Sobia Mughal, Chair of the Marketing Association’s B2B Special Interest Group and B2B Marketing Manager at Trade Me shares her learnings from a recent panel discussion on AI. She emphasizes the importance of preparing the next generation of marketers to embrace AI as a valuable tool rather than a threat.

"As an academic nerd and marketer based in New Zealand, I recently participated in a thought-provoking panel discussion on artificial intelligence in marketing at The University of Auckland Business School.

This rising wave of AI transformation served as the catalyst to bring together leading academics and industry experts across New Zealand to debate AI’s expanding role in the marketing world. Now, let's dive into the juicy bits, post-panel reflections and all.

Reflecting afterwards, several personal takeaways stood out that I wanted to highlight, particularly focused on how we as educators need to prepare the next generation of marketing professionals to harness AI as an invaluable partner:

AI enables hyper-personalised Experiences

Imagine AI as your fairy godparent, weaving hyper-personalized experiences for your audience. AI tools analyse consumer behaviours and interests to identify micro-segments for targeted, customised messaging. This presents exciting opportunities for marketers to refine customer experiences and build stronger brand connections. However, with great power comes great responsibility around data privacy. Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility – especially when it comes to our audience's data. Classy moves only, marketers!

Contrary to sci-fi nightmares, AI isn't here to swipe our jobs; it’s more like a buddy system.

Picture AI tackling the mind-numbing analytical, research, or admin tasks, freeing us marketers to flex our creative muscles, critical thinking, and strategizing. It's a win-win! Our future marketers (graduates or recent career-pivoted professionals) need to be the Iron Man of the marketing world – tech- and uniquely human soft skills.

Adaptability is the new sexy (yes, I said it)

Given the pace of change, the most valuable skills we can teach are agility, resilience and a lifelong love of learning. While current curriculums and tools may quickly become outdated, these human skills to flex with industry shifts will never fade. We need to prepare future professional to be able to sit in ambiguity and problem state without the solution (totally admit that this is something I am also working on)

As Kiwi marketing educators, facilitators, and agencies, looking ahead, key considerations include:

✔ Updating curriculums with AI and tech-focused courses/topics 
✔ Running AI literacy programs and workshops for students
✔ Collaborating with industry leaders on real-world AI projects
✔ Emphasising critical thinking and creativity in our programs 
✔ Preparing students for a future where technological disruption is the norm.

So, fellow marketers, grab your boards – we're not just riding this AI wave; we're doing it with style. The wave of AI transformation is an exciting opportunity, not a threat. By giving future marketers the ability to ride this wave through up-to-date curriculums and transferable future-proof skill development, we can empower generations of marketers to thrive.

Cheers to the wild surf ride! "

Source: Sobia Mughal, B2B Marketing Manager, Trade Me