Sorrell backs AI to boost creativity – not suffocate it

sorrell nNo lesser luminary than Sir Martin Sorrell has backed artificial intelligence to breathe new life into creativity – rather than kill it off – on the back of a new report which shows $11bn (£8.6bn) has been invested in marketing related AI since 2014.

Of course, the former WPP boss, who now heads up S4 Capital, has always been a big data advocate and the report – by technology advisory and investment firm GP Bullhound – shows the market is suddenly taking off.

In the whole of 2018 there was $2.5bn (£1.95bn) worth of investment in emerging marketing AI companies, but $1bn (£780m) invested in Q2 of 2019 alone.

The report confirms what many in the data-driven marketing industry have predicted for years, that data is the defining feature of the global digital economy and is reshaping the marketing sector.

Advances in computing power mean that AI is evolving into a viable and affordable technology that enables marketers to collate, sort, and analyse vast quantities of data. AI also adds another layer of application, allowing the data to be employed in predicting and influencing future consumer actions.

Sorrell said: “Having data first and foremost improves the output, but it doesn’t replace output. Access to vast amounts of data will therefore make our job more effective, not less effective. The traditional argument, that data destroys creativity, is nonsense – AI will aid creativity. Better input in the form of data leads to better output.”

GP Bullhound executive director Oliver Schweitzer added: “AI heralds the beginning of a new marketing era, driven by the need to connect vast amounts of disparate data, uncover patterns and make predictions, which only AI can accomplish.

“[The technology] will become increasingly integrated into digital services and marketing processes; however, human intelligence and intuition will remain critical to interpret its findings and implement strategic and creative plans accordingly.”

The free report is available for download at the GP Bullhound website>

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