Remember how excited we were to use voice search, location-based recommendations, and predictive text? While there may have been a small learning curve, smart features built into our phones, tablets, and computers turned into essentials that help us with just about every task.
But as technology continues to evolve, where do we draw the line? When does a convenient suggestion turn into a cause for concern?
Adaptive and generative artificial intelligence (AI) models are the latest technological advances making waves, promising to simplify our lives and disrupt nearly every industry in the process. With its ability to quickly learn, adapt, improve, and churn out results, it’s no wonder everyone keeps asking whether or not AI is coming for our jobs. In fact, Forbes found that 77% of people worry AI will cause job loss over the next year.
The truth is, it might. In a study, McKinsey said AI could displace a whopping 400-800 million workers by 2030, while research conducted by the World Economic Forum estimates AI will create 97 million new jobs.
AI has been met with a mixture of excitement and concern from both employees and business leaders. As marketers, introducing AI to our workflows can feel like a betrayal of everything we know, especially since so much of our profession relies on creating clever, relatable, and interesting content.
Instead of fearing AI or ignoring it altogether, we should accept its inevitable integration into our industry and embrace the technology, learning how to work with it rather than against it early on in the process to avoid lagging behind later. After all, between constant updates to SEO best practices, keeping up with an endless stream of trending topics, and managing the latest social media apps, modern B2B marketers know a thing or two about flexibility and making technology work for them.
Let’s go back to 1999 for a minute. People are talking about the new millennium and it’s an exciting time for technology. Digital music is the new kid on the block—will it replace CDs? AOL and Microsoft are at war to see who will become the ultimate tech leader (Microsoft is 2-0 after taking the desktop and browser categories). And Google was around, but it wasn’t anywhere near the behemoth it is now.
Of course, Google has become the backbone of the marketing industry, leading and creating digital trends, even joining the AI race with Bard, its own chat-based AI tool. While the technology might not have been as disruptive in that moment, we now know just how vital the search engine site is for modern society. And even this early in its lifecycle, we can already predict that AI will continue to rule and shape the tech space—and our lives—for years to come.
By now, most of us know not to underestimate AI’s capabilities. Just look at ChatGPT, an AI language model capable of churning out thousands of words on an extremely technical topic in mere seconds. This is because it uses data and deep learning algorithms to generate human-like responses.
Instead of worrying about AI taking our jobs, marketers can leverage tech like ChatGPT as a content creation tool. Ask it to generate a list of engaging potential blog post topics and outlines, create a storyboard for a social media series, optimize headings for SEO, craft compelling email intros, summarize a lengthy white paper, or guide your next content calendar.
Consider other elements of your marketing strategy and see where you can add or build on existing usage of AI tools. For example, PR professionals use AI across several different platforms to track coverage, compile media lists, draft email pitches, and monitor response rates and engagement. But PR is rapidly evolving to meet the current media landscape, meaning old school PR tactics simply won’t work.
It’s easy for PR teams to settle into a routine of recycling the same press release or email templates when reaching out to journalists, causing them to miss out on vital opportunities to secure coverage. In fact, out of 500,000 pitches sent, research found that journalists responded to fewer than 3% of the pitches they received. Additionally, 28% of journalists reportedly receive more than 100 pitches per week, so how can you ensure yours stands out? Use AI that is designed by PR experts to rate your press release, and provide tips on how to improve it. Snooze or News is a press release rating and editing tool powered by AI that my company’s PR team created based on their decades of experience. While it doesn’t create newsworthy press releases out of thin air, the AI ranks them, offers actionable feedback, and suggests distribution channels based on the topics covered.
Rather than relying on AI to produce each piece of content, use it to supplement your team’s talents. AI can help conduct research, review your work, brainstorm ideas, organize your thoughts, amplify your content, and spark creativity. Embrace the technology or risk falling behind faster than you can ask ChatGPT how to incorporate AI into your marketing strategy.
For every impressive stat we learn about AI, it’s important to remember one crucial fact: It relies on humans to feed it information and review responses. Assuming an AI-generated article will compare to the carefully crafted wordsmithing of trained, seasoned writers is as useless as pretending AI won’t become as essential as SEO.
You can’t just use ChatGPT to write all of your content and expect it to perform well. This is because human error factors into the quality of responses. How was the prompt worded? Was it too vague? Could it have been misinterpreted in some way?
To really leverage AI’s power, you need smart humans who can train the technology, set parameters, review its accuracy and relevance, and screen responses to ensure they align with your brand identity. This means making adjustments to prompts and responses until they fit your brand style and deliver the right message. And because ChatGPT relies on the data it’s fed to create its content, you might find responses with biased, harmful, or wrong information, rendering it unusable. Plagiarism, data privacy, and security are additional issues to consider when working with AI-powered language models.
Once your team has figured out how to use AI, adding the human touch is the final, crucial step to reaching its full potential. While AI can mimic a brand’s voice, it isn’t capable of expressing emotional nuances and inserting personal touches the way human writers do. AI isn’t just a trendy tool, it’s an extension of your team, so treat it like one. Bounce ideas off of its responses and edit its content. Provide guidance and recommendations to improve results until you get it just right. Only when we stop thinking of AI as a faceless, intangible enemy will we realize it can actually be the marketing solution we’ve been waiting for.
ABOUT AUTHOR :
Shama Hyder, Founder & CEO of Zen Media
Shama Hyder is the Founder & CEO of Zen Media, an international keynote speaker, and a bestselling author. Fast Company calls her a “millennial master of the universe” and a “zen master of marketing.” She’s a Forbes and Inc. 30 under 30 alum, and LinkedIn has called her a Top Voice in Marketing four years in a row. Shama was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by The White House and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
About 30% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women—only 2% break $1 million in revenue. When you look at women of color, this number drops even more dramatically. Shama is no stranger to navigating uncharted territory.
Zen Media is a PR and marketing agency serving tech-driven B2B companies around the globe, including brands like Chase Business, Dwolla, ATB Ventures, Cox Communications, and more. Shama has been a media correspondent for Fox Business, MSNBC, Bloomberg, and CNBC, and she’s one of the world’s leading experts on marketing and PR in the digital age.