If you didn’t bother writing it, will they bother reading it?

  • February 2024
  • Jordi Wisse
  • featured

AI and its place in B2B advertising.

AI is joining the mainstream, and its capabilities are evolving at lightning speed. Last year it attracted two billion dollars of investment; a clear sign that it’s the future. Is AI a threat to human endeavour, will it always fall short of our staggering genius, or should we take a clear-sighted look at our strengths and weaknesses and work out the best way to work with this new colleague?

AI is having a moment. McKinsey found AI use has more than doubled over the last 5 years, and generative AI has rocketed to mainstream awareness. Meanwhile, Europol Innovation Lab predicts that by 2025, 90% of content on the internet will be produced with the help of AI. And with public interest comes financial interest. The Financial Times reported that investments in generative AI exceeded $2 billion — and that was last year alone.

So what does this all mean for B2B advertising? Will an AI scamp up the next award-winning campaign? Is AI capable of understanding us well enough to sell to us? And if yes, what happens to all those marketing departments? Let’s put AI and human creativity toe-to-toe and fight this out…

Round One: Efficiency vs. Authenticity  

AI wins this round. It never gets ill or sad or browses Pinterest to see if it would suit a fringe. But human creatives have imagination, intuition, memories and emotions — all the woolly stuff that combines to create empathy with consumers, their needs and, yes, their oddities. You may argue that you don’t need a rich emotional inner world to do B2B marketing, but if no one bothered to write this, would you bother to read it? You might as well have a night out with your fridge.

Round Two: Personalisation vs. Standardisation 

We’re beaten again because, if fed the right data, AI’s superhuman processing prowess can personalise content to an individual level. This is a clear asset to marketers and feels poised to open exciting opportunities to micro-target our communications to highly specific audiences and trends. But there’s one crucial caveat: AI output is only as good as its input. Even Chat GPT isn’t trained on its own output. And that’s where we humans fit into the picture, through our ability to curate quality information and build the foundations of great work.

Round Three: Innovation vs. Repetition  

Currently, AI uses algorithms and neuro-linguistic programming techniques to analyse large datasets and statistical patterns to mimic human writing styles. At this stage of its evolution, however, it isn’t capable of true innovation and has no intent. Humans, meanwhile, are full of surprises. In fact, what is possibly most surprising about the reception of AI has been our ability to find humour and ideas in what would otherwise be considered “bad” AI outputs. That’s a win for the humans this round.

Round Four: Immediate Gratification vs. Long-Term Relationship Building 

Admittedly, AI could bring you a hundred articles in the time it took us to write this one, and maybe the consistency and sheer volume would appeal. But isn’t an AI rehash of thoughts combed from the internet the intellectual equivalent of emptying a hoover bag? “Lovely,” you may think. “Lots of content.” Sure, but it’s hair, crumbs and spider legs. So when it comes to steering long-term relationship building, humans still bring the right touch.

The Result: AI and humans are like apples and oranges  

What our little grudge match shows is that an AI simply does not “think” like a human. We can argue whether one is smarter than the other, or more creative than the other, but in truth? What we really need to be asking is how do we work together to get the best out of each other. Less like apples and oranges, more like wine and cheese. (Mmm!)

And that’s where Brains is now operating. We’re embracing the grunt power of AI so that our campaigns can do more with data, targeting and personalisation — freeing up time to focus on what we do best. That’s bringing empathy, meaning, emotion, context and the element of surprise to everything we do. Or, as we have started to say, in a world of Artificial Intelligence you need Brains.


If you want to talk about how your next campaign could leverage AI, get in touch with Brains.