What marketers should keep in mind when adopting AI

Are marketers ready to make the most of all the new generative AI tools and AI applications now available to them?

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AI applications and generative AI tools are becoming more widely available to marketers, but are marketers ready for them? Do they have the skills needed to adopt this technology and take full advantage of its capabilities? 

That was the focus of a panel at The MarTech Conference, here are some of the takeaways from that discussion.

AI requires human supervision

As AI evolves, capabilities will expand. Can AI take over a specific business function and run it unaided? Not yet, according to Ricky Ray Butler, CEO of BENlabs, which uses AI to place brands’ products in entertainment and influencer content.

Artificial general intelligence or AGI is the kind of technology that is completely automated, and that’s simply not available yet.

“There is still human supervision [required] when it comes to data inputs or [telling the AI] what the purpose is to have successful outcomes,” said Butler.

“What AI really brings to the table is when it comes to the feedback loop,” he said. “It can structure data and a massive amount of data in a way that the human mind can’t even comprehend or compute. And it can do that at a scale where it can look at millions and millions of videos and monitor, prioritize and then also…make predictions with successful outcomes or or potentially unsuccessful outcomes. We are literally building a brain when we’re leveraging this type of technology to do what the human mind does, but to be able to do it even better and even more accurately.”

Dig deeper: A beginner’s guide to artificial intelligence

Generative AI writing tools need writers

Generative AI writing tools position themselves as writing assistants, not writers, said Anita Brearton, CEO of marketing technology management platform CabinetM.

“[These tools] describe their value prop as productivity,” she said. “They can help you write faster, they can improve SEO in fact.”

They can also help writers get started when all they’re staring at is a blank page. “They’re good for refining texts and creating some A/B versions of texts,” Brearton said.

Generative AI continues to improve in order to help creatives make text-based and visual content.

“I think we’re entering a very disruptive phase for creativity for designers, illustrators, video producers and writers,” said Paul Roetzer, CEO of the Marketing AI Institute 

A marketer’s point of view is more important than ever

As AI gets adopted for more marketing functions, marketers using these tools are needed to guide the technology and point it toward specific marketing objectives.

“The issue right now is the AI doesn’t have your knowledge of your product, it doesn’t have a knowledge of your customers, it doesn’t have knowledge about the internal politics of your company,” said Pam Didner, VP of marketing for consultancy Relentless Pursuit. “[AI doesn’t] have knowledge about even the road map that you are going to produce for your company. So AI can write very well, but you still need to add your own point of view. That’s where a human comes into play.”

Leaders need to know about AI when hiring

When AI is adopted by organizations, leadership needs to know how work has changed so they make the right hires.

“ChatGPT woke everyone up to AI, so we’re all testing the tools,” said Roetzer. “There’s pressure on CMOs and CEOs from boards and investors to figure out AI. Everybody needs to have a plan, and you have a whole bunch of leaders who don’t understand the underlying technology that now have to make decisions around staffing.”

He added, “We need to rapidly accelerate the comprehension of what AI is and what it’s capable of doing, what its limitations are. But, also [we need] to come to grips with where it’s going.”


Register and watch The MarTech Conference here.

About the author

Chris Wood
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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