If that title sounds like the “hallucination” of a popular generative AI engine, you may have guessed where I’m headed …
Clearly, generative AI is not the marketing tool to replace all marketing tools. Part of the problem is that so much of the hype surrounding AI presents AI as an all-encompassing solution. All you need to do is sort out how to implement AI the right way and you’ll be able to do 10 times the marketing you currently do with one-tenth the effort.
What Can AI-Driven Marketing Do?
Eat this point, much of the marketing benefits from AI center on efficiency. Its ability to cut down the time required to create content is perhaps the most talked about, though there are collateral costs that eat into the savings it provides.
What’s interesting about many of these issues, which we’ll dive into below, is that many of them may just be growing pains. We need to be aware of them now and plan for ways to address them when we use AI in our marketing, but as the tools improve, at least some (and perhaps all) of these problems will go away. Let’s take a look.
Copyright, Other Legal Exposure, and Ethics
Even without the downside of legal liability, most of us don’t want to be the kind of marketers who are using other peoples ideas without either properly attributing them or paying for them as appropriate. This issue has given enough marketers pause that there are no shortage of us who have opted out of using AI in their marketing until the dust settles a bit more. Others are being very cautious in how they use AI-generated content.
That includes us. We invest a fair bit of time to be sure none of the ideas AI is feeding are proprietary. Whether that’s the right path for you depends on how you are using AI tools in your marketing and which tools you are using.
Related to the copyright issues are issues of accuracy. By now, we have all heard stories about one AI engine or another “hallucinating” and coming up with completely fabricated information.
If that takes the form of erroneous industry information, you may find yourself chatting with one of your competitors, a customer, or even the FTC.
Our use has centered more on brainstorming than on research because we’ve found that fact-checking the AI output can take as much time as the AI has saved us in the first place. That additional effort seems like the most intractable of these issues at the moment, though it’s not a step I would recommend skipping.
If you sound like everyone else, the only way to get people to listen is to yell louder.
AI isn’t going to change that about marketing. And “yelling louder” in marketing typically means spending more time and money on your marketing. So, without unlimited resources, we are generally much better off creating our own voice and making that voice a part of our brand. Editing or iterating the AI This becomes another step in content generation using AI.
(In this instance, I would draw a distinction between editing and iterating, with editing being the traditional human activity and iterating being the use of additional prompts or even an entirely different AI engine to refine your output.)
As the price of building our own AI engines drops or customization of commercial engines becomes more viable, this problem will naturally disappear as we get our our marketing AI assistants to automatically incorporate instructions into our prompts like, “Write in Andigo’s brand voice …” after we’ve fed it enough of our marketing and brand materials to educate it to what our brand voice is.
Generic content can also create SEO issues. As with generic content, there will come a time when it’s easier to efficiently teach an AI engine what keywords to focus on, but until then, we are left with another extra step that eats away at the gains AI promises for marketing.
None of this is to say that you should avoid AI in your marketing. In fact, doing so is likely to lead you to degraded effectiveness as your competitors figure out how to use the tools you are ignoring.
It’s encouraging to see the pace that AI is becoming a part of broader marketing tools rather than stand-alone platforms that we need to use in addition to what we have in our existing toolkit.
AI is still not going to be the answer to all of your marketing needs, but its promise does seem likely to make those who understand it better marketers.
Occasional large-scale changes can re-invigorate a marketing plan that’s beginning to falter and can provide a blast of inspiration that ripples out through the rest of your marketing.
By the way, if you’re interested in hearing some of my podcast and radio appearances, you’ll find a few of them listed on the Andigo website.