Innovate or die—that is the mantra for people looking for ways to remain relevant in the face of challenges. They understand the need to scale up their games hence the need always to stay ahead of the trend and competition.
The COVID-19 pandemic taught the world many lessons. It brought about new trends, change, and innovation. It gave us insight into the fact that what we think is impossible is actually achievable; it only needs one person to start.
The COVID-19 period opened the eyes of business owners to the possibility of working from home. It is about building a formidable team that does not need much supervision but will deliver as much as possible
While some businesses were able to meet expectations, others realized that opening brick-and-mortar shops filled with people who come together daily to interact and work does not guarantee efficiency. Those who were unable to quickly switch to the trend paid heavily for it. Many businesses that were unable to integrate the use of technology did not survive the storm.
So what happened?
Innovation is the key. Both for individuals and organisations, there is a need to always look ahead and check what you can incorporate to stay relevant in your field. In this digital age, there is barely a monopoly in existence. In fact, every job is democratised.
According to Statista, around 36% of business owners in Nigeria knew of other similar businesses that permanently closed due to the pandemic.
Everybody is in a hurry, including brand owners and consumers, so they need solutions to myriad of problems be it process, media, creative, marketing etc as soon as possible, and if the agency or consultant and can’t meet it, they switch immediately. Speed is the new language. Now, it’s about what you know, it’s about your skills. It is about solving problems. It is about providing solutions. There will always be a problem to solve, people just need someone with the skills and expertise to bring solutions
Enter the Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is growing and is unlikely to stop growing. Its applications are present in business, advertising, economics, health, logistics, finance, and more. Simplifying complex tasks and making processes easy and seamless.
It is a fact that AI will surely take over our jobs, but don’t panic there will be a place for humans.
Today, AI and automation are applied in many sectors where most humans were supposed to operate. This is essential because the rate of a computer’s response to work is much higher than humans.
One of the most hit sectors in the marketing communication industry is the Advertising Sector. Creating a good copy that sells involves much thinking and brainstorming. It involves mind mapping and the use of De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats. While it could take weeks to come up with copy that sells due to the dreaded “writer’s block” that every writer experiences at some point, with AI tools, everything is like a “five-finger exercise.”
No exclusivity of ideas, and no super copywriter, with AI you are as good as how you can write your command
Presently, there are resources readily available to ease and make this seamless. The time of having headaches writing good copy is over.
Resources such as Copy.ai, which is an A I tool that generates high-converting marketing copy in seconds just with a few instructions is gaining popularity. In November 2022, ChatGPT a chatbot launched by OpenAI has continued to change the face of businesses. The chatbot is trained to interact in a conversational way. Interact and give specific answers to requests.
To test the efficiency of the ChatGPT, yours sincerely requested it to write a copy to sell “Unicom”, a fictitious service provider in Nigeria. This was the response: Unicom is the premier provider of internet services in Nigeria. Our state-of-the-art network ensures that you have a fast, reliable connection when and where you need it. Whether you’re streaming, browsing, or working from home, Unicom has the perfect plan for you. With our competitive prices, you can enjoy high-speed internet at an affordable cost. Plus, our friendly customer service team is always available to help you with any questions or issues you may have. Don’t settle for anything less than the best. Choose Unicorn for all your internet needs. Sign up today and experience the Unicorn difference.”
It furthered by giving the tagline: “Connect to the world with Unicorn – The internet service you can trust.”
With the rise of AI, it is certain that brands may be using their in-house creatives to provide advertising copy which may be a blow to the advertising agencies.Recently, there has been an increase in the use of content creators to promote brands and services and most of these are done by bypassing ad agencies.
A 2019 report in Thisday newspapers reported that more advertising agencies are closing shops over dwindling fortunes. The report added that not fewer than 12 creative agencies have been delisted in the last five years as additional 14 top agencies and their auxiliary service agencies no longer have clients to sustain their operations, even though they exist on paper. Some of the billion-naira billing agencies the report stated have gone into comatose include, LTC-JWT Nigeria, Rosabel Advertising Limited, Lowe Lintas, Grant Advertising Limited, OBM Advertising Limited, STB McCann Lagos and many others.
These are agencies that controlled the accounts of most local and multinational companies like Coca Cola, Nigerian Breweries, BAT, banks and top oil and gas businesses with annual billings between N3 billion and N6 billion,” the report stated
What went wrong? As time changes and tech is taking over, there is a need to involve the youth who are tech-savvy and social media inclined to take up some roles. These young folks understand the language of the generation. This corroborated what Mr Femi Foladun, CEO, ID. Africa said during the 10th year annual anniversary of the Brand Journalists’ Association of Nigeria in Lagos. Falodun said, “the business of the present needs people that understand the trick to sell it. If organisations really want to survive, they need to hire more young ones to take up some roles as they are the ones that understand the consumer”
In conclusion, though the rapid growth of AI will continue to shake every industry, those who are quick to embrace it will weather the storm and reap the inherent advantage while agencies that rely on old ways of doing things will be forgotten so soon.
With the help of AI, an individual can set up his business operation in the corner of his room and give the big names a run for their money.
In order to stay relevant, organisations should embrace technology and hire young, vibrant youth who know how to use these tools well.
Nevertheless, the limitations of AI will not allow it to totally take our jobs. The authenticity and emotional connection of humans cannot be replaced by machines.
This was also the opinion of the president, Association of Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria, Steve Babaeko during an interview with BrandCrucnh. According to him “Tech will always grow, and it will grow rapidly in the coming years, but when people say tech will take our jobs, I say, ‘No’, it’s only the human ability to create that creativity that is only connected to human emotion and human truth. But I still think and believe that the ability of human beings tells authentic human stories that connect with the emotions of other human beings will remain unbeatable for a long time. So, tech will be here, A. I will be here but human beings will also be here” , Babaeko enthused.