Marketing Report
[Column] Mo Walhof: Perception of AI in Marketing by a future marketer – A hammock

[Column] Mo Walhof: Perception of AI in Marketing by a future marketer – A hammock

I am still at the beginning of my marketing career, to be honest, I am still studying. As a second-year Marketing Management student, I am currently doing an internship at Incentro Africa in Kenya, where I can apply my hobby of phrasing things nicely full time and learn the intricacies of the marketing profession.

The first two months are over. Incredibly fun of course, I am learning some jargon, writing blogs, creating content, and organizing events and many other things relating to marketing and personal development.

A bit of a scare

Everything was great, until I read a report in De Volkskrant (Dutch newspaper) about a company that had hired a full-time AI marketing “employee” for 400 euros a month through the company Typetone AI.

All sorts of things went through my head. Am I studying this for nothing? Will this be one of the professions to be lost to AI? Not necessarily. In fact, it offers me more opportunities than I could have ever imagined before.

In late 2022, when OpenAI released ChatGPT for free for commercial use, you could only be impressed by what this little program could come up with. Since then, AI has gained a for me, inconceivable momentum. For just about every profession, there is now an AI tool that gets better by the month.

Estimating what AI can do in the coming is practically impossible. Even more so without knowledge about AI, you don't have to ask me how AI learns and improves. This makes something very exciting, just as scary. As an aspiring marketer, I am not going to be able to start as a Marketing Manager. What is the point of inexperienced marketer if AI can already perform their tasks for a sixth of the price?

That's a bit of a shock but it also offers the opportunity to get a lot more done in a short time. Efficiency in the marketing profession will sail on the wave of developments in AI.

A new way of working

In fact, a bot like Typetone’s can do a lot, it can write blogs for you, create LinkedIn posts - all in your company's tone of voice and perform SEO keyword research for you. And that's the free version, which has dozens more templates, all focused on marketing. And so, while this

is quite intimidating, it presents an opportunity in the form of a new more efficient way of working.

I am currently doing the Marketing Communications major, which I chose because it was the most creative major in the curriculum. The only downside to this is that digital marketing is almost non-existent during my studies, things like keyword research, SEO description writing and how to properly write a meta text, are all things that suddenly don't apply now, while this is a important part of what marketing is the digital age.

With a bot like Typetone's, I can still perform these tasks effectively even though my knowledge of them is lower than my fellow students who have chosen Digital Marketing.

And it works both ways, as they can now write blog posts in the right tone of voice and create content strategies in no time. Of course, these all still need some tweaks but just because the specialization is somewhere else doesn't mean it is no longer a part of the lectures. Which still means they have good knowledge of how their content will have to look and what works.

Disastrous for the marketing intern

However, these developments could be disastrous for prospective marketing interns, should it ever become a legal requirement to give an intern an internship allowance.

Of course, it then makes no sense to hire an intern who you have no intention of hiring later. For the same price, you have a tool that doesn't have to learn it all. And not only is it illogical monetarily, but it also costs your current marketing employees time to train him or her, they are then explaining things to an intern when there is already a tool that can do those things without any explanation needed. The only advantage the intern then has over the AI bot, is that the bot can't walk around the office bringing coffee around but whether that is worth the money – I doubt it.

All-round marketers

But for those of us who are not prospective interns, this means, that whatever direction you go in, you can position yourself as an all-round marketer (except maybe the sales side but who knows what is yet to come). When you start working as a marketing consultant, you never find yourself in the situation where you must tell a client that they would be better off going to an agency that specializes in communications or in digital marketing.

This gives us the chance to position ourselves as an all-round marketer, rather than just a digital or, say, content marketer.

Not only that, but it also saves tons of time, where writing a blog used to take me a couple of hours, I can now use a bot to write the first draft, in which I then make a few tweaks and then it's ready to go.

It is always easier to see the threats of something but these developments in AI are bringing more opportunities if you ask me. Instead of a sword of Damocles hanging over my head, I can later do my work quietly from my hammock. Maybe those pumped-up sales influencers in Bali on Instagram were right after all.

Mo Walhof is a second-year student of Commercial Economics at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen. He is currently doing an internship at Incentro Africa in Nairobi, Kenya