Generative AI Series Part One: MarketingRead time: 8 minutes
Do I think generative AI is going to be a big deal?
That’s the short answer. Buckle up because the long answer is long. Long enough, that we’ve broken this topic into a three-part series!
Each issue of this series will focus on the future of AI across a different revenue function; Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success.
This week we’ll be taking a look at how generative AI is going to impact Marketing, answering questions like:
- How will marketing be affected by AI?
- Is AI going to make marketers obsolete?
- What advantage will humans still have?
- And what tools can we start using today?
Everyone is going to have to tend to their own flavor of AI. It’s going to be baked into almost every component of tech, every role, and every department. No matter what your job is, be prepared for AI to become your toolset, your assistant, or even your colleague.
How Will Generative AI Affect Marketing?
Day-to-day marketing is changing. Rapidly.
Even now, there are tons of tools out there opening new doors to:
- Lead targeting
- Advanced attribution
- Mass messaging customization
RevTron.ai, for example, is pioneering an AI that has far-reaching implications. Their ICP Model ranks all of the accounts in your CRM and uses your highest scoring accounts to quantify your ICP, making Outbound campaigns more effective. But how long until this AI (or a competitor AI) can go out and collect this data from the entire Internet?
If a computer could map every prospective customer in the world…
Compare them to your existing customer base…
Create a list of your best marketing targets…
Then market to them automatically…
With customized messaging…
The way marketing is done will change forever.
But I believe the most impactful change we’re going to see will be in attribution.
What AI Means For Attribution
Attribution is so ripe for disruption it’s crazy.
Up until now, the process of attribution has either been:
- Total black box
- Or totally stupid
If a lead touched three different blog posts, which one had the most impact? How many touch points are you oblivious to due to tracking and cookie limitations? What about the Dark Funnel?
AI might give us the answers to these questions for the first time.
For example, the Dark Funnel represents content that you can’t track, from social media posts to Podcasts to online communities and Slack messages. Consider the implications (and applications) of having the entire Dark Funnel exposed to the light, seeing attribution touchpoints across the entire Internet instead of only the places you can have tracking tags on.
Imagine an AI being able to take 10,000 points of data on a person’s online activity and being able to extrapolate what chain of events influenced them to visit your website, how long it took, and why they moved on/didn’t convert.
And what about privacy laws that will inevitably follow suit?
Regulations tend to be about six months behind the technology – and the technology is moving very fast. At some point, this advanced attribution data is going to be widely available to these AI algorithms, and they’ll get a six month headstart on any new regulations.
Even after regulations are passed, there always seem to be loopholes when it comes to something highly valuable. Though regulations may create hurdles for marketers and AI companies, I doubt lawmakers will be able to do much to stop the progress of this technology.
Is Generative AI Going to Take Marketing Jobs?
“There will come a point where no job is needed.”
Sorry Elon, I don’t think that’s true.
AI is unlikely to take over the job of marketing. (The same can’t entirely be said for Sales… but that’s next week’s topic!)
Here are just a few reasons your job (if you’re a marketer) is likely safe from generative AI:
- It will be new until it’s normal: Within marketing, AI will be used in a mad dash for optimizing efficiency until everyone has it. Then, this new level of efficiency will become the norm, and generative AI will be considered table stakes.
- Regulations will get in the way: For example, a regulation was recently passed ruling that all AI-generated content will require a watermark – that’s going to throttle a lot of marketers’ dreams of endless, dirt-cheap AI content, lest they risk being called out.
- AI will always need human input: You’ll still need a human prompting the machine with the right positioning, packages, and promotions (and to monitor the output).
The name of the game right now for marketers is to:
- Learn how to properly prompt AI tools
- Keep up with new tools and developments
- Stay up-to-date on regulations and be ready to pivot
- Never forget the value of human communication and connection
I saved our most important advantage over AI for its own section…
The Thing AI Will (Likely) Never Have
I’m certain today that I get emails everyday that were written by a computer. Within two or three years, I expect 90% of the emails I get to be written by AI. Which begs the question…
Will computer-written emails ever do as good of a job as a human copywriter could?
I don’t think so. There’s always something inherently different about humans. It’s the spark of creativity.
And here’s where I think the biggest limitation of AI is.
Right now, all AI can do is look at data and extrapolate from that data. What it does not do at the moment, is look outside the data and come up with its own ideas. That means everything AI writes is a regurgitation of whatever already exists.
As AI content becomes more enmeshed in our day-to-day lives, I predict that real human communication (and those who are skilled at developing and communicating new ideas) will become even more valuable. As even more time goes on, and a generation of people grow up with AI, I believe it will also become much more rare.
Making “humanness” a competitive advantage.
An Aside: The Monkey and The Typewriter
As the kids would say, right now we’re in the “F$%k Around” era. But we’re quickly entering the “Find Out” era.
If you’ve never heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem, it essentially theorizes that if you put a monkey in front of a typewriter and give it an infinite amount of time, it will “almost surely” write the complete works of Shakespeare (and every other possible text).
It’s a theory of probability: As long as the probability of something isn’t zero, given an unlimited amount of time, it will eventually occur.
AI is like having a quadrillion monkeys with infinite time.
I think we’re going to find out in the relatively near future whether AI can crack valuable creativity. That would be remarkable. But if that happened, I highly doubt it would be used to make blog posts…
*Cue nervous laugh*
Companies Already Using AI For Marketing
Here’s a short list of companies I’ve encountered already using AI for lead targeting, attribution, and messaging creation:
- Hootsuite Insights: Advanced social listening, including sentiment analysis, deep competitive intelligence, and AI tools to identify new opportunities.
- 6sense: Uncovers anonymous buyers, understands their behavior, and helps you engage the ones most likely to buy with custom messaging.
- Signals: Helps you recognize companies that are currently browsing your website.
- Jasper: Helps marketers scale up content such as blog articles, social media posts, sales emails, website copy, etc.
- Rapide.ly: A French app that helps content creators streamline their content creation with the use of GPT-4 technology.
- Smartwriter.ai: Scales and automates personalized email outreach campaigns.
- Day-to-day marketing is rapidly changing
- We’re seeing the biggest advancements in:
- Messaging customization
- Messaging automation
- Lead targeting
- Attribution will see the most impactful change, potentially giving us insights into the Dark Funnel that we could only dream of before
- Marketing jobs are likely safe from AI because:
- It will be new until it’s normal
- Regulations will get in the way
- AI will always need human input
- As AI becomes more ingrained in the way we do business, real human creativity, connection, and interaction will become even more valuable
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