Should Companies Embrace AI for Marketing?

July 2, 2024 Content Marketing no comments

Wish to tap Artificiall Intelligence (AI) for your marketing efforts? What should you consider before leveraging on AI tools like ChatGPT, Gemini, Claude, CoPilot, and many others?

The recent rise of artificial intelligence has completely shaken up the marketing industry. Today, you can find chatbots to handle customer queries, generative tools to produce content marketing, and analytic programs to break down the consumer data you collect.

However, before you shut down your marketing team and shift to AI-led operations, it’s worth considering whether or not AI will actually improve the quality of your marketing efforts. In their current state, many generative AI programs remain riddled with errors and may produce work containing falsehoods.

Additionally, audiences tend to favor work produced by humans. This may mean that switching over to generative programs damages your brand reputation and undermines your image. As such, you should proceed with caution and only use AI when you’re sure it will have a net positive impact on the long-term growth of your firm.

Generative AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an umbrella term used to describe computing that mimics human-like cognition. Generative AI is a sub-branch of those efforts to mimic human intelligence that creates content based on user inputs and historical data. These generative programs use machine learning algorithms to “think”. At their core, these ML programs are defined by their use of:

  • Computational techniques that draw insights from large data sets;
  • Training that produces desirable results based on the programmer’s instructions;
  • Supervision that ensures they continue to produce the desired results
  • Increasingly complex as neural networks become deeper and more sophisticated

With these tools and techniques, users have found it a lot easier to deploy generative AI in their marketing activities.

Bad Actors Using Generative AI

While these facts may lead you to believe that you no longer need your graphic team or writers, a quick search online will reveal that AI falls some way short of the efforts of real content marketers — at least for now. Big brands like Sports Illustrated have landed in hot water after being caught using AI to create profiles for fake writers, and publishers like Wizards of the Coast have been forced to ban the use of AI after discovering that their artists had been using programs to push out new content quickly.

Crucially, this doesn’t mean you should turn your back on AI during the content creation process altogether. Instead, consider using AI to empower your content creation team. For example, if you currently rely on a fleet of writers to produce your blog content or marketing materials, consider investing in tools like Grammarly and Jasper AI. These tools empower, rather than replace, real marketers and improve the quality of their production by offering real-time editing suggestions.

Lead Generation

Finding new leads for your firm is crucial when you work in marketing. However, lead scoring and data analytics can take hours to complete if you’re entirely reliant on human marketers. Similarly, human marketers require time away from the desk, meaning that new leads that pop up in the wee hours of the night may be left to cool while everyone’s asleep.

Today, you can use AI to embolden your lead-generation efforts by investing in tools that automate the process. For example, many modern AI tools can score incoming leads in real-time based on variables like historical data and user behavior. This can quickly sort your hot leads from your dead ends and will ensure that you are able to focus on the folks most likely to convert.

Data Analysis

You can also use these AI tools to enrich your data and predict changing trends in your industry. For example, if you collect a large volume of data from social sources, modern AI tools can stitch together data from other sources like surveys and email forms. This will give you a more comprehensive understanding of user intention and may aid your efforts to create marketing content based on hard data.

That said, you will likely need to improve your data-cleaning efforts to make use of AI for lead generation and maintenance. If you feed bad data into your analytic programs, don’t be surprised when it produces poor results. Investing in data cleansing tools and intentionally retraining your AI program to parse out useless data points is key to your efforts and ensuring your team is empowered by data that is relevant and accurate.

Pivoting Towards AI

It’s clear that, though caution should be exercised, AI is fundamental to marketing companies making the digital transformation. ML programs can personalize advertisements for folks online, natural language processing algorithms can aid consumers with accessibility concerns, and generative software can edit and suggest revisions during the content creation process.

However, pivoting towards AI shouldn’t be undertaken rashly. Rather, marketing teams that want to increase their use of AI should treat the digital transformation as a journey. This means that marketing managers should move through distinct phases when rolling out new tech, including:

  • Enablement: Are there any processes that the marketing team already does that would be instantly empowered by the introduction of automation and AI? For example, could you use AI to track invoices or send automated emails upon purchase completion?
  • Transformation: Which processes will be a little harder to automate, but will pay dividends in the long run? For example, could you embed more AI into your CRM in order to track trends and keep tabs on shifting consumer behavior?
  • Investigation: Keep an open eye out for emerging technology that could be useful for your firm. You don’t have to try every new AI product in the marketing space, either, and should ensure that anything you do decide to use fits in with your existing tech stack.

Following this process-oriented approach will help you make good use of well-established AI tools and will give you time to on-board new programs properly. This can help you target problems that are specific to your firm and will ensure that you’re aware of existing and emergent solutions in the marketing industry.

Conclusion

Embracing AI for marketing can seem intimidating if you’re new to the idea of automation. Get the ball rolling by using well-established tools that empower your team and enable them to be more productive.

As AI programs become more sophisticated, consider utilizing more transformational tools that change the way you work. Just be sure to maintain strong human supervision, as most consumers show a preference for human-generated content and may turn away from your firm if they discover you’ve been using AI to gain their personal data through illegal means.

Ainsley Lawrence

BIO: Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest in the United States. She enjoys writing about better living through education and technology. She is frequently lost in a mystery podcast.

By Walter
Founder of Cooler Insights, I am a geek marketer with almost 24 years of senior management experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Since becoming an entrepreneur 5 years ago, my team and I have helped 58 companies and over 2,200 trainees in digital marketing, focusing on content, social media and brand storytelling.

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