“The real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence. A super intelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble.”


No, I didn’t come up with that myself; those are the words of the late Stephen Hawking, and although he probably didn’t have too much of an interest in the intricacies of digital marketing, he makes a valid point of contention for modern advertisers.

Today’s marketeers often don’t have the time to delve into the droves of campaigns they need to have the capacity to run for their clients, they require automatic intelligence that can ‘do its thing’ in the background while allowing them the time to nurture client relationships, host trendy face to face meetings and analyse top line stats.

Thankfully, for a while now, there has been a growth in automation technology for marketing agencies to either manipulate themselves through Google or acquire through third parties (albeit often with a hefty price tag – we won’t name any names).
Not only does this allow professionals the peace of mind that there is some invisible genius making sure that their campaigns optimise appropriately, but it means that they now have the time and capacity to take on more clients, and in turn, more money. Sounds great right? Well, it is. Until it’s not.


  • What happens when you discover that technology that you’ve been relying on for weeks upon weeks has actually been optimising towards something that turns out to be completely irrelevant for your client?
  • What if that system you put your faith in has spent all of your client’s monthly budget in ten days?
  • What if it hasn’t spent anything at all?


Technology doesn’t understand seasonality, the media, world events or weather forecasts, and technology isn’t going to be the one explaining to your angry and disgruntled clients why their marketing has fallen short of meeting their expectations. No, you can be sure that pleasure will be all yours. You. Are. Welcome.

This brings me back to our good friend Mr Hawking. Essentially, this technology is all well and good, but only if it’s aligned with our goals. What’s the missing link between AI and our goals? Human intervention.

To have AI that works optimally for your business, or indeed your clients, that human element is vital to ensuring success.


At LOCALiQ we’re lucky enough to own our very own premium optimisation technology (and I’m not trying to sell you anything here, but let me tell you, there isn’t any hefty price tag for using it – just saying), but we wouldn’t dream of using that technology, or even putting into motion, had we not checked every element of set up with multiple sets of (human) eyes.

Beyond set up, when campaigns are up and running, our system uses conversion-based optimisation to ensure that budgets go towards areas of the campaign that are most likely to generate leads. In theory, it should be a case of plug and play, but we’d be naïve to leave it at that. We make sure that we’re checking campaigns daily to ensure that spend levels are at an appropriate level, bids are set correctly, leads are generating – in short we want to make sure that the technology is doing everything that it should be doing.

More often than not, that’s all we need to do, but sometimes we do need to intervene. It’s a well-honed skill to know when this intervention is required, but one that our marketing team are well versed in, and often makes all the difference in a campaign’s performance.

Essential what we’re saying here is that, yes, artificial intelligence is amazing. We’re so lucky in the world of marketing to have it at our disposal and it has undoubtedly pushed our industry further in the past decade than we’ve perhaps moved in the past half century. AI, automation and optimisation are certainly going to be the biggest growth area for digital marketing as we navigate our way through the next decade (ask any marketing professional), but just remember that sometimes you need to bring it back to basics, remember what our Stephen said, and have faith in good old fashioned human intelligence too.

For more information about how the humans at LOCALiQ manage our own in-house technology, get in touch today.

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