Is AI Ethical in Marketing? Here’s One Human’s Professional Opinion

August 10th, 2023

The answer is yes and no. How’s that for annoying?

Wait! Don’t go anywhere just yet. Give me a chance to explain.

For any marketers who are still choosing to ignore AI as if it’s a fad, or, even worse, getting defensive about how AI “can’t do what I do,” I urge you to stop that immediately. To bury your head in the sand is not only disadvantageous to your career, but you’re also potentially doing your clients a disservice. Plus, no one wants to get left in the dust, and that’s exactly where you’ll be if you don’t read the rest of this article and shift your perspective.

Why is AI Bad for Marketers?

  1. It’s boring and dry. If you’re like me (and the majority of creatives), you have an innate sense of curiosity, which means you may have already played around with ChatGPT in numerous instances. I don’t care what anyone says, no matter how many adjectives you put into the chat, you just aren’t getting a unique tone of voice. And forget about humor; it’s odd and dad-joke-like. (No offense to the dads out there; keep doin’ your thang.) I realize this may change in the future, but we’re definitely not there yet. So know that your human brain is still necessary.
  2. It’s not always accurate. As you probably already know (but I’m gonna mention it again, cause it needs to be said), AI content generators pull from content that already exists. In other words, it scours the internet for relevant content and arranges it in a pretty little package of your choosing. But that doesn’t mean the content pulled is accurate. So, if you’re going to use it, I always suggest reading over the content produced and doing your due diligence to make sure it’s accurate.

How is AI Good for Marketers?

  1. It’s great for informative content. If you’re looking to produce how-to and must-know articles for your customers, ChatGPT and other AI content generators can quickly churn out blog posts that are rich in SEO keywords, which can potentially improve your search relevancy, your Google rating, and traffic to your site. While it might not fit your brand’s tone of voice, or have much personality in general, it can do the trick if you just want to get content out there and position yourself as a helpful resource or thought leader in your industry.
  2. It’s efficient. We talk an awful lot about ChatGPT when it comes to AI but, obviously, there are a lot of AI solutions beyond that, and those can make you a heck of a lot more efficient. AI Meeting Assistants come to mind. These tools can listen to a meeting – internally or with a client – and dictate all the notes, as well as identify the next steps, who’s doing what, when it’s due, etc. Think of the amount of time that would save account service over the course of a year. Which, ultimately, ends up saving the client more money. And that time the project manager saves could be used toward other tasks, as well. It’s a win-win for the agency and the client. And we like those in our business.  

Sure, there are plenty more goods and bads to AI, but this is a good (not bad) start. As a marketing professional, do yourself a favor and explore the many tools AI provides. They’re not all perfect, and human review/guidance is highly recommended in conjunction with it, but it could be beneficial to your bottom line, both in hours and dollars.

However … before you go … above all things … when using AI …

BE TRANSPARENT! If it makes sense to use ChatGPT to produce your content, make sure your client knows. If it took 5 minutes for ChatGPT to spit out copy, and 25 minutes for you to clean it up/fact-check, charge the client accordingly. That’s where I believe ethics comes into play. And that’s a line no marketer should ever cross. 

Now, with this knowledge in hand, leave fear behind, go forth with confidence and enjoy our AI-filled world.

Human out.

PS: If you want another opinion on AI ethics, our other creative director, John Vogel, shares his take in this month’s episode of Marketing Then & Now: A Talk & Tell with Bozell. Check it out.