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  • Writer's pictureGordon G. Andrew

Why Content Marketing Will Continue to Fail in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In the mid 1980s, with introduction of the Mac computer, PageMaker software, and the LaserWriter printer, the DeskTop Publishing system was born; for the first time allowing anyone to create print and online marketing materials that did not require a bona fide graphic designer or any elaborate printing hardware to produce physical documents.

This was a major technological advancement in the world of marketing communications. It also marked the beginning of a (ongoing) period that has produced some of the most incomprehensible, unattractive, and brand-damaging print and online marketing materials in the history of the communications.

DeskTop Publishing did not make people with no design talent or writing skills into graphic designers or copywriters. And based on the way content has been created and applied by most firms over the past decade, the availability of Artificial Intelligence will not make people more effective content marketers.

Here’s why:

  • Most firms still don’t understand that marketing content is NOT about sales.

Blog posts or press releases extolling the features and benefits of your firm’s whiz-bang new product or service are more likely to be read by competitors than by prospects. White papers lost their credibility many years ago, because so many companies turned them into self-promotional sales brochures.

Your target audiences want objective, relevant, helpful information that addresses their challenges and opportunities, and enables them to draw their own conclusions regarding your firm’s ability to assist them.

  • Most firms still don’t know how to extract or showcase their own intellectual capital.

Using ChatGPT to create a 500-word blog post may provide your company with the appearance of thought leadership, and remove some or all of the burden of drafting your own content. But AI-generated content will never be able to craft marketing content that’s based on your company’s unique experiences and perspectives that support its value proposition…which is what your clients, prospects and referral sources really want to know about.

  • Most firms still create content that their target audiences don’t care about.

Your company understandably wants to demonstrate its investment in employees, or its commitment to charitable and civic causes. But in an online world where you have nanoseconds to catch market interest, content describing your company’s mud run, golf tournament, or wishing people a Happy Cat Lovers Day, is an enormous opportunity loss in terms of audience attention.

Find another platform for your internal news, and focus exclusively on addressing the “What’s In This For Me?” question that the outside world applies to all content.

Technology tools – whether it’s DeskTop Publishing or Artificial Intelligence – will never replace human (or corporate) experience, insights, talent, or creativity. Those tools are only of value in content marketing if you know how and when to apply them. The marketing profession’s track record suggest that more time should be devoted to strategy, in advance of tactics.

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