The marketing world is being transformed by the rise of generative AI. As this technology improves, it allows marketers to be more efficient, creative and data-driven. I recently spoke with Ben Dutter, Senior Vice President of Strategy at Power Digital, to get insight on how generative AI is impacting marketing.
Generative AI Boosts Paid Ad Efficiency
One major area where AI shines is in managing digital advertising campaigns. Dutter explained that machine learning algorithms have been optimizing paid ads for around a decade now. But generative AI takes efficiency to the next level.
In the past, marketers had to manually adjust bids and target keywords. Now campaigns can be automated thanks to AI and cloud infrastructure. As Dutter noted, this allows experts to focus on deep strategy rather than tedious optimizations.
The time savings are massive. Tasks that took hours or days can now be accomplished in minutes or seconds. This efficiency boost allows for faster testing and iteration as well.
AI Copywriting Expands Creative Possibilities
Generative AI is also revolutionizing marketing copy. Dutter gave the example of AI generating thousands of ad headlines or email subject line variations. This volume of content would be impossible for a human to produce manually.
Not only does this allow for more rapid testing, it also unlocks creativity. Brands can explore a wider range of ideas without worrying about production timelines. The human creator simply prompts the AI and edits the output.
This demonstrates how AI acts as a multiplier rather than a replacement for human skills. The unique value marketers provide is evaluating ideas and guiding strategy rather than repetitive content production.
Fast and Deep Data Analysis Democratizes Insights
In the past, advanced data analysis required specialized expertise. Techniques like Bayesian modeling might take a data scientist hours to execute. But now, AI systems can provide these insights almost instantly.
As Dutter explained, even tools like the free version of ChatGPT can run causal impact analysis on structured data with a simple prompt. This level of speed and depth democratizes data science for marketers. Powerful analytics become accessible without high consulting fees.
AI is able to rapidly process many possible scenarios as well. Dutter gave the example of predicting the most valuable target audience or product recommendations. This allows brands to maximize ROI through data-driven decisions.
Overcoming Biases is Key to Using AI Well
However, it’s important to be aware of potential cognitive biases when using AI in marketing. The confirmation bias means we tend to seek out and interpret information in ways that confirm our existing beliefs. With generative AI, marketers may unconsciously prompt tools in ways that validate their assumptions rather than challenge them.
Marketers also face the risk of anchoring bias. If they anchor on initial AI-generated ideas, they may fail to consider other creative directions. An over-reliance on data analytics can fall victim to this bias as well.
Another bias to be aware of is the empathy gap. This refers to the inability to understand another perspective, especially relating to experiences we haven’t personally gone through. For example, AI might generate ad headlines that sound logical but fail to resonate emotionally with the target audience. Or data analytics could miss important human factors that numbers alone can’t reveal.
Closing this empathy gap takes conscious effort. Marketing leaders need to continually engage with and gather insights from customers and frontline staff. This helps ensure AI is prompted with strategic empathy rather than cold logic.
Being aware of these mental blindspots is key. Generative AI provides incredible leverage, but only if used wisely. Marketers who acknowledge their own biases will get the most value from this transformative technology.
The Future of AI in Marketing
To wrap up our discussion, I asked Dutter where he sees marketing AI heading in the near future. He predicted that within a year, performance advertising channels like Google Ads could be largely commoditized. The focus will shift from execution to strategy, creative and testing.
Dutter also foresees synthetic AI-generated influencers becoming more prevalent. Brands can create endless customized video content through virtual avatars. This reduces reliance on individual content creators.
Additionally, new possibilities for applying generative AI in marketing are emerging rapidly. For example:
- Personalized video ads tailored to specific viewer interests and preferences
- Automated translation of marketing assets into dozens of languages
- AI-generated market research reports that synthesize surveys, interviews, and digital conversations
- Predictive analytics identifying which customers are likely to churn and how to re-engage them
These innovations demonstrate how versatile and expansive AI’s potential is for transforming marketing.
The Takeaway: Experiment Boldly, but Use AI Thoughtfully
Generative AI holds incredible potential to enhance human creativity and efficiency. As Dutter observed, embracing this technology allows for bolder experimentation and faster iteration. Data-driven insights become more accessible as well.
However, blindly following AI guidance can lead marketers astray. By acknowledging inherent biases, testing rigorously, and guiding AI tools strategically, brands can maximize value. With the right mindset, generative AI can revolutionize marketing effectiveness. But the human must remain in the driver’s seat.
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