It’s an exciting time to be a marketer. Generative AI has the potential to impact the way organizations market themselves and how those campaigns are developed to a degree few of us have seen. This shift in the use of AI is potentially greater than the changes that came with social media, blogging, or mobile, perhaps more akin to the advent of the Internet itself.
Hence all the headlines, hot takes, angst, and debate. Even if only some of that potential comes about, it’s making marketers rip up their playbooks, try new AI marketing tools, and experiment. I love the iteration and incremental improvements that seem to dominate modern marketing, but big leaps forward are where the opportunities lie.
You could decide this whole AI in marketing business is pure hyperbole or you could jump in. Well, we’re gonna jump.
That’s why we have assembled a tiger team of Firebrands to guide our agency and its clients through the use of AI for marketing. We’re calling it Firebrand Labs. We are testing out the best AI tools for marketing, figuring out how they can apply to our work, and developing ways to deploy them.
Generative AI is great at some things in marketing – but which ones?
As the conversations about generative AI’s role in the creative process get louder, it’s our responsibility as startup marketing leaders to evaluate its value and identify potential opportunities for our clients. It won’t happen overnight, but generative AI tools will get better and more widely adopted in marketing. Early entrants will have an advantage, and it’s our duty to determine what the best path forward is for our clients.
All marketers have finite resources – so how can we use these AI marketing tools to drive down the cost/time on execution to redeploy elsewhere? Just from a purely economic perspective, you shouldn’t pay an agency to do something an AI can do just as well, or any type of software. We still use our accounting firm, and we don’t care that they use software for the double-entry bookkeeping. They are experts at Quickbooks, and you should expect your agency to be experts in the primary AI tools.
Our position on Generative AI and AI Marketing Tools
We’re excited about the impact generative AI tools will have on marketing programs. Across the key elements of strategic planning, creative implementation, management, optimization, and measurement, generative AI can remove friction, save time and open up new opportunities. Today we’re seeing clear wins in areas such as meta description creation in SEO, drafting headlines for blog posts, creating ad variations, video and audio editing but in the future, it should extend deeper into each marketing practice. This just drives the human input up to higher value aspects of the program such as storytelling, insights, ideation, and empathy. So embrace it!
For sure, there are some major unknowns. The addition of Open AI to Bing or Bard into Google Search has some potentially far-reaching implications. Organic search will see a rise in no-click results. Paid search will change dramatically if the user is just typing into a chatbot. Brands that are big on content creation and inbound will need to adapt if they aren’t getting search results. And how do we even influence how Bard responds if that’s where our audience is seeking information? No one knows this yet – but you can bet the Firebrand Labs team will be keeping a close eye on it.
Sharing what we learn about AI in marketing
In the coming weeks, our PR, Digital, and Content Marketing experts will start sharing their findings. We’ll provide you with analyses of specific AI marketing tools, capabilities, opportunities, and pitfalls. We’ll even conduct split-testing to give you apples-to-apples comparisons of how our work performs against AI.
In other words, we’ll work hard to figure things out. We’ll share what we learn, and collectively we’ll build new ways of doing things. And that’s what’s exciting.
Morgan McLintic is the founder of Firebrand. With over 25 years’ experience in the tech sector, he advises clients about their marketing and PR strategy. Prior to Firebrand, he was the founder of digital communications agency, LEWIS in the US, growing it to 250 staff and $35m revenue.