Will AI kill keyword gurus in 2020?


letter oneThe Internet grew. New terms like search engine optimization (SEO) created thought leaders, book publishers, keyword specialists, and gurus of search.

Our vocabulary created many enterprising business models in the last decade.

We promised the corner cupcake store owner higher rankings on search engines. She got data on traffic, visits, referrals, direct hits, and examples of organic growth, half of which she never understood.

We became experts in search making money on similes, metaphors, and the unused thesaurus. But one thing remained clear: websites that created authentic, fresh, valuable content gave search engines a run for their money.

Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes coffee for you, runs your inventory, manages your supply chain, and delivers profits. AI will easily drive your web traffic to the top spot of search engines.

You don’t need a digital marketing agency, a search engine specialist or a keyword expert. The middleman will vanish.

Firms like WordLift, Woorank and Alli AI are helping businesses get higher search engine rankings without an intermediary. If you have reached maturity in online marketing you will rely more on AI this decade rather than search engine experts.

But folks like me will depend on books like Word Power Made Easy, by Norman Lewis. There is a difference between original and artificial in our vocabulary and that will never go away.

Do you delight? If not, you are not in marketing.


What is marketing? Text books define it in several ways, but according to Bill Pearce, faculty at the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, marketing is the product, your store or site, the experience you give to your customers, and ultimately it is YOU and your company.

While it’s tough for us to pick the best marketer, we can find companies that create “unimaginable differentiation”  in a particular market. Pearce cited Cirque de Soleil, that has made all it’s competitors irrelevant in a short time span. The tactic? They delivered product differentiation while lowering costs by a third.

Basically, they reinvented a dead industry- circus. They went from a $100 million company to a $700 million company while their major competitor Ringling Bros “did the same thing they always did.”

Pearce  was speaking at a Phoenix marketing summit organized by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce earlier today. He said marketers shouldn’t assume nor should they care about the whiners inside your business. Instead, “use your constraints as a catalyst for change.”

Good marketers ” look at what everyone else looks at but sees what no one else saw.” They convey rational thoughts and emotions through their brands.

Ultimately, every company should ask: Do we delight? This mindset is what marketing is all about.