Maize defines hustle culture:
A trend where people believe that the most important aspect of life is to achieve professional goals by relentlessly and continuously working hard. Any chance of self-fulfillment depends on the grind and personal sacrifice. And the hustler has to sacrifice a lot, no, almost everything.
The pandemic economy has thrown ethyl alcohol on the fire for all those in the hustle culture. To get your hustle on is more than a gig economy and more than Millenials having multiple jobs. It means you sacrifice all, give up all, to build the thing that will change the world.
The superstar of the hustle culture is Elon Musk who claims that eighty (80) hour days is the new normal if you want to thrive in today’s techno-centric world.
But doesn’t the hustle culture go directly against what technology is supposed to provide — namely artificial intelligence?
The term “artificial intelligence” was first coined on August 31, 1955, by John McCarthy (Dartmouth College), Marvin Minsky (Harvard University), Nathaniel Rochester (IBM), and Claude Shannon (Bell Telephone Laboratories) as a proposal for a “2 month, 10 man study of artificial intelligence”. This workshop, which took place a year later, in July and August 1956, is generally considered as the official birthdate of the new field.
Within this proposal, they wrote about Automatic Computers:
If a machine can do a job, then an automatic calculator can be programmed to simulate the machine. The speeds and memory capacities of present computers may be insufficient to simulate many of the higher functions of the human brain, but the major obstacle is not lack of machine capacity, but our inability to write programs taking full advantage of what we have.
In essence, artificial intelligence as a field was created so humans could work smarter, not harder. Be creative. Not slaves to the system.
Hustle culture is counter-intuitive where the goal is every moment of your waking life is spent on creating “the thing”.
And this is nowhere more apparent than in advertising and marketing. For years, advertisers have focused on “entanglement” not “revenue generation”. The money spent was simply on making people aware of a product or service but rarely linked to a sales target. That’s why companies would have to generate more and more revenue to pay for higher and higher advertising budgets just to buy that Super Bowl Ad or get thirty-second trailers on every conceivable media outlet for that new movie coming out. Then in the end, only sell tickets to a few movie theatres.
You are probably thinking that a movie theatre reference in a pandemic environment is the wrong analogy, especially when the streaming world is exploding.
But actually, it’s perfect. Currently, in the pandemic, AMC is struggling to stay afloat and is looking to create advertising that will target audiences to return immediately to the theatre. In our soon to be post-pandemic society, we have to reboot what marketing and advertising does. The message has to be directly linked to the money it produces. We have to forecast earnings on audience targeting and engagement.
This applies to most industries attempting to resurrect post-pandemic — retail, hospitality, food & beverage, travel, and sports.
In 2021, a company doesn’t have time to build awareness. It needs to know you will show. More importantly, buy.
Consider wedding invitations. Wedding invitations aren’t just to advertise you are getting married. The happy couple wants to know if they pay for your food and drinks, you will put on a suit and show up.
Following a hustle culture mindset of working around the clock to get the perfect creative vision means nothing if no one buys anything. Most struggling pandemic companies are two financial quarters (or less) away from bankruptcy or dissolution.
But as the first study that coined the term, artificial intelligence stated: it’s the inability to write programs taking full advantage of what we have. Artificial intelligence is not to push human creatives out of the way. Artificial intelligence should whisper in our ears telling us what images, video, and written copy will appeal to those who want to buy our product or service — now.
Think of it: the customers who miss attending sports games, going to retail stores, traveling to international destinations, or going to the movies have had nearly twelve months (March 2020 — March 2021) of talking about what they miss about it online via social media channels. They have been literally screaming aloud about what they miss with those services. No way a hustle culture employee can succinctly gather all those insights and put together a perfectly targeted “we miss you too” advertising campaign. Every conversation is different. Every person likes different aspects.
Now in the age of artificial intelligence, we can make a hundred campaigns all individually personalized to their visual, audio, or written cues. It’s not psychological manipulation. It’s speaking to the customers who have can’t wait to see you back and operational.
AI for advertising has the ability to increase your return on ad spend (revenue) and reduce the amount of money you spend on staff time and ineffective ad budget.
One more key feature that is never talked about is using artificial intelligence to show you why your competitors are succeeding and you are not.
The AI ACID (Advertising Competitor Insight Deconstruction) test is opposite to its cousin: the acid-test ratio, comparing a company’s most short-term assets to its most short-term liabilities to see if a company has enough cash to pay its immediate liabilities, such as short-term debt.
The AI ACID test shows when you use the written copy, images, or videos of your competitors’ campaigns to see how and why audiences like them. This deconstruction of their ads gives companies a huge advantage to linking marketing to revenue targets.
Where AI advertising fails is when it micro-manages your creativity — telling you these colors are this year’s colors, and these beautiful people should be your spokespersons or influencers. AI works best when it gives higher level suggestive context around images, videos, and written copy and allows your creatives to “play” to make a more organic message.
I promise you: the message you are putting out is not always what your customers are getting. AI advertising allows you for the first time to see what really draws your customers.
Yes, advertising and marketing are the OGs (original gangsters) of hustle culture. Just watch an episode of “Mad Men” — and see the work, sweat, and tears expended to fund a single campaign.
But this time, when you pitch your creative, you can show the people, the faces of the people who will throw it back to you.
Because the most important aspect of life is not relentlessly and continuously working hard as a robot and ignoring everything else. Instead, achieve your professional goals by satisfying the needs of those who want your services by, wait for it, truly listening.
The new hustle culture in the age of artificial intelligence means you become more human, not less.
So now, go get your hustle on.