How to Use AI in Marketing: Where It Helps (and Where It Hurts)
Artificial intelligence is nothing new. For years, predictive AI has shown us programs we’d like to watch, highlighted and recommended products we might want to buy, and warned us when to expect delays on our commutes. But the use cases around generative AI for marketing are very different.
Generative AI takes all the data we feed it and creates something new. And this ability is turning processes upside-down and raising questions about how best to leverage its power without innovating ourselves right out of our jobs. Since we started investigating the use of AI in marketing, we’ve read countless articles and attended more than a few webinars on the topic. But the recommendations were uncomfortably vague and filled with caveats.
Is AI faster than human marketing teams? Heck yes. No arguments here. But is it ready to take over our responsibilities? Not entirely. But while most industry experts will advise you that human oversight is vital to an AI marketing strategy, guidance on exactly where AI use makes sense — beyond broad categories like “content creation” — is hard to come by. So we decided to weigh in. Here’s how to use AI for marketing, based on our experience so far.
Creating Content with AI
Unpopular opinion time: AI text generation tools aren’t up to the task of creating long-form content yet. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have their uses.
Blog posts, ebooks, and articles generated by AI tools are unoriginal, uncompelling, and lacking in the proof points needed to convert a reader. Can a human writer “polish” an AI post to remove awkward phrasing and add stats and citations? Sure. But it won’t change the fact that generative AI isn’t producing original perspectives.
One of the best AI use cases in marketing is creating copy to promote human-generated assets. While AI’s lack of originality makes it a poor candidate for composing your new blog post or ebook, it’s good what it takes to write copy for landing pages, paid ads, and social media posts highlighting the content you’ve worked so hard on.
How to Use AI in Marketing: Copywriting
AI for Improving Customer Experience
AI copywriting tools may still leave a lot to be desired. In contrast, there are tons of AI marketing use cases when it comes to improving the customer experience. The modern customer journey has become non-linear and largely self-serve — and that’s where AI shines.
We pride ourselves on being a high-availability agency. But there’s high availability and there’s literally waiting by the computer in case someone has a question. 62% of consumers would prefer to speak to a chatbot rather than wait for a human agent to answer their questions, and the majority rate their experience as positive. Tread with caution though: while chatbots are ideal for answering general questions about your brand or offering, they aren’t the best at resolving more complex issues.
It used to be easy to nurture leads — once someone from your team had made contact with a prospect and determined they weren’t ready to convert, it was easy to feed them relevant content based on the information they had provided. But today’s leads don’t always identify themselves so readily. AI personalization tools can analyze prospects’ digital data to help you serve up web content, social media posts, and emails that will move them down the funnel. Of course, it’s essential to be transparent and ensure your data is not used in an intrusive way that could sour the experience for your potential customers.
AI translation tools can be a tempting option if you serve (or want to serve) a multilingual audience. Today’s AI-powered translation tools are significantly better than we have historically expected and can translate content or messages in a fraction of the time it would take a human translator. Fair warning: they’re still not perfect. We had native speakers on our team review content translated into Japanese, Mandarin, French, Spanish, and Dutch. While the meaning of the content was clear, there were still a number of grammatical errors that would clue readers into the fact the copy wasn’t written by a native speaker.
How to Use AI in Marketing: CX
Optimizing for Search with AI
Almost every article I’ve read about using AI for marketing mentions search engine optimization. Developments in AI technology are obviously having a major impact on how we search for information online, so it only makes sense that marketers would leverage AI for SEO. But there are still limits here too.
AI SEO tools can help you discover content topic ideas and streamline the process of researching keywords — including analyzing the content your competitors are publishing for potential ideas. However, a specialized tool for SEO is critical here. If you ask an AI content creation tool what keywords to optimize for, it will provide you with a list — but its selection won’t be rooted in data, since most generative AI platforms aren’t searching real-time data.
It’s also important to remember that Google — the top choice for online searches for now — uses the EEAT algorithm, which prioritizes real-world, first-hand experience with subject matter (something your AI doesn’t have) when ranking content for search results.
How to Use AI in Marketing: SEO
We Know How to Use AI in Marketing
AI and marketing can go together like peanut butter and jelly — but only if you know where to leverage generative AI and where tasks should stay firmly in human hands. At TPM, we’re continually experimenting with new and evolving AI tools to identify where they can offer marketing efficiencies. We’re always here to help boost your marketing efforts with a hybrid AI-human campaign or help you select the AI tools that fit best in your strategy. Check out our AI Tech Stack or contact us with your questions.