Trends for Marketers to Prepare for in 2018: #7 More Automated Content

As the end of the year draws closer, our experts have been contemplating what could be the “next big thing” in digital marketing in 2018, narrowing down their myriad of thoughts to just one or two top predictions that they believe will shape the coming year.

Whether it’s a relatively new trend, or something that’s been around for a while but is really going to take off in 2018, these trends are from the unique perspective of Mediative’s experts, how they see 2018 unfolding, and what digital marketers should be considering when planning next year’s marketing efforts.

Download the full eBook, with all 10 trends to prepare for here.

More Automated Content

In 2015, Gartner predicted(1) that 20% of business content will be authored by machines by 2018. Elon Musk thinks computers will be able to do anything a human can by 2030(2), and Google invested over $800,000 in the Press Association’s initiative to generate news stories solely through the use of AI(3). Signs that we are heading toward more machine generated content? I think so.

AI is already widely used to generate business content, where no ‘personality’ is required. Natural language generation (NLG) tools can be used to generate automatic content such as quarterly reports, hotel descriptions, real-time stock insights, sports game recaps etc., using algorithms to “turn data into insightful narratives”.

Some companies say their programs can create short-form content that’s nearly identical to what a human can develop. Take this example(4) of a machine generated snippet from a sports report: “Things looked bleak for the Angels when they trailed by two runs in the ninth inning, but Los Angeles recovered thanks to a key single from Vladimir Guerrero to pull out a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday.” While it’s not exactly creative, it doesn’t scream machine-written!

Automated content creation is only going to become more widespread as more and more businesses make use of the technology to create more personalized, meaningful marketing content, and business reports. However, while these tools are able to convert a spreadsheet of data into readable, factual reports, they are not so great at giving a POV or an opinion (or anything requiring the creativity that is an integral component of marketing content). That’s why all of the big companies that utilize automated content generation tools still have actual humans in their organizations!

Will we see a future where a machine can create marketing content, like blogs, eBooks and landing pages? Probably not in 2018, and maybe not ever, however, there are already so many things we didn’t think would be possible that are part of our daily lives, so who can really say! I’d like to think that there’s always going to be a need for human involvement if we are trying to create content that will get audience engagement. It takes real skill to be able to effectively pull on people’s heart strings, or crack a clever joke, and many times, even humans don’t quite hit the mark. It’s a skill that requires an in-depth knowledge of the audience, and it’s definitely something that simply shouldn’t be left to a machine.

Sources:

  1. https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3143718
  2. https://futurism.com/elon-musk-thinks-ai-will-beat-humans-at-everything-by-2030/
  3. https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/7/15933224/google-press-association-ai-news-writers
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/if-an-algorithm-wrote-this-how-would-you-even-know
Rebecca Maynes
Rebecca Maynes is Mediative’s Manager, Content Marketing and Research. Her expertise lies in the creation of engaging thought leadership for Mediative. From compiling eBooks and case studies, to conducting research, analyzing data and writing white papers and reports, Rebecca is an integral part of Mediative’s Marketing and Research team. Rebecca began her career with Yell.com in England, and, after emigrating to Canada in 2005, she has gone full circle, joining Mediative, a Yellow Pages Group Company, in 2009. Prior positions include Marketing for a B2B Software company. Rebecca graduated from Cardiff University in Wales, UK, with a First Class Honours BSc in Business Administration.