In the pre-digital era, a designer and copywriter often worked together to create. In the digital era the roles have become siloed and so has the creating process which is why we often see images that don’t look like they belong with the writing. In the AI era, a writer can prompt a tool to create an image based on the description.
And in this case, when the tool generates an apocalyptic image like the one you see above, it is natural to feel the jitters for what is to come in the AI age. Almost reminds me of the terror-stricken faces of the humans in Jurassic Park on seeing the towering dinosaurs headed towards them.
The dizzying state of transformation in Digital Marketing of late has caused a similar state of worry and nerves. AI is the big reason for this tizzy among marketers who are expected to take charge of the AI strategy within their organizations because they are closest to customers in their journeys. This vantage point puts them in the best position to gather critical insights for AI opportunities that can benefit the business.
How to choose AI projects that fit your organization
The first question that needs answering at the start of any AI journey is whether your organization will adapt or resist the changes involved in AI projects. This detail is important to understand the scope of stakeholder buy-in.
Then comes the aspect of aligning the organizational AI strategy with the current processes and appetite for AI. For instance, if a significant portion of tasks is browser-based, focus on automating those tasks before considering transformative approaches.
There are various levels of AI intervention you can consider when deciding what project is suitable for your division:
- Improve: Revisit your internal processes and look at ways to improve them for increased efficiency. For instance, the use of Generative AI tools for brainstorming, editing, writing, and text-to-image creation.
- Facilitate: Can AI facilitate improvements within your existing products or services? Look at which metrics you must analyze for accurate calculation of the value-add from AI to the customer and if this value calls for a price increase.
- Build: Is there scope to use AI and build a new business model, product, or service? These ideas can come from discussions about existing problems and potential AI solutions.
Integrating the AI layer
AI has been around, and despite its complexity, it will stick around mainly because of its ability to improve on its own. AI has a self-learning nature and can develop capabilities without manual coding, deployment, or product improvements. As a result, it has limitless possibilities for use in virtually every function and industry.
Let’s take a look at aspects of Digital Marketing impacted by AI.
Co-creation and Productivity
AI undeniably excels in technical skills and is accessible to everyone. But it falls short in soft skills and reasoning abilities where marketers can prioritize and provide context.
This is why navigating organizational processes and mastering co-creation with AI will be crucial in the coming years. It’s essential to understand that AI won’t replace jobs, but individuals skilled in AI might.
Marketers should focus on collaborative co-creation with Generative AI tools like ChatGPT, DALL-E, and Midjourney that can assist in generating campaign concepts, social post ideas, and help with copywriting and text-to-image creation.
AI is being incorporated into social media platforms in several ways:
- LinkedIn offers its premium users AI features, including AI-powered profile writing assistance and ‘Top Choice Jobs’ signals.
- Instagram is testing a Generative AI sticker creation process in-app.
- YouTube is testing AI and Music with its experiment – Dream Track for Shorts and Music AI tools.
- TikTok has a “For You” feed customized for users through AI.
Other platforms are bound to catch up. It is important to stay updated on new features across social platforms and observe how brands use them to their benefit.
This black hole of digital marketing is moving towards a more user-centric and technology-driven approach in the AI age. Search will be hugely impacted (supercharged) by AI and Machine Learning enabled search engines that will tailor results to user intent.
Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is at the forefront of this transformation, utilizing Generative AI to enhance the search experience. Scheduled for rollout in 2024, SGE aims to offer more relevant and comprehensive information by responding to user questions, providing relevant links, and introducing a conversational mode.
On the downside, SGE could affect clickthrough rates for websites appearing below the AI snapshot. Marketers should proactively monitor website analytics to stay on the radar.
Creating exceptional content has always been crucial, but with AI, it becomes imperative to elevate your efforts to secure a presence in search results. Success is now based on outperforming AI-generated content. While Google’s EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) framework does not directly contribute to ranking, the latest addition of ‘Experience’ emphasizes the importance of human content i.e. marketers who can provide real-world expertise.
Content strategies must focus on answering actual user queries and providing authentic information primarily sourced from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to establish proof of authority and credibility. This will be key to show up in Google’s AI-powered search results, the coveted featured snippet.
In the fiercely competitive landscape for customer attention, paid advertising is a strategic tool for companies to target their core audience with relevant messages. The pay-per-click (PPC) model allows marketers to manage spending and adhere to a budget effectively. Google is unbeatable in this space.
The momentum in paid ads is expected to continue in 2024, with AI playing a pivotal role in Google Ads. However, the use of Generative AI tools raises concerns about potential biases and reduced control over ad visibility and performance.
This shift towards AI-controlled processes may limit the nuanced understanding of context and language that a human marketer can provide. For now, it’s best to consider AI a co-passenger in your strategy and not the driver at the wheel.
Word of caution
The use of AI poses privacy risks and also raises ethical concerns. Think of how your audience will react to AI-generated content. Will it be liked or disliked? It is also important to disclose if the content is AI-generated and anticipate future regulations related to this matter.
Based on how AI-ready your organization truly is, you can choose an approach that is gradual and sustainable especially because it calls for major changes across the board. And given the uncertain nature of AI, it is wise to tread carefully but tread you must. Even if what is coming makes us uncomfortable, it won’t retreat. We must take it head-on.