Every B2B CMO Needs a Point of View on AI Right Now
While AI has certainly been around for many years, ChatGPT has only been available since November 2022. However it has blown up in the marketing community since the new year of 2023 and is taking over conversations in every industry like wildfire.
In fact, in Gartner’s Top 5 Marketing Predictions for 2023 they shared that, “By 2025, organizations that use AI across the marketing function will shift 75% of their operational activities from production to more strategic activities.”
This genie isn’t going back in the bottle and we need to continue to understand it, leverage it for the good it can bring, and be aware of the pitfalls as it accelerates. I’ve laid out what you need to know, plus provided steps for formulating your own professional POV on the subject to confidently engage the conversation.
First, understand the fundamentals of ChatGPT.
Google says, “As its acronym indicates, Generative Pre-training Transformer, ChatGPT is a generative language model based on the ‘transformer’ architecture. These models are capable of processing large amounts of text and learning to perform natural language processing tasks very effectively.”
ChatGPT says, “ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI that can be used for natural language processing tasks such as text generation and language translation. It is based on the GPT-3.5 (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3.5) model, which is one of the largest and most advanced language models currently available.”
What this means in real talk: Very smart developers created a code which consumes massive amounts of content across the web. Think of it as it reads every page on Google and can categorize and retain all of that information. They also coded the platform to have a predictable level of “human” speak as well. When the system is prompted it rapidly pulls the details from the massive database, applies its level of human speak to that information and displays a result for the user.
As of now in early 2023, the platform is free but all indicators are pointing to this being a paid platform sooner rather than later. Additionally, there are already many paid platforms with a similar working premise as ChatGPT but none to the scale.
I love what our friend Chris Penn from Trust Insights shared early on about content AI. Give the Youtube-version of his newsletter a view below to further understand the technology behind content AI. His example at about halfway through (minute 7 or so) on how he used ChatGPT to take HIS words and make them more grammatically correct and readable (vs. speakable) is a great way to consider using the technology as well.
Second, leverage ChatGPT for the good it has potential to bring.
We at Convince & Convert see this as a tool to support a human job NOT as a replacement for any human jobs. Just like a baker may use an electronic mixer to mix ingredients, ChatGPT can be used by content creators as an acceleration tool.
Undoubtedly, it has the potential to reduce the initial amount of work, and the ongoing skills set of content creators of all kinds. For the marketing leader, this should enhance your content marketing team’s abilities NOT replace them.
By using ChatGPT, essentially first drafts of written content could be created in the platform then finessed and refined by the human content creator. Of course, it takes a human to prompt the platform in the first place, but the ability of the platform to cull from a massive database of information should reduce the time to get to a first draft of a blog post, eBook or other written piece and allow the human creator to add on to that draft and apply more critical thinking skills.
Other uses for increased efficiency could be simple ad headlines, short body copy, test copy blocks, and other smaller copy needs that could be more quickly iterated through ChatGPT.
This also has the potential to grow the content creator role to a more strategic thinker. The ideation and planning of content become even more critical roles to have on your team, but the content creation — the literal words on pages part — shifts to draft editing and refinement and can be sped up by allowing the platform to do the basic research and cull on a topic.
Writer’s block, procrastination, time to final draft could be positively impacted when the planning and prompt input are the human focus up front. Enhancement and editing are the skills on the other side of the ChatGPT output.
Particularly for regulated industries, human review will always be needed for the nuances of the business, disclosure and specifics of a message.
An analogy our team uses is the invention of email didn’t make the postal service extinct. It changed the volume and reliance on mail carriers but we still need them.
With ChatGPT (or any generative AI), a human will still be needed to plan, prompt, and at the very least polish the platform output.
Third, be aware of the potential pitfalls of using a tool like ChatGPT.
We could not agree more, Ann. ChatGPT can never replace a human touch and understanding of the audience you serve.
Likewise, it should never interfere with the quality of relationship with your co-workers or clients. Being transparent on how copy was created and the relationship of your team to that copy should remain at the forefront. As discussed above, a human still has to plan, prompt and polish a ChatGPT content piece. Use that as an opportunity to advance your relationship with your audience and not hide it.
Specific questions of legality such as copyright and ethical applications are still emerging. We’ve already seen higher ed institutions question the use of it for entrance essays. This proves tricky since AI detection software is also quickly being released.
Lastly, it’s not always right. Yes, it’s fast. Yes, it pulls information from around the web BUT is that information actually correct? It’s incumbent on the user to check the information and the grammar just as if you were pulling it fully yourself and critically think about the content you choose to publish.
Our bottom line is and remains: humans first, always. Tools can be great enhancements to how we do work, but should not overcome the relationships between each other.
You may be interested in the Social Pros Podcast’s Greatest Hits episode covering AI in Social Media:
Relax, AI is not coming for your job.
I attended my first large in-person conference event since 2020 and honestly, it was really nice to be back out and feel the pre-Covid normalness.
My re-entry was close to home here in Phoenix, at the B2B Marketing Exchange at the end of February. If this conference isn’t on your list for 2024, be sure to add it into your strong consideration pool as it draws hundreds of top tier B2B marketers and the content was spot on. I had attended twice before COVID and attendees always say it’s among the top conferences of their year.
Sessions delivered from C&C clients such as Uberflip, Terminus, SAP, Cisco ZoomInfo, Rollworks, Netline and Salesforce. The conference not only focuses on topical content for B2B marketers but industry knowledge across tech, finance, healthcare, services, and media.
Two areas were overwhelmingly on the minds of attendees and dominated the session boards: Artificial Intelligence in Marketing and Account Based Marketing.
Extraordinary B2B marketer and author Pam Didner delivered a keynote speech on AI and Jay Baer closed the show with his keynote touching on AI as well. In their own ways, both experts said, “relax, AI is not coming for your job.”
If you haven’t heard it enough already, I’ll say it out loud for those in the back: AI can not replace HUMAN interaction.
Yes, if used well it can accelerate your work as a marketer allowing you to get to a first written draft or iteration of written content with less time, BUT a human is needed to PLAN. PROMPT. POLISH any AI input and output.
Case in point, Pam reminded us of the following example. If you Google “dog or muffin image” and you’ll see something like this:
AI could not detect exactly which images were actual chihuahua dogs and which were muffins. While it may take a few seconds and a double take, your human brain can detect which are muffins vs. dogs.
But, how can you relax if your organization (or superiors) think AI could replace your team’s jobs?
It’s time to establish your POV on AI.
Regardless if you are the VP of Marketing or working your way up from a coordinator position, Pam provided some of the best career advice in her keynote: have a point of view.
This applies to not only AI but to any marketing or business topic that intersects your industry.
The question on how your department or role IS or CAN BE using AI will come to you, if it hasn’t already. In light of the recent layoffs in MarTech and other industries, being prepared for any RIF conversations is critical.
You will serve yourself well by educating yourself on the topic and forming a simple point of view of how it can be useful to your organization.
Three things every CMO should do to form their point of view on AI right now:
1. Understand the basics and mechanics of AI.
Look at thought leaders in the marketing space for their analysis and insights. Again, Pam Didner, Christopher Penn, and the team at Marketing AI Institute are very good and balanced sources.
Or watch this 45 minute keynote to understand further about how AI like ChatGPT are changing marketing:
2. Review your current tool stack and the AI already in use
Likely, you already have AI tools working (even behind the scenes) on tools you or your team use everyday. Review your tool stack, particularly any tools you use for social media scheduling and planning and any writing or editorial planning tools. Look for recent blog posts on the websites for those tools or directly ask your reps (or even help desk) for insight as to the AI functionality either activated or possible with your licenses, if it’s not readily available.
This is a very tangible way to inform your leadership how AI is already part of your process and assisting your team without replacing your team. You may have an opportunity to showcase how your marketing operations have been using AI well before the conversation became mainstream.
3. Form your POV in terms of the benefits and cautions of incorporating/increasing your use of AI in your marketing business practices today.
While you will be well positioned to answer more questions about AI through the steps above, work on a succinct point of view that you can deliver effortlessly when the conversation comes to you. Either on a call, in a meeting or off the cuff from others on the executive team.
Create a few sentences to state the understanding and application of AI in your business now and in the <near-term> future. Include 3-5 bullets or examples of benefits in process, speed, or efficiency the tools are already bringing or can bring to your organization. Include 2-3 bullets of areas to watch or of caution for executives to consider. Underscore the need for human interaction to Plan Prompt Polish any AI created content.
I’ll close with a brilliant example from Jay Baer’s closing keynote. He underscored again that AI isn’t coming for marketing people’s jobs. He said that “if a machine can create <writing> that evokes emotion more than a live human being can, then the humans are doing it wrong.