14 The Future of AI-enabled Marketing, and Planning for It

The popular definition of artificial intelligence research means designing computers that think as people do, and who needs that? There is no commercial reason to duplicate human thought because there is no market for electronic people, although it might be nice if everyone could have a maid and butler. There are plenty of organic people, and computer vendors can’t compete with the modern low-cost technology used in making people.

– William A. Taylor, What Every Engineer Should Know About Artificial Intelligence (MIT Press, 1988)

Imagine a marketing function in which:

  • Its population comprises computer scientists, cognitive linguists, neuroscientists, and algorithm developers
  • Science and technology account for 70% of the budget
  • Media buying and selling is done the same way high frequency trading happens
  • Idea Exchange marketplaces flourish
  • The garden variety is replaced by everyday masterpieces
  • Consumer attention is for three seconds and becomes the most valuable commodity on the planet
  • Expert systems capture the knowledge and failure of a billion campaigns the same way an infinity of chess games is stored in chess playing machines
  • Rule-based decision trees and hierarchies of brand and product campaigns become the proprietary IP and the most jealously guarded trade secrets of marketing departments
  • Algorithmic development of marketing causes companies to pull most of the services in-house to guard their secrets
  • The ...

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