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Why AI-generated content still needs the human touch



Why AI-generated content still needs the human touch

AI has already made an impact in the marketing content industry, with AI-generated content filling in the gaps for all kinds of assets, from simple product descriptions to more complex news articles to books and even films—just ask the Writers Guild of America.  

No surprise then that so many digital marketers and content creators are on red alert and asking questions about the future. Will it take over my job? Will it take over the world? The short answer is no—and we’re going to explain why. 

As far as the tech itself is concerned, it’s still early days. A robot won’t be sitting at your desk tomorrow morning, sipping fresh oil from your personal coffee cup. And if you wake up in a cold sweat after being chased by a terminator carrying a keyboard rather than a phased plasma rifle… well, we think we can help you sleep a little easier.  

What is AI-generated content? 

First off, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. Artificial intelligence refers to algorithms that generate content without human assistance. AI content generators use a variety of methods such as machine learning, natural language processing, and neural networks. 


AI-generated content is not a like-for-like replacement for human content marketers. Rather than a threat, we see it as a tool that makes life easier and boosts productivity. 

The rise of AI in content creation for marketers 

AI-generated content has become increasingly popular, especially in digital marketing where it’s already proving to be a real game-changer. Advancements in natural language processing are making AI-generated content more human-like. Improvements in machine learning algorithms are making it more reliable. At first glance, it’s easy to see why the market for AI-generated content is expected to keep growing fast.  

It’s efficient 

AI content generators help content teams to generate content much more quickly. By streamlining the content creation process, they allow marketers to focus on the more value-adding, enjoyable, and creative aspects of their roles.  

It’s insightful 

AI content software is capable of analyzing user interactions, identifying the topics of most interest to your audiences, and even tweaking content strategies. Basically, will generate targeted marketing content while you’re out grabbing some lunch.  


For brands that do business overseas, AI content systems can also deliver content in multiple languages, saving the time and expense of hiring translation or transcreation agencies. 


AI don’t do the grammatical errers or spilling typos what compromise the quality and credibility of your content. Algorithms can also improve the engagement levels of your texts. It can even suggest improvements such as simpler words and shorter sentences.  

All in all, if AI had feelings, then no doubt it’d be feeling very smug about itself. But it shouldn’t get too carried away…not just yet. 

The challenges and limitations of AI-generated content  

So yes, AI has the potential to revolutionize the way we produce and consume content. Yet just like any technology, there are limitations to what AI-generated content can achieve. You see, it also raises very real issues such as contextual errors, ethical concerns, and ownership of content, in addition to a distinct lack of originality, creativity, and accountability. Not to mention the lack of that human touch that technology simply can’t replicate.  

Lack of creativity 

Artificial Intelligence can quickly produce large quantities of content, but this is based on pre-loaded data and often relies on pre-existing templates or algorithms. AI tools basically create a mash up of information snaffled from different websites and sources. And it’s exactly because they use existing data that these tools are unable to think up fresh ideas or original content. They’re unable to think, full stop.  

The results can sound pretty formulaic as well as blandly repetitive. For example, an AI program can generate a thousand product descriptions without a second thought. But if you’re hoping for a sassy, attention-grabbing tagline, you’ll be left disappointed. 

Lack of originality 

Free-thinking humans (some, at least) are equipped with the imagination to come up with new and original ideas. Put simply, AI isn’t. We can inject personality and voice into our writing. AI can’t. However smart and advanced they may be, algorithms can only do what they’ve been programmed to do. To any developers out there, please don’t enter ‘take over the world’ even as a joke.  

Sure, researchers are working on AI that can generate more creative content, but we’re still miles and years away from anything that can truly compete with the creativity of the human mind.  

Lack of context  

AI also has a bit of a reputation for struggling with context, especially when it comes to cultural nuances and social references. As humans, we can usually discern that certain wordplays, memes, or slang that hit the mark in one country or community may not go down so well in another. A limited scope for understanding cultural references also means, of course, a limited scope for including them—yet they are exactly the kind of thing that make communications relevant, engaging, and effective. 

Ethics and bias concerns 

AI is also surrounded by significant concerns around ethics and bias. Needless to say, algorithms don’t set out to produce biased, hurtful, harmful, prejudiced, or discriminatory content. They have no mind, no opinions, no preferences for one over the other. Yet AI-generated content is only as transparent and unbiased as the data on which the system is trained. And because they mindlessly collate and repeat existing information that itself may not have been checked (or has even been deliberately created to perpetuate bias), AI content generators are vulnerable to spreading and amplifying biases and discrimination.  

Let’s take one simple example. An AI program may be designed to prioritize metrics such as engagement or click-through rates, yet this could well come at the expense of accuracy or relevance.  

Or say an AI system has been trained on a dataset that lacks representation from a certain group or race. As a consequence, it isn’t farfetched to imagine the resulting content could show a bias towards that group or race. 

In fact, there is no shortage of challenges… 

AI generated content also faces myriad other challenges such as a lack of accuracy—facts and figures may be out of date, for example. We’ve touched on the unwitting spread of misinformation, fake news, and propaganda. Then there’s a complete inability to produce inspiring and evocative content that resonates with audiences on an emotional level. And a potentially damaging vulnerability to plagiarism, because again, AI draws on existing sources.  

And finally, there’s the fact that search engine crawlers don’t much like AI-generated content. For example, in February 2023 Google released an updated set of guidelines that place the emphasis on “helpful content written by people, for people.”  

When it comes to automatically generated content, our guidance has been consistent for years. Using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies.” 

The essential role of the human touch 

AI-generated content can be a useful tool for producing reams of content at speed, yet that doesn’t come without its challenges. After all, we need to remember we’re talking about nothing more than a machine. And all too often, that’s just how the final content can sound.  

In contrast, high quality marketing copy is about the art of persuasion: pulling the right strings to bend the consumer to your will. Whether those strings come in the form of brand personality, humor, insight, excitement, emotion, or empathy, they all have one thing in common: the human touch.  

“Only humans possess the ability to relate to audiences on a personal level. Only humans can step into the audience’s shoes and understand their needs, desires, and pain points. Only humans can create compelling content that resonates, engages, and builds relationships.”  

By drawing on our own experiences, emotions, and perspectives, humans can inject creative techniques to capture and keep the reader’s attention. In contrast, AI simply cannot craft content that speaks directly to people, ignites emotions, and prompts audiences into taking action. To produce genuinely effective content, therefore, we need to combine the efficiency of AI with the creativity of the human mind.

How to keep your content human  

What you get from AI is never the end of the process, but only the beginning. The real work lies in going through that rump of content and tailoring it to your brand tone, your audiences, and your messaging. That’s why it’s so essential to have human oversight: only you can inject the personality that makes your content feel authentic.  

Remove the repetition 

In combining what amounts to a series of short sentences, AI content generators can often be guilty of repeating specific words or phrases. AI content generators can therefore sound slightly unnatural. AI content generators can even sound robotic. AI content generators therefore require aid in sounding more 

well… human. Right? 

Go with the flow 

Let’s face it, AI-generated content can sound staccato. It tends to overuse simple words such as ‘it’ and ‘the’. And as we’ve just noted, it can display a distinct preference for short sentences that don’t always flow. That’s why it’s worth going through to add natural transitions or using commas to extend the odd sentence. Anything that helps create a smoother, more readable, more human-sounding piece. 

Check the facts 

Since AI writing tools don’t actually understand the text they generate, they can hardly be expected to fact check them either. Plus, they are not always up to date with (***gratuitous cultural reference alert***) everything everywhere all at once. Get the right kind of fact wrong and you risk your credibility at the very least. 

Make it personal 

Anyone can enter a few prompts and create a blog, say, or a product description. It’s easy. It’s fast. But in general, it’s also likely to be generic, bland, and impersonal. AI content is based on algorithms and, as a consequence, it lacks personality. That’s where you come in. You could start by adding key ‘on brand’ words or phrases before weaving in industry jokes, quotes from colleagues or peers, or other relevant touches that make the content unique to you.  

Add a viewpoint 

AI can lay out the stats, the facts, and the figures (but given what we’ve covered above, don’t forget to check them). What it can’t do is use them to form an opinion. That’s why a truly rounded, natural-sounding text will reflect your unique point of view, based on your personal knowledge and experiences, 

Conclusion: AI needs you 

<Enter Prompt>  

Cut a long story short please 

AI is great for producing large amounts of copy quickly and efficiently. It’s great for overcoming writer’s block. And great for generating relevant ideas for new pieces of content. Yet it also faces a number of limitations and potential issues, as well as lacking that most human of qualities: creativity.  

These limitations emphasize the essential role of human oversight. By combining the strengths of AI and human expertise, we can produce quality marketing content that is accurate, engaging, and persuasive.  

Think of AI-generated content as a block of marble, which you then sculpt according to your plan or vision.

Quality content will always be in demand, as will the content writers and marketers able to produce it. And while AI-generated content may replace some jobs (or some aspects of some jobs), it also opens new opportunities for content curation and editing.  

It all means that AI is more of a tool than a threat. And to create the most effective content possible, the powers that be should look on AI as your assistant, not your replacement.

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How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips



How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips

Collecting high-quality data is crucial to making strategic observations about your customers. Researchers have to consider the best ways to design their surveys and then how to increase survey completion, because it makes the data more reliable.

→ Free Download: 5 Customer Survey Templates [Access Now]

I’m going to explain how survey completion plays into the reliability of data. Then, we’ll get into how to calculate your survey completion rate versus the number of questions you ask. Finally, I’ll offer some tips to help you increase survey completion rates.

My goal is to make your data-driven decisions more accurate and effective. And just for fun, I’ll use cats in the examples because mine won’t stop walking across my keyboard.

Why Measure Survey Completion

Let’s set the scene: We’re inside a laboratory with a group of cat researchers. They’re wearing little white coats and goggles — and they desperately want to know what other cats think of various fish.

They’ve written up a 10-question survey and invited 100 cats from all socioeconomic rungs — rough and hungry alley cats all the way up to the ones that thrice daily enjoy their Fancy Feast from a crystal dish.

Now, survey completion rates are measured with two metrics: response rate and completion rate. Combining those metrics determines what percentage, out of all 100 cats, finished the entire survey. If all 100 give their full report on how delicious fish is, you’d achieve 100% survey completion and know that your information is as accurate as possible.

But the truth is, nobody achieves 100% survey completion, not even golden retrievers.

With this in mind, here’s how it plays out:

  • Let’s say 10 cats never show up for the survey because they were sleeping.
  • Of the 90 cats that started the survey, only 25 got through a few questions. Then, they wandered off to knock over drinks.
  • Thus, 90 cats gave some level of response, and 65 completed the survey (90 – 25 = 65).
  • Unfortunately, those 25 cats who only partially completed the survey had important opinions — they like salmon way more than any other fish.

The cat researchers achieved 72% survey completion (65 divided by 90), but their survey will not reflect the 25% of cats — a full quarter! — that vastly prefer salmon. (The other 65 cats had no statistically significant preference, by the way. They just wanted to eat whatever fish they saw.)

Now, the Kitty Committee reviews the research and decides, well, if they like any old fish they see, then offer the least expensive ones so they get the highest profit margin.

CatCorp, their competitors, ran the same survey; however, they offered all 100 participants their own glass of water to knock over — with a fish inside, even!

Only 10 of their 100 cats started, but did not finish the survey. And the same 10 lazy cats from the other survey didn’t show up to this one, either.

So, there were 90 respondents and 80 completed surveys. CatCorp achieved an 88% completion rate (80 divided by 90), which recorded that most cats don’t care, but some really want salmon. CatCorp made salmon available and enjoyed higher profits than the Kitty Committee.

So you see, the higher your survey completion rates, the more reliable your data is. From there, you can make solid, data-driven decisions that are more accurate and effective. That’s the goal.

We measure the completion rates to be able to say, “Here’s how sure we can feel that this information is accurate.”

And if there’s a Maine Coon tycoon looking to invest, will they be more likely to do business with a cat food company whose decision-making metrics are 72% accurate or 88%? I suppose it could depend on who’s serving salmon.

While math was not my strongest subject in school, I had the great opportunity to take several college-level research and statistics classes, and the software we used did the math for us. That’s why I used 100 cats — to keep the math easy so we could focus on the importance of building reliable data.

Now, we’re going to talk equations and use more realistic numbers. Here’s the formula:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

So, we need to take the number of completed surveys and divide that by the number of people who responded to at least one of your survey questions. Even just one question answered qualifies them as a respondent (versus nonrespondent, i.e., the 10 lazy cats who never show up).

Now, you’re running an email survey for, let’s say, Patton Avenue Pet Company. We’ll guess that the email list has 5,000 unique addresses to contact. You send out your survey to all of them.

Your analytics data reports that 3,000 people responded to one or more of your survey questions. Then, 1,200 of those respondents actually completed the entire survey.

3,000/5000 = 0.6 = 60% — that’s your pool of survey respondents who answered at least one question. That sounds pretty good! But some of them didn’t finish the survey. You need to know the percentage of people who completed the entire survey. So here we go:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

Completion rate = (1,200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Voila, 40% of your respondents did the entire survey.

Response Rate vs. Completion Rate

Okay, so we know why the completion rate matters and how we find the right number. But did you also hear the term response rate? They are completely different figures based on separate equations, and I’ll show them side by side to highlight the differences.

  • Completion Rate = # of Completed Surveys divided by # of Respondents
  • Response Rate = # of Respondents divided by Total # of surveys sent out

Here are examples using the same numbers from above:

Completion Rate = (1200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Response Rate = (3,000/5000) = 0.60 = 60%

So, they are different figures that describe different things:

  • Completion rate: The percentage of your respondents that completed the entire survey. As a result, it indicates how sure we are that the information we have is accurate.
  • Response rate: The percentage of people who responded in any way to our survey questions.

The follow-up question is: How can we make this number as high as possible in order to be closer to a truer and more complete data set from the population we surveyed?

There’s more to learn about response rates and how to bump them up as high as you can, but we’re going to keep trucking with completion rates!

What’s a good survey completion rate?

That is a heavily loaded question. People in our industry have to say, “It depends,” far more than anybody wants to hear it, but it depends. Sorry about that.

There are lots of factors at play, such as what kind of survey you’re doing, what industry you’re doing it in, if it’s an internal or external survey, the population or sample size, the confidence level you’d like to hit, the margin of error you’re willing to accept, etc.

But you can’t really get a high completion rate unless you increase response rates first.

So instead of focusing on what’s a good completion rate, I think it’s more important to understand what makes a good response rate. Aim high enough, and survey completions should follow.

I checked in with the Qualtrics community and found this discussion about survey response rates:

“Just wondering what are the average response rates we see for online B2B CX surveys? […]

Current response rates: 6%–8%… We are looking at boosting the response rates but would first like to understand what is the average.”

The best answer came from a government service provider that works with businesses. The poster notes that their service is free to use, so they get very high response rates.

“I would say around 30–40% response rates to transactional surveys,” they write. “Our annual pulse survey usually sits closer to 12%. I think the type of survey and how long it has been since you rendered services is a huge factor.”

Since this conversation, “Delighted” (the Qualtrics blog) reported some fresher data:

survey completion rate vs number of questions new data, qualtrics data

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The takeaway here is that response rates vary widely depending on the channel you use to reach respondents. On the upper end, the Qualtrics blog reports that customers had 85% response rates for employee email NPS surveys and 33% for email NPS surveys.

A good response rate, the blog writes, “ranges between 5% and 30%. An excellent response rate is 50% or higher.”

This echoes reports from Customer Thermometer, which marks a response rate of 50% or higher as excellent. Response rates between 5%-30% are much more typical, the report notes. High response rates are driven by a strong motivation to complete the survey or a personal relationship between the brand and the customer.

If your business does little person-to-person contact, you’re out of luck. Customer Thermometer says you should expect responses on the lower end of the scale. The same goes for surveys distributed from unknown senders, which typically yield the lowest level of responses.

According to SurveyMonkey, surveys where the sender has no prior relationship have response rates of 20% to 30% on the high end.

Whatever numbers you do get, keep making those efforts to bring response rates up. That way, you have a better chance of increasing your survey completion rate. How, you ask?

Tips to Increase Survey Completion

If you want to boost survey completions among your customers, try the following tips.

1. Keep your survey brief.

We shouldn’t cram lots of questions into one survey, even if it’s tempting. Sure, it’d be nice to have more data points, but random people will probably not hunker down for 100 questions when we catch them during their half-hour lunch break.

Keep it short. Pare it down in any way you can.

Survey completion rate versus number of questions is a correlative relationship — the more questions you ask, the fewer people will answer them all. If you have the budget to pay the respondents, it’s a different story — to a degree.

“If you’re paying for survey responses, you’re more likely to get completions of a decently-sized survey. You’ll just want to avoid survey lengths that might tire, confuse, or frustrate the user. You’ll want to aim for quality over quantity,” says Pamela Bump, Head of Content Growth at HubSpot.

2. Give your customers an incentive.

For instance, if they’re cats, you could give them a glass of water with a fish inside.

Offer incentives that make sense for your target audience. If they feel like they are being rewarded for giving their time, they will have more motivation to complete the survey.

This can even accomplish two things at once — if you offer promo codes, discounts on products, or free shipping, it encourages them to shop with you again.

3. Keep it smooth and easy.

Keep your survey easy to read. Simplifying your questions has at least two benefits: People will understand the question better and give you the information you need, and people won’t get confused or frustrated and just leave the survey.

4. Know your customers and how to meet them where they are.

Here’s an anecdote about understanding your customers and learning how best to meet them where they are.

Early on in her role, Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Head of Content Growth, conducted a survey of HubSpot Blog readers to learn more about their expertise levels, interests, challenges, and opportunities. Once published, she shared the survey with the blog’s email subscribers and a top reader list she had developed, aiming to receive 150+ responses.

“When the 20-question survey was getting a low response rate, I realized that blog readers were on the blog to read — not to give feedback. I removed questions that wouldn’t serve actionable insights. When I reshared a shorter, 10-question survey, it passed 200 responses in one week,” Bump shares.

Tip 5. Gamify your survey.

Make it fun! Brands have started turning surveys into eye candy with entertaining interfaces so they’re enjoyable to interact with.

Your respondents could unlock micro incentives as they answer more questions. You can word your questions in a fun and exciting way so it feels more like a BuzzFeed quiz. Someone saw the opportunity to make surveys into entertainment, and your imagination — well, and your budget — is the limit!

Your Turn to Boost Survey Completion Rates

Now, it’s time to start surveying. Remember to keep your user at the heart of the experience. Value your respondents’ time, and they’re more likely to give you compelling information. Creating short, fun-to-take surveys can also boost your completion rates.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

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Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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