This article explores the impact of AI on the future of marketing & practical strategies to embrace AI in marketing.
A few months back, I found myself discussing AI with my father, a passionate sailor, with whom I wanted to sail from our home in Cork, Ireland, to the beautiful Outer Hebrides in northern Scotland.
Since we were chatting about AI, I decided to give it a challenge by using ChatGPT to plot our sailing route. To my surprise, it gave us an incredibly detailed description, guiding us through different ports and attractions along the way.
But here's the catch – the route proposed by the AI chat wasn't exactly what we had in mind. Instead of arriving in the picturesque Outer Hebrides, it would have led us through the Caledonian Canal and into the North Sea!
While this little adventure on the high seas could have been amusing, it left me with a valuable lesson about the impact of AI on the future of marketing.
Let’s explore this further.
AI in marketing: steering with caution
Why am I recounting my sailing tale in an article about the future of AI in marketing?
Well, because it perfectly illustrates a crucial point about AI usage in marketing – we need to be aware of its limitations and use it wisely. Just like our little AI-powered navigation, marketing activities that rely heavily on AI without human oversight can lead us down the wrong path.
Recently, a similar situation occurred in the marketing world, where a prominent publication used AI to generate blog content about Star Wars. However, the AI-generated content was riddled with errors, leading to an outcry among fans and a real-life warning on the potential negative impact of generative AI for brands, if not monitored carefully.
As marketers, we understand the significance of our brand's reputation. AI can be a double-edged sword in this regard. A misstep could tarnish our brand while using AI effectively can elevate it to new heights.
I want to emphasise that I'm in no way discrediting AI; quite the contrary, I am in awe of its capabilities, the potential it holds for our industry, and our future in general.
The evolving landscape of AI in marketing
AI is rapidly advancing, and the marketing world is at the forefront of these innovations. Let's take a look at just a small selection of the whirlwind of developments that have caught my eye over the last few months:
March 2023 - The rise of Bard and GPT-4: Google's introduction of Bard, which as of July is now finally available in many EU countries and I really looking forward to discovering further, as a response to Chat GPT, followed by the release of GPT-4 by OpenAI, ushered in a new era of advanced AI systems. These developments signify that we are just scratching the surface of AI's capabilities.
March 2023 - CoPilot: Microsoft's CoPilot showcased how AI tools are becoming an integral part of our daily work, offering efficiencies and personalised assistance. AI's potential to reduce manual processes allowing us to focus on more impactful tasks is immense.
May 2023 - AI in advertising and search: Google's AI-powered ads and generative search, as is being betaed by search labs (also not yet available in Europe… so we wait with bated breath!), signifies a shift in how we interact with our target audiences. This shift calls for adjustments in our ad spending and SEO strategies to ensure relevance in the AI-driven landscape.
June 2023 - The AI Act in the EU: The EU's new AI act, which is expected to become law soon, demands transparency from companies using AI-generated content in their operations. This legal aspect is critical for marketers to consider when implementing AI in their strategies.
July 2023 - OpenAI Code interpreter: Chat GPT's newest addition - “code interpreter” presents exciting opportunities for data analysis, optimisation, and strategy refinement. With code interpreter, you can upload your content or data and have it analysed by ChatGPT. As marketers, we can use this to review, assess, and optimise our strategies, so that we can make better-informed decisions moving forward. It’s important to beware of data privacy when using this tool and not upload confidential data.
Embrace the change: practical strategies to embrace AI in marketing
As the AI landscape evolves, we need to evolve alongside it to stay relevant and successful in the marketing domain.
Embracing AI doesn't mean losing control; rather, it allows us to leverage AI's capabilities while maintaining human oversight.
Let’s explore some of the ways you can leverage AI in marketing while maintaining this balance.
Crafting quality content with a human touch
Content has always been king, and that reign continues even in the age of AI. As AI-generated content becomes more prevalent, we must focus even more on creating content that adds unique value and resonates with our audience.
AI can help with data-driven insights and content generation, but it lacks the human touch that brings authenticity and emotional connections to our work.
Ask yourself, what sets your content apart from AI-generated content? Adding personal stories, interviews, and expert opinions can elevate your content, making it more compelling and relevant to your target audience.
Embracing communities and reviews
As AI-generated content gains traction, consumers may find it challenging to distinguish between factual information and propaganda.
This is where communities and reviews play a vital role. People seek, now, more than ever, authentic experiences and validation from others before making decisions.
Be present and active in relevant communities to answer questions and provide value. Engage with reviews to validate your brand's credibility and build trust. Human interaction will always hold a special place in the hearts of customers.
Implementing governance guides and best practices
AI tools can undoubtedly make our marketing tasks more efficient, but they need guidance. Just as a sailor navigates a ship, marketers must steer AI tools with governance guides and best practices. Create detailed manuals and use cases that help AI understand the context and architecture of your systems.
For example, as we move into an AI-driven era with HubSpot, the capabilities of its AI chatbot, ChatSpot, are expanding. Soon, ChatSpot will be capable of setting up webinars, creating deals, and managing customer interactions within the platform. While this offers efficiency and automation, it's essential to be cautious and understand the context in which AI operates.
For instance, decisions like whether to use unique or existing forms and landing pages and what exact details are required for your lead nurturing sequences all require insights into your unique processes. AI chatbots cannot automatically understand the individualised set-up, business process, and related use case implementations on their own. It is vital that we help to direct and steer, to ensure we get realistic and relevant output.
By investing time and effort now into documenting these processes and creating governance guidelines, we pave the way for smoother integration of AI in our marketing strategies in the future. After all, the more AI learns from us, the more accurate and valuable its contributions become.
Adapting search engine strategies
With AI-powered search becoming more prevalent, we need to adjust our search engine strategies accordingly. Consumers will receive generative AI content directly in their search results, reducing the need to visit individual websites.
Focus on creating engaging, authoritative, and targeted content that aligns with users' queries. Being present in AI-generated search results will become crucial for maintaining visibility and capturing leads.
Revisiting ad spending
As AI reshapes advertising, we must rethink our ad spending to maximise its impact. While search engine ads have been effective in the past, AI offers new opportunities in social media and chat advertising.
Explore how you can reallocate your ad spending to leverage AI-powered platforms effectively. Invest in platforms that offer personalised assistance, data-driven insights, and innovative ad formats, ultimately ensuring your advertising campaigns make a lasting impact.
Ensuring AI awareness and ethics
While AI brings numerous benefits, it also raises ethical concerns. As marketers, we have a moral obligation to educate our audience about the potential pitfalls of AI-generated content. By creating awareness about AI's capabilities and limitations, we empower consumers to critically assess the content they encounter.
Remember, our journey with AI is about responsible and ethical utilisation. Let's strive to lead by example, offering consumers the transparency they deserve while delivering valuable content.
Embracing adaptability in the AI revolution
As the AI revolution reshapes the marketing landscape, adopting an agile and adaptable mindset becomes paramount for marketers to harness the transformative power of AI and stay ahead in a dynamic and competitive market.
Adaptability is the compass that keeps us on course. We must be prepared to adjust our strategies and methods as AI continues to evolve to harness the full potential of AI.
Rapid advancements in AI technology, like the recent release of GPT-4 and CoPilot, remind us that we're at the cusp of a transformative era. Embracing change and staying agile in our marketing practices will enable us to seize opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.
Embracing continuous learning
The AI journey is a continuous one, and there's always something new to learn. Just like I eagerly anticipated exploring Bard and GPT-4, I invite you to embrace a growth mindset and keep an eye on the latest AI developments.
Attend webinars, read articles, and engage in discussions with AI experts to stay informed. Knowledge is our most potent weapon as we navigate uncharted waters with AI, ensuring that we can harness its capabilities effectively and responsibly.
Empowering AI with human ingenuity
While AI continues to amaze us with its capabilities, it still cannot replicate the creativity and ingenuity of the human mind. As we strategise, we must not lose sight of the importance of human expertise and the value it brings to the marketing table.
By combining AI's data-driven insights with human creativity, we can craft impactful campaigns that resonate with our audience on a deeper level. Let AI support us in becoming more efficient, freeing up more of our time to focus on crafting compelling narratives that connect with people's emotions.
AI and data privacy
In the world of AI, data is the lifeblood that fuels its algorithms. However, with great data comes great responsibility. As marketers, we must prioritise data privacy and ensure that AI usage complies with relevant regulations and ethical standards.
Data breaches and misuse of personal information can sink a brand's reputation faster than a storm at sea. By proactively safeguarding customer data and adopting transparent data collection practices, we build trust with our audience, ensuring a safe voyage in the AI-driven world.
Sailing toward a bright AI-powered future
As you embark on your AI-powered voyage, remember that we are pioneers in this new age of marketing. With the right balance of AI and human ingenuity, we can chart a course for success, leveraging AI to elevate our brands and create memorable experiences for our audience.
The AI revolution is an opportunity to revolutionise the way we approach marketing. By embracing change, being adaptable, and putting data privacy at the forefront, we can set sail for a bright future, where AI and human collaboration lead us to unexplored heights of success.
At Huble, we’re continually exploring ways to leverage AI in our marketing consultancy services to give our clients an edge over their competition while still being considerate of its limitations and ethical implications. We also develop governance guides and ensure operational processes are fully documented, pathing the way for a smoother transition between humans, systems and AI.
If you’re looking to explore how you can evolve your marketing strategies with the help of AI, speak to our team so that we can navigate these unchartered seas together.
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