If you’re like me, you, as a marketer, might be suffering from AIFS — artificial intelligence fatigue syndrome.  Here’s what led to my self-diagnosis.

Recently, a friend of mine who is into “film” (he actually pronounces the quote marks) asked me if AI was a “thing” in marketing. I gave him my best world weary sigh and started in on how we’re at the early stages of the technology’s development, a lot of big promises were being made by vendors and that there is a build up of even bigger expectations for a marketing nirvana (or the death of marketing) among marketers.

“The way you just said that reminded me of Anthony Quin in ‘Zorba the Greek’ where the Englishman asks him if he has a family and Zorba says ‘A wife, children, a house. Everything. The full catastrophe.’ So world weary.”

Modern marketers might be as tech-weary as old Zorba was world weary. We are loading up on technologies that allow us to gather and analyze more and more customer data, we’re looking for ways to exploit the number of channels and opportunities to engage customers and prospects.  Oh, and we have to do it all in real time while making sure we don’t violate the thicket of privacy regulations such as the EU’s  GDPR.

Stop.  One of the most important promises of AI for marketing requires us to snap out of the world-weary fugue and pay attention: AI can will free marketers to focus on engaging in the conversations that comprise markets (ask your grandparents if they have a copy of “The Cluetrain Manifesto”) based on fully leveraging observational data to rigorously measure, test and evaluate those conversations.  Where marketers who intelligently deploy AI will flourish is in applying their skills to take the machine-generated insights and create brand engagements authentic and compelling, as opposed to looking and sounding like something generated by a machine.

For marketers to make good on that promise, patience and persistence will be required. We are at the very early stages of AI for marketing’s development and, as we noted in the Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising 2018) it will be at least 10 years before AI for marketing will hit the plateau of productivity. Between now and then, research, experimentation and careful assessment of claims made by market players should be the focus.

It just so happens we’ve been keeping an eye on this topic. Check out these reports and news stories we gathered to help you on the journey to embrace AI for marketing.

It’ll help with that case of AIFS.