Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has taken 2023 by storm – and its impact into the future is set to be huge. According to a recent Microsoft survey, nearly 9 out of 10 workers hope to use AI to reduce repetitive tasks in their jobs.
And while talk of AI often leads to inevitable discussions around replacing humans, marketing professionals appear to be embracing the new capabilities and technologies on offer. A recent study shows that AI-driven marketing is set to drive 45 per cent of the total global economy by 2030.
But how exactly can marketers use these tools, and what are some of the fundamental considerations before we dive headfirst into implementing them?
More than the sum of the tactics
One of the most talked about uses of generative AI has centred on its ability to act as a time-saving tool, helping resource-stricken marketing professionals automate various functions of their role, for example content creation. And while that’s true, there are a variety of use cases across organisations of all sizes, all of whom are testing the waters to explore its capabilities.
For example, generative AI can be used to assist with the writing of internal newsletters, where in some organisations, there may only be one internal communications professional writing multiple newsletters per week. Using AI, they can test its capabilities on internal audiences with little to no risk, while dramatically speeding up the time it takes to gather information and write content. And most importantly, it works side by side with a human to ensure the checks and balances are in place.
Check out this recent Microsoft blog on How Marketers can use AI to unlock breakthrough creativity and help free up time for what matters most.
Think more strategically
But while time saving is one of the most obvious benefits of using generative AI, there’s a bigger picture to consider if we’re to advance marketing’s status in the organisation and not just be known as the ‘cool kids playing with the shiny new toys’.
Marketing is increasingly recognised as a strategic enabler of the business, particularly when it comes to greater customer understanding and aligning marketing to wider business outcomes. While traditional metrics, such as reach or engagement remain standard benchmarks for our industry, more and more, marketing professionals are being evaluated on other significant achievement indicators, such as customer lifetime value, satisfaction, revenue and advocacy. This is why increasingly; we’re seeing marketers being elevated into leadership roles.
But how does AI help advance our cause?
Generative AI is not the overnight success many believe it to be and is a relatively mature technology in some applications, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot for example. Using these tools means marketers can place a stronger emphasis on the strategic fundamentals of their role, such as gaining a deeper customer understanding, market segmentation and the ability to build out customer databases. Critically, it enables marketing to better utilise their own data sets to generate deep insights for the business, while combining that data with the power of large language models (LLMs).
Brand vs. bland
And the key here is the ability to integrate your own business data into the equation. Some of the concerns around tools that employ LLMs have been the security implications of using your own data and pushing that out into what is effectively a public forum. There’s also the generic nature of responses. If the same prompts or queries are used by a range of people, then it stands to reason that we all receive the same information. It appears obvious, but outputs are only as good as the inputs you feed in.
Tools such as Copilot for example, enable you to harness the massive reservoir of data and insights that for the most part, remained largely inaccessible and untapped within your organisation and the applications you use daily. Being integrated into those applications, means you can create a highly personalised knowledge model unique to your own organisation.
For example, using these tools you can build a greater understanding of your customers, create segments and deliver the right messaging for those segments. Instead of learning how to build queries in LLMs, you can create a simple dialogue with your data, giving you the ability to ‘talk to it’. For example, “show me everyone over the age of 30, living in Melbourne who’s interested in home improvements”. Utilising data that already exists within your systems and applications means you can abstract the complexity away from the task, and do so in a secure, compliant, privacy-preserving way.
Pushing marketing up the value chain
We’ve seen a huge technological leap in terms of the strategic value AI can offer to marketing professionals. But if we’re to advance marketing’s standing within the organisation, then AI must be considered as more than just a point solution or tool. It must be embedded and used as part of the fundamentals of marketing’s role within the organisation, and critically, how it can deliver against business outcomes.
Join us at Reimagining Customer Experience with Globus, a live event, where Microsoft experts will share how you can unlock the full potential of your customer data with predictive real-time insights, contextual and relevant customer journeys, and built-in next-generation AI.
Plus, you’ll hear from Karl Merckel, vice president technology for the Globus family of brands, who will share insights into their transformation journey to connect sales and marketing to accelerate revenue growth.
You can also check out Microsoft’s recent article How Marketers can use AI to Unlock Breakthrough Creativity to understand how AI can help free up time for what matters most.
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