas, and real, meaningful interactions—at the core of everything we do. Let the gurus peddle their snake oil elsewhere; we’ve got actual work to do.

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Jason Miller
Jason Miller

Jason Miller is a leading digital B2B marketer, who’s held senior roles at LinkedIn, Marketo, and ActiveCampaign. Before entering the B2B space, he spent ten years at Sony, developing and executing marketing campaigns around the biggest names in music. He is a prolific keynote speaker, digital marketing instructor at UC Berkeley, and best-selling author. Also an accomplished rock concert photographer, his work appears in books, magazines, and album covers.

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Marketing in the age of AI
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