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Will AI Replace Digital Marketing?

Which marketing jobs will be stolen by AI, and how to future-proof your career
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Andrea Tallarita
Andrea Tallarita

Even veteran professionals in the field are nowadays asking themselves, will AI replace digital marketing and steal their jobs? As algorithms learn to interpret data and chatbots become able to write their own content, the question is growing increasingly urgent.

Digital marketing is but one of the many industries in the throes of a revolution sparked by the rise of Artificial Intelligence. Looking at the available career guides, it’s surprising just how few of them choose to factor the question of AI into their recommendations, instead discussing static prospects for jobs as though we were still in the early 2000s.

Is the marketing industry going to shed off thousands of workers in the next few years? Is the outlook good for those who wish to enter – or stay in – the field of marketing?

This article will address all of these questions not by platitudes like ‘AI can do much but it will never replace human creativity’, but by analysing the tangible data and the verifiable reality of the marketing industry in 2023, and putting them in the context of the most recent developments in AI technology.

By the time you have finished this article, you will know exactly what to expect for the marketing industry in the wake of the AI revolution, and most importantly – what prospects it offers to you.



Is Digital Marketing A Good Career?

For those who wish to enter the world of marketing, the year 2023 may be something of a golden age. This statement is not an exaggeration – it’s the natural conclusion that emerges by looking at the hard evidence, in particular the latest CMO Survey.

In spite of the gloomy, inflationary state of the global economy, the marketing industry seems to be experiencing a ‘mini-boom’. The size of its budgets as a percent of overall company budgets reached 13.8%, the highest figure in the history of the survey. The number of marketing jobs has grown by 15.1% in the last year, in an upward trend that is expected to continue throughout 2023. As well, nearly 60% of surveyed marketers report feeling that their job has ‘increased in importance’ since the pandemic.

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A LinkedIn report corroborates this optimism, indicating an almost surreal 374% increase in job postings in the field of marketing last year. That figure should be taken with a grain of salt – it probably says at least as much about trends in the use of LinkedIn as it does about trends in marketing – but as an indicator of growth, it’s pretty unambiguous.

The industry itself is therefore expanding, and looks set to keep expanding – but what opportunities does it offer?

What Sort Of Jobs Can You Do In Digital Marketing?

Marketing is a very wide umbrella, and its teams may sometimes include creative types like designers, writers, and even actors, as well as purely technical roles like web developers and data scientists. For simplicity, we will leave ‘borrowed’ roles outside of this discussion, and focus on those jobs that are related to marketing directly.

While jobs in the marketing industry are growing rapidly, they are changing just as quickly, and the reason is that companies are racing at breakneck speed to keep pace with the digital revolution. Said digital revolution has given rise to an entire new subfield of marketing – what is known as MarTech.

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The rise of MarTech is the reason so many new jobs are being created in the field, and also why budget expenditures are so high – they are being pushed up by investment in digital marketing, which according to the CMO survey now takes up 57.9% of all marketing expenditure.

The Top 10 Fastest Growing Marketing Jobs

In a recent article on the most valuable skills in marketing, LinkedIn identified the top 10 fastest growing marketing jobs as the following (notice how many of these are related to digital marketing and new technologies):

  1. Media Coordinator
  2. Search Manager
  3. Social Media Coordinator
  4. Search Engine Marketing Manager
  5. Media Manager
  6. Marketing Analyst
  7. Search Specialist
  8. Email Marketing Specialist
  9. Search Engine Optimization Analyst
  10. Digital Media Manager

The Top 10 Most In-Demand Jobs in Marketing

The report above also provided a list of the top 10 jobs that are most in-demand:

  1. Digital Marketing Specialist
  2. Digital Account Executive
  3. Social Media Manager
  4. Digital Marketing Manager
  5. Copywriter
  6. Marketing Associate
  7. Account Supervisor
  8. Marketing Assistant
  9. Digital Strategist
  10. Marketing Manager

These jobs may look interesting to you… but how many of them will be taken over by AI?

How AI Will Change The Future Of Marketing

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The impact that Artificial Intelligence will have on our modern industrial and economic systems as a whole is impossible to overstate.

With regards to the marketing industry specifically, AI’s most significant impact on the short to medium term looks set to be in the fields of data processing, content creation, and automation.

Will AI Take Over Data Processing In Marketing?

Data processing means collecting, sorting and to a certain extent interpreting information about your customers and your market. It has become increasingly relevant in the age of the internet as enormous amounts of data have become available, even if the regulations as well as the industry standards regarding said data are changing all the time.

There are technologies that are able to process data efficiently and semi-independently. These include PaveAI, which utilizes Google Analytics to read data, find relevant insights within it, and report them to the user, Wordsmith, which can be fed raw data and will return a written, easy-to-understand narrative, and Adext, which is capable of designing, managing and optimizing online advertisement campaigns.

Data processing is an expansive, important field – enough so that it is possible to build an entire career entirely around Data Science – and the fact that AI can do it so well should not be downplayed. Data processing still needs guidance – someone who knows what they are looking for – meaning jobs in this sector will not be replaced. But they will most certainly be transformed, with Marketing Analysts in particular being in a great position to take advantage of their technical skills to pick up new responsibilities.

Will AI Replace Content Creation In Marketing?

Content creation refers to the creation of (for now) mostly written material, such as emails, newsletters, and blogs. AI applications capable of reliably creating video content for marketing purposes are not very prominent at the moment, although this is probably only a matter of time, as text-to-video generation seems set to be among the big AI trends of 2023.

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Adobe Stock / Shafay

The king of this particular jungle is of course ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that has astonished the general public with its ability to instantaneously produce lengthy, functional and relatively complex essays and stories. Launched in November 2022 and just updated to the latest model, it already has content creators everywhere trembling.

In truth though, ChatGPT is only one of a variety of such tools. Other natural language generation (NLG) platforms like Articoolo and the aforementioned Wordsmith offer similar services. More specialized applications like Phrasee can come up with pitches, titles and email subject lines.

No doubt more of these technologies will follow. How exactly the industry will adapt to them is an open question – for example, will search engines be programmed to recognize artificially-generated content, and will they treat it any differently than human content? On that, we will simply have to wait and see.

What Is Automation In Marketing And What Can AI Do?

Automation, the art of getting a machine to perform a task without guidance or oversight, is directly related to both of the above processes, and to a greater or lesser extent is involved in all of the technologies we have already mentioned. There is therefore no need to repeat ourselves.

We should briefly mention chatbots capable of handling interactions with clients, because they are very often associated to the field of marketing. This, however, is a misconception. While this branch of AI will doubtlessly have implications for marketers as well, its primary application is in customer service, which is a different field, and which we will not cover in this article.

Which Marketing Jobs Will Be Stolen By AI?

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The question of which marketing positions will go extinct does not have a simple answer. The main problem is that it’s hard to sift jobs that may actually disappear, such as, say, telemarketing, from others that will simply be rebranded.

At a certain point we may well see ads for ‘Digital Marketing Manager’ disappear, but only because digital marketing will become so common and widespread that any ‘Marketing Manager’ will be expected to already incorporate that specialism, and the word ‘digital’ could therefore be dropped from the job title. That is the opposite of extinction!

Articles that come up with a list of ‘endangered job titles’ for this particular industry are therefore speculative at best, and irresponsible at worst. A job title like ‘Marketing Technology Specialist’ may stop existing, but only to be replaced by something like, say, ‘Customer Experience Data Scientist’, which will require many of the same skills.

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Indeed, the majority of the innovations brought along by AI appear to overlap with the work of marketers, almost never to directly replace it. Tools for automated advertising or content generation can perform many of the tasks done by marketers, but they always require greater or lesser extents of supervision and direction, particularly due to their notorious inability to think laterally or creatively.

While marketing professionals won’t go extinct, it is inevitable that their work will be transformed. Marketers who are involved with, say, designing an advertising campaign, will have to make use of those AI tools that allow them to optimise their approach, in the same way that all modern designers must now be equipped with the skills to use something like Photoshop.

Does Marketing Pay Well In The Age Of AI?

Marketers in the early phase of their careers are typically not among the highest earners, but their salaries do grow rather rapidly, and jump upwards dramatically once they reach the echelons of management.

Listing every possible job in marketing and its expected salary would be a near-impossible job – the field, as we mentioned, is very broad indeed – and the results would only be confusing. Instead, here is a selection of marketing salary expectations (measured in $1000p/y) for a variety of positions that go from entry-level to management. The source of the data is, which focuses on the American market, but similar ranges (adapted for local taxation) can be found on European websites such as

Is marketing a good career in the age of AI 2023 Salary expectations

It‘s worth pointing out that the LinkedIn report we quoted in our section on in-demand jobs also looked at which skills recruiters were having most trouble finding. Digital Marketing was first on that list by a distance, and the top five also included Social Media and Data Science.

One reason these skills are so valuable is precisely that they let companies harness the power of AI. Although everyone in marketing may be talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning, very few people are actually using it. Only 8.6% of companies do, according to the CMO figures, although that number is expected to increase to 22.9% by the end of 2025.

This means that any marketer who can use AI effectively as part of their job – and who can instruct the rest of the company on how to use AI tools – will be in a position to negotiate a substantially higher salary than those reported above. (If you’re not sure what this sort of work entails, check out our guide on what it means to work as a marketing analyst).

The future of marketing is digital – it is also bright. As we have seen, the industry is growing and more and more jobs are being created. This is very much the right time to get in – just don’t fumble the entrance.

Will AI Replace Digital Marketers?

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AI will vastly expand digital marketing’s technical dimension, meaning that jobs in this field will require more IT skills and knowledge of digital tools in general. AI is therefore much more likely to increase the number of jobs in marketing than to replace them, although it will also compel more traditional marketers to learn new skills.

Take for example Marketing Analytics, which is the subject of our own specialised bootcamp. As a discipline, Marketing Analytics is not itself about AI – but it is interwoven with it, because it involves several technologies which themselves affect and are affected by AI.

As per CMO data, Marketing Analytics went from being used in about a third of all marketing decisions 3 years ago to almost half of them today. Spending on Marketing Analytics as a percentage of total marketing budgets is now at 8.9%, an all-time high which is likely to keep rising.

And yet – do you know how many companies reported full agreement with the statement “I have the right talent in my organization to fully leverage marketing analytics”? A tiny 3.6%.

The talent gap in the field of marketing is huge! Not only is the industry itself growing – it is also opening so many doors to those who have the courage and the initiative to walk past them.

Your skills are the hardest currency you have. Pick up the right ones now, and the world of marketing is yours for the taking.

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