As technology advances, some jobs are easily replaced by machines, while others will always require human creativity and connection. Marketing is an industry that requires a human touch, but technological advancements help inform advertisers and marketing teams about current trends and consumer expectations. One of the latest consumer expectations, albeit sometimes a demand, has been sustainability.
Younger generations have made it well known that they prioritize buying from sustainable companies. From the development of apps and tools that rank companies by sustainable practices to boycotts, conscientious shopping isn’t a trend likely to fade. Even the marketing industry is becoming more sustainable. To understand how the world of marketing is adjusting to sustainability expectations, I spoke with Erik Huberman, the Founder and CEO of Hawke AI. Interestingly, artificial intelligence is quickly changing traditional marketing and making it more sustainable in the process.
Jeff Fromm: What marketing trends are you seeing that are increasing sustainability interest at brands?
Erik Huberman: Consumers are the ones most often driving the push toward sustainability. For years, it was young buyers — Gen Z and Millennials — that prioritized environmental consciousness in the brands they buy from. Now 80% of all consumers are more likely to buy something that advertises its green practices; it spans all generations.
Sustainability won’t always be the primary marketing message for your company, unless that really makes sense for your brand, but every brand should already be communicating their ecological efforts on their packaging, website, and in appropriate ways in the customer journey. In a few years, brands that haven’t incorporated sustainability into their marketing will be left behind.
AI improves sustainability by reducing energy consumption at the marketing firm itself and improving operational logistics. According to a recent study, AI-enabled models can help businesses improve energy efficiency by 10-40%. It helps the workers too, as there are often fewer people needed for many jobs. Using AI allows people to prioritize their availability. They can have the time to focus on tasks that best meet their skills, while AI takes over the tedious and mundane tasks instead.
Fromm: Which advancements in technology are changing marketing for the better?
Huberman: For marketers, advancements in tech are freeing them up to focus more on the aspects of the job they’re actually interested in: strategy, growth and innovation. The more time consuming aspects of the job — data and analytics, competitor research and the like — are more frequently being handled by marketing dashboards and artificial intelligence. The improved tech can guide marketers on what’s working and what’s not, which allows them to experiment with new platforms and mediums and try different messaging.
AI is allowing marketers to be more creative and personalize messages. Artificial intelligence can study social media and other online behaviors to understand what kind of buyer you are. With customizable security options and monitoring, marketing can be as personalized as each individual customer wants it to be. It’s a great time to be a consumer.
Fromm: How is AI changing traditional marketing practices?
Huberman: Around the time that I founded Hawke Media, someone asked me what the biggest threat to my business was and what I was doing to be ready for it. I thought of artificial intelligence. And in regards to how Hawke was preparing for that, that’s exactly why we introduced Hawke AI.
AI is changing traditional marketing by freeing up marketers. If marketers can spend less time in the weeds of platform analytics and competitor research, they can focus on the aspects that really matter to their brand or client. This means they can create more innovative assets, experiment with new mediums to reach new audiences, highlight their partners, and develop those with a similar vision.
Fromm: What role will AI continue to play in marketing as its use increases?
Huberman: AI can already do plenty, but right now it largely serves in an advisory capacity. The tools a marketer uses aren’t usually making decisions or executing the actual tasks, but the tides are turning quickly. The marketplace already has AI copywriters, smart email management software, and tools that optimize your site for search engines. Right now, most of this technology still leaves a lot to be desired, but of course, it’s only a matter of time before more and more of the actual labor is done by machine.
Advancements in marketing, specifically AI, are changing the way things are done. It’s saving time and resources, proving to be a more sustainable solution. It’s also providing marketers with the ability to flex their creativity muscles and personalize messages to particular consumers. As marketing advancements continue to improve, it will be interesting to see what other changes help lead us to a sustainable future.