AI in marketing – Let’s admit that AI is changing our world. It’s guiding us through the “gates of Olympus free” of mundane tasks and into a realm where we can navigate to places faster, get products into our hands more, and even diagnose diseases more accurately. In this article, though, I want to delve into a different aspect of AI’s influence: its role in marketing. The world of marketing needs to consider the role of AI. It may not be as monumental as aiding in the cure for cancer.
This is particularly relevant now since ChatGPT, a project by OpenAI, has gone viral. If you still need to catch up with the news, ChatGPT is an initiative. It’s aimed at making AI a tangible asset in the business world. It functions like any chatbot. You can ask a variety of questions and receive prompt, accurate answers.
The fact is, you can ask specific questions. You will get back answers that a human could have written. For instance, I once asked ChatGPT to identify the three most important elements in marketing. I requested the answer in the form of a haiku.
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Here’s what I got back
The trouble with AI is sorting through the hype. Parlor tricks like my haiku question are fantastic, especially on Linkedin. But we need to get to the essence of the value AI can provide while being clear on what it cannot do. Here are a few guidelines for thinking about AI in 2023 and beyond.
Where AI shines right now?
AI is still in its early stages. No matter what they say on LinkedIn posts, AI still has a long way to go. It can do several things quite well but still struggles with others.
If you read or follow certain people, you might think we are a few months away from living in a Black Mirror episode. AI rules everything.
Remember that some use cases of AI — such as self-driving cars — have been “10 years away” for over 50 years. I don’t doubt that we will accomplish certain feats, but it will take longer than expected.
Here are the areas where AI can help marketing teams.
Marketers have a complex relationship with Google Sheets. While it can be a valuable tool for data management, it often presents them with the challenge of cleaning dirty data before it can be utilized.
I recently helped a team clean an Excel file. It had hundreds of contact requests, structured in the worst way possible. AI — and even ChatGPT — can help you here.
Now, Google Sheets extensions sort through your data and apply transformations. You even see the beginning of this kind of shortcut built into Google Sheets. Google Sheets suggests formulas you can use.
Video captions are huge today — look at any TikTok video. Transcribing is becoming easier with AI, and it’s also accurate.
You can do it after the video is recorded or in real-time. Adding subtitles has many benefits. You no longer need a human to provide good captions.
The days of Getty images might be over. AI can create pictures or assets of all kinds. I saw a project that creates human avatars to be used in marketing. The assets appear realistic and do not come with complicated usage licenses.
There will still be demand for pictures of real places and events. Yet, other artistic work will be expected to be replaced by AI-generated images.
Tools like Google Analytics are using AI to surface insights from your data. Exploring specific insights can be valuable, while others may be futile. Expect to see more of this kind of data analysis. It is a way to sort through the increasing amount of data marketing teams collect.
Marketers have data but insights. AI is the breakthrough that allows us to dig through a never-ending pile of data points.
Where AI struggles?
AI is not replacing us — yet. Poem writers might struggle to find work, but AI can’t match specific human skills. The debate on whether this will always be true is a topic for another article.
AI can support marketing, but real humans are still essential. Thanks to AI, you can free up your time to tackle the three areas below.
AI can surface insights, but creativity is still the realm of humans. Deciding what campaigns to run, how to appeal to human desires, and how to bring it all together are things only humans can do.
Kayak recently ran ads — the Kayak Deniers — that AI brainstormed. They looked at the popular language and topics in social media and then created ads around them.
They are clever but will be less impressive once everyone starts doing them. If everyone uses the same algorithms, you will have the same answers. Hence, the value of human creativity.
While AI text may be factual, it is missing the unique voice of humans. We all know authors we can recognize by reading a few sentences. You can still infuse the concept of a voice into all your content.
AI will kill boring content that states facts. That’s for the best. If someone wants the facts about B2B marketing, they should go to Wikipedia. If they want to solve their problems, they need humans to help them.
Humans still need to figure out the strategy. Making these decisions is about more than just looking at the data. It’s about considering various factors. Sometimes, marketing teams must make choices that don’t match the data. This happens because their experience (a.k.a. gut) says so.
We can see this play out in the chess world. World-class players like Magnus Carlsen rely on AI to prepare for matches. They also use AI to run through different positions. But Carlsen is known to make the opposite move a computer would recommend during games. He knows his opponents are looking at the same data. This creates an opportunity to make unexpected decisions.
More companies will likely rely on AI. Then, they might be surprised when competitors make seemingly “wrong” moves that work. The strategy will evolve. It will consider what kinds of algorithms other companies might be using. It will also consider how they can be defeated.
AI is here to stay.
The rise of AI will continue. You would be surprised at how much this innovation touches today. Most of it happens behind the scenes. AI is freeing us from mundane tasks so we can focus on those things that matter.
We must embrace AI and use it to drive revenue and growth within our teams. In an era of decreasing budgets and higher expectations, marketing must pour more resources into creativity. They have to do this with fewer people. AI will help bridge that by becoming one of your most effective unpaid assistants.