The Basics: What is generative AI?

Generative AI is a powerful form of machine learning that can produce all sorts of new and exciting content, from music and art to entire virtual worlds. It can include a diverse range, including images, longer text formats, emails, social media content, voice recordings, program code, and structured data.

In particular, generative AI has made significant strides in natural language processing, with tools like ChatGPT by OpenAI, Jasper, or Writesonic. For example, ChatGPT, based on the GPT-3.5 architecture, can produce human-like responses to various prompts and can be used for multiple tasks, such as writing emails, generating product descriptions, and even composing music. Generative AI is an exciting and rapidly evolving field with significant potential for innovation and practical applications.

How is Generative AI Used Today?

Generative AI can be considered a co-pilot because it can assist humans in tasks that require creativity or decision-making. Generative AI models, such as those based on deep learning, can analyze large amounts of data and generate new content based on that analysis. Here are just six use cases for marketers:

  1. Text Generation: Generative AI can be used for text generation to create content such as emails, social media posts, blog articles, white papers, etc.
  2. Analytics: AI can analyze and interpret vast amounts of marketing data, providing insights into customer behavior, campaign effectiveness, and more. Most of that work is still done manually, and AI provides a more efficient way to gather analytics.
  3. Personalization: Generative AI can help brands to personalize their campaigns by generating personalized content for each customer. This can improve customer engagement and loyalty.
  4. Ad Generation: AI can generate ad copies, headlines, and visuals for brands to use in their campaigns.
  5. Lead Generation: AI can generate leads by identifying potential customers based on their behavior and preferences.
  6. Marketing/Media Strategy: Generative can help generate initial marketing strategies and media plans.

Warning: Don’t forget Generative AI is good at being a co-pilot; it is not good enough to fly and land the plane alone. Consider it your virtual assistant with access to vast data sets but no grasp of content, can’t generate insights, and needs more human expertise/gut factor. The idea of replacing your copywriters with ChatGPT, your designers with Dall-E, or your business analysts with another generative tool is ludicrous for now.

What is the Impact?

With AI and its capabilities unfolding over the following months and years, people are still determining where the overall journey is going. Significant societal questions centered around ethics and responsibility, intellectual property rights, privacy and security, employment and the labor market, and bias and discrimination must be answered. However, here is what we can be predicted right now:

1. The Content Tsunami is Coming

A massive force is rapidly approaching the horizon – a wave of content propelled by generative AI threatens to inundate us with information. AI-scribed content farms are everywhere; prompt engineers are the new coders. It takes a copywriter a few hours and hundreds of dollars to create an email campaign. Generative AI can make hundreds of personalized drip campaigns for pennies on the dollar in a few moments. AI systems enable content creation at an essentially unlimited scale. And, given our dreaded banner ad history, brands are about to unleash the mother of content spam.

2. Entry-Level Marketing Jobs Will Disappear

I started in advertising as a junior copywriter working for a large tourism company, writing headlines for specific destinations. I had a whole day to write 20 headlines and share them at the end of the day with my Creative Director. Just in the last 2 minutes, I asked ChatGPT to write five funny headlines for Greece as a vacation destination:

            • Greece: Where Your Instagram Feed Dreams Come True
            • When in Greece: Ouzo You Didn’t
            • Santorini: The Place to Get Your Greek On
            • Get your mythical fix in Greece: Zeus, Poseidon, and all their friends
            • Greece: Where you come for the Feta and stay for the sunsets

Ready for primetime? Not really. But a good starting point for developing better outcomes. I don’t think my headlines from the first day were much better. But it took only a few seconds to come up with these. The same is valid for creating reports, fundamental analysis, marketing strategies – almost any work currently handled by people joining agencies and/or marketing departments. These jobs will be automated. And the question is: What are the entry points for young talent in marketing and advertising? Marketers and agencies have historically failed to mentor talent; they relied on the talent to be ambitious enough to grow within. But how do they grow without being able to learn the basics?

3. The Great Restructuring

Let’s say your marketing department has one content director, two copywriters, and one junior. Wouldn’t you consider replacing one writer and the junior with generative AI? While doing that, how about having a closer look at your designers? Your analytics department? Performance marketing? This restructuring movement will start slowly, but within a few years, your marketing team will be unrecognizable compared to today. Marketing teams will be smaller, much more top-heavy, and more brand-focused.

4. Data is the New Sunlight

We have often heard the “Data is the new oil” analogy. Given the advent of generative AI, one should consider changing this to “Data is the new sunlight,” illuminating insights and new opportunities and transforming how we operate. Dirty data creates darkness; unique datasets will become more critical for generative AI models’ continued development and advancement. Companies will invest heavily in data collection and curation to gain a competitive advantage in the AI market.

What To Do Now?

Incorporating AI into the customer experience is a complex process that requires careful consideration from companies to ensure that brand trust is maintained. One effective way to achieve this is by introducing AI into one specific area of the customer journey and gathering data on customer response to the AI-enhanced experience before rolling it out more widely.

As the use of AI continues to grow, brands and CMOs need to stay up to date with the latest AI-powered marketing strategies to ensure they are making the most of this technology. In addition, designing an AI marketing strategy requires careful consideration of data quality, target audience, and ethical considerations. By considering these factors, CMOs can leverage AI to deliver more personalized and effective marketing campaigns.

In addition to designing effective AI marketing strategies, companies must prioritize customer focus on delivering a consistent and superior customer experience. Encouraging team collaboration can help ensure the customer remains at the center of all operations. Over 70% of customers expect companies to collaborate on their behalf to deliver a better overall experience.

Overall, while the potential of AI in marketing is significant, CMOs need to approach its integration thoughtfully and with caution to preserve brand trust. By designing effective AI marketing strategies and prioritizing customer focus, companies can leverage AI to deliver more personalized and impactful marketing campaigns that drive success in the digital age.

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