If you weren't paying attention, the future is here. "Generative AI" has arrived, like all transformational forces, its role as a disruptor or innovator depends on how it’s used.
In its current state, generative AI can develop an ad script that is eerily close to Ryan Reynolds’ natural tone of voice or reimagine the cast of "The Office" as Star Wars characters. For marketers, it can be fun or functional, as media outlets like CNET have already begun producing articles utilizing the technology.
How did we get from conceptual sandbox to viral sensation so fast? Thank OpenAI, a non-profit research company that aims to develop and promote friendly AI responsibly. The organization was founded by who’s who of venture capitalists including Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman and a significant investment from Microsoft.
The fruit of OpenAI’s intellectual labor — and a seemingly significant shift in the copywriting landscape — was the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022. The prototype chatbot immediately made headlines with the level of detail and articulation in its response capabilities.
The platform reached 1 million users in just five days, and ChatGPT has become an inflection point for marketers looking for ways to integrate AI marketing technologies into their organization.
"[Our tools] are incredibly embryonic right now, but as they develop, the creativity boost and new superpowers we get—none of us will want to go back," said Open AI CEO Sam Altman in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
How can your organization get started with AI marketing technology? Let’s explore how generative AI can shape your marketing, customer experience, and social media strategies.
What is AI marketing?
AI marketing is the use of artificial intelligence technology to automate processes like content development, data collection, and campaign analysis. It augments marketing initiatives to create faster operations, improve decision-making, and predict performance. Simply put, it increases speed, efficiency, and insights for your marketing organization.
Artificial intelligence is not new to marketing. As a tool, AI has been making lives easier for both customers and marketers for a while now. What’s changed is the ability to generate copy and creative assets at the scale that’s now available within the GPT-3 framework, which is what ChatGPT and Emplifi™ AI Composer are developed upon.
GPT-3 is a state-of-the-art language generation model trained on a massive amount of text data from the internet and can generate human-like text based on a given prompt. Even a quick test drive of ChatGPT can illustrate the platform's potential application for copy development in various functions like communications, public relations, customer care, and social media.
How do AI marketing technologies work?
According to the Harvard Business Review, AI marketing technologies are identified by four dimensions, including isolated versus integrated systems, and less advanced (task management) versus more advanced machine learning.
This means that, at their core, AI marketing technologies work based on available data, rules, and algorithms designed to perform a task. ChatGPT, for example, was trained to develop copy using billions of words from books, conversations, articles, and any text before 2021. The user enters a prompt – of any type – and receives AI-generated copy. The program can be trained and calibrated with more information, like social copy in your brand’s voice.
That’s only one example, certainly. Automation, and generative AI specifically, have significant potential to affect every layer of digital marketing and work hand-in-hand with traditional marketing tasks, including:
Copy development: Generative AI can develop initial drafts of social copy, and with programs like Emplifi’s AI Composer, layer in tone, emojis, hashtags, or questions.
Digital marketing analytics: Track and evaluate campaign performance using AI analysis to quickly identify emerging trends.
Marketing automation: Create optimized subject lines and first drafts of email copy.
Social media sentiment: Evaluate sentiment with AI-powered tools to weed out non-applicable posts or mentions.
Summarization & transcription: Quickly condense reports, product overviews, and any dense copy, and if necessary, transcribe webinars, podcasts, or videos requiring captions.
Topic & narrative research: Use AI-powered listening tools to evaluate potential thought leadership opportunities or gaps within your marketplace.
Web page development: Train generative AI to develop meta descriptions, optimized headline copy, and summarized product descriptions for your website.
Brand governance: Utilize AI within your social media management platform to track posts using brand colors and photography.
The key with any of these tasks is that there remains a human component. For example, summaries could miss key details for your target persona. Social media copy might be a useful starting point for creating better, more natural social posts. And analytics could highlight trends that should be avoided to protect your brand.
AI does not replace marketing (or marketers), but it can shift how your teams function. According to a Gartner report, "By 2025, organizations that use AI across the marketing function will shift 75% of their staff’s operations from production to more strategic activities." That means tactical work transitions to AI-managed processes, and people can focus more on insights.
What are the benefits of AI in marketing?
The use cases for AI across marketing functions will continue to evolve. What won’t change, though, is the benefit of speed, efficiency, and insights that this technology can weave into your organization. Even if your roles and the responsibilities of specific marketers shift through this adoption, you’re building a marketing team that can scale. Here’s how:
Faster content development
Generative AI can always supply a helpful first draft which, through calibration and training, can speed up the creation of common needs like social media, email, or webpage copy. Iteration is the key to success, so it's important to maximize the benefit of AI with simple, focused, and repetitive tasks. That creates time for higher-concept thinking, editing, and ideation for your content professionals.
For brands that require reactive social presence (e.g., live events) or customer care, generative AI provides tools to boost response time and, therefore, improve customer engagement and experience.
Increased task efficiency
There is a significant number of day-to-day tasks that AI can support to improve performance for anyone in content, communications, customer experience, digital, social, and marketing operations. AI can automate tactical processes, organize data, and answer FAQs.
Personalization is key to customer loyalty, and it can generate 40% more revenue for companies that excel at it. The backbone of personalization is customer data and analysis, meaning AI can improve that data collection, tailor experiences for your customers, and increase sales. This data improves your customers’ experience and develops actionable insights to help your business. Emails will make more sense, target apparel will tend to be just the right shade of blue, and landing pages will greet customers with content aligned with their needs, interests, and ideals.
Real-time performance analytics
AI monitoring can blend competitive intelligence, market trends, and campaign performance at speeds no analyst can. While performance analysis isn’t simple, the more information an organization has and the more marketers with the bandwidth to take action based upon that intelligence, the better for your brand.
How to get started with AI marketing tools
The key is to start small. Generative AI is not HAL 9000, Skynet, or even Optimus Prime, although the latter is seemingly an iteration away from reality.
It’s a partner, an assistant, or simply a new way to get work done faster. Whether your organization utilizes it for social media copy or analytics, it has a role to play in your current and future marketing strategies. So, test, iterate, and innovate. Here’s a helpful path for starting your AI technology journey:
Start with a pilot: Organizational change should start within one function. Try an AI pilot within your social media team to test the technology, identify best practices, and expand purposely into functions with similar applicability.
Reframe roles: Evaluate your current team to identify natural fits for working with AI marketing technology. Anyone in an operations role may be able to identify task management opportunities, and analytics-driven professionals will benefit from the advanced use of these tools. Be flexible and fluid as you align tasks with function and roles with purpose.
Scale around customer experience: AI might originate within your organization's social media or content teams, but it will always benefit from scale and holistic data. The more data that can inform an AI-driven marketing strategy, the greater the return. This means emphasizing technology platforms that bring these tools together with a 360-degree view of your customer. That ecosystem will shape greater experiences for customers and more insights for your marketing teams.
Learn how Emplifi’s Social Marketing Cloud – including Emplifi™ AI Composer, which leverages the OpenAI GPT-3 framework – can help improve, augment, and amplify your marketing strategy. Speak with an Emplifi expert today.