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The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of AI & Marketing

By now, there’s no way that you could have missed the news – artificial intelligence (AI) is here! Recent advancements in AI technology have brought forth a flood of tools that we can leverage in the professional world. While AI is far from perfect, and relying on it too heavily can be a costly mistake, AI is revolutionizing how marketers work. In fact, combining AI and marketing machines in the B2B industry could help you supercharge your marketing. Still, there are benefits and challenges of AI automation that you need to know before you incorporate it into your marketing efforts. Read on to discover everything you need to know before you start experimenting with artificial intelligence, including the good, the bad, and the ugly of AI.  

Benefits of AI in Marketing 

Even during these early days of AI, it’s clear that these technologies will change how business is conducted. It will never be a suitable replacement for your marketing or sales team, but AI will replace those staff members who don’t use it to their advantage.  

When used correctly, it’s clear that AI can help drive sales in the B2B industry and improve your marketing results. This is because AI can help you produce content and prepare communications more efficiently. This will save you valuable time, and that saved time can be dedicated to other tasks that need more of your attention. That means your marketers can produce more content to generate leads, and your sales team has more time to spend converting those leads into sales.  

Understand Your Current Marketing Compared to Your Competitors

“The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” Arie de Geus

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of AI in Marketing 

Using AI as a support tool in your daily work tasks can be very beneficial, but AI can’t do everything to make your marketing machine operate at full capacity. To learn about how AI could help, and hurt, your marketing efforts, you’ll need to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of AI in marketing. 

The Good 

There are many good aspects to using AI in your marketing machine. First and foremost, it helps you automate certain tasks and create content more efficiently. It can also help you create smart content, content that uses data to personalize content to an individual viewer. This is one of the best ways to increase conversions with AI and even drive higher-quality leads.  

AI can also play a crucial role in your process for tracking marketing analytics. When used correctly, AI can help you implement A/B tests that help you refine your marketing machine. You can even use AI to help you analyze data quickly and make more informed decisions for your business.  

The Bad 

While there are many benefits to using AI in your marketing machine, there are some challenges. Among these drawbacks is the cost of AI tools. Certain AI tools just aren’t in the budget for everyone, and low-cost AI solutions often produce low-quality work. This is best illustrated by comparing free and paid AI art generation tools.  

In the example below, our team fed one free and one paid art generation tool a simple prompt – “Retro gas station on Mars”. The unnamed free tool produced only one image, which didn’t fulfil the brief. Still, the image itself is not large enough to be shared on social media or a website with confidence. The paid tool, on the other hand, returned several results that fit the sizing requirements for most social media platforms. 

AI is also complex to use. When handled incorrectly, it can produce work that is riddled with errors and misinformation. To see this in action, give ChatGPT a math problem. In this case, our team used Wolfram Alpha to generate a simple equation, 8 – 5 divided by 4 x 3. We then input this equation into ChatGPT, replacing the traditional symbol for division with a common digital equivalent “/” and removing all spaces. This resulted in ChartGPT claimed the answer to the equation was 7.583. When the traditional division symbol was used, it correctly responded with 4.25. This means that simple AI inputs can result in wildly different, sometimes incorrect, answers.  

Screenshot of ChatGPT incorrectly claiming that 8 minus 5 divided by 4 multiplied by 3 is 7.583.
Click to view the incorrect answer.
Chat GPT solving PENDAS equation with the correct input
Click to view the correct answer.

The Ugly 

We’re finally here, it’s time to discuss the ugly side of AI. As a tool made for humans, by humans, AI can reflect some even our darkest traits such as bias. That means that the personal biases of an AI tool’s programmer can become the biases of the tool itself. This is such a prevalent phenomenon that Google has included a disclaimer when working with their new AI language model, Bard. You can find it in the footer of Bard’s chat feature.  

Beyond AI’s capabilities to be biased, it can also be used to spread harmful misinformation and manipulate people. This could include the creation of fake news articles, fake images, and targeted ads designed to exploit a user’s emotions. As it’s users, creators, and teachers, our thoughts and intentions greatly impact the outcomes of AI.  

How to Use AI to Improve Your Marketing Results 

Now that you know about the good, the bad, and the ugly of AI and your marketing machine, you can begin experimenting with different tools. To understand how to choose the right AI marketing platforms, you need to consider your budget, review the platform’s results, and consider its capabilities. Make sure you find a tool that can perform up to your exact standards, without it costing you an arm and a leg.  

When you ask yourself how to use AI effectively in your marketing and sales, just remember that AI isn’t fully reliable yet. We recommend using it as a tool to get your gears turning. Use AI to brainstorm topic ideas, summarize meetings, and check your work for simple spelling or grammatical errors.  

If you want to leverage AI further, you can use it to validate or invalidate the arguments or offers in your content marketing. We’ll give you a fun example. Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was a strong opponent to the use of zero (0) in mathematics. If he were to write about this opinion in the modern era, you could input his work into an AI language model and ask it for counterpoints. The AI tool would dispute the claims of Pythagoras’ work as asked.  

The Future of AI in Marketing 

There are many ways that AI can help tailor content in real-time for the B2B industry today. This includes the previously smart content, and even automated product recommendations for eCommerce sites. In the future, this content tailoring is lively to advance. We expect that AI will have the ability to deliver more pieces of tailored content on websites, personalizing each piece it delivers to the user.  

We also expect AI to change the way we view predictive analytics. Since AI can analyze vast amounts of data faster than any human, it will be able to better predict the success of any marketing campaign.  

As AI technology advances, it will become better at answering each one of our questions. With enough time, AI could replace the pre-programmed chat box as we know it. This means that an AI-driven chat bot could become your autonomous after-hours customer service representative in the near future! 

Learn how to Leverage AI for your Marketing Machine 

AI is a useful tool that can help you create and refine the content marketing pieces in your marketing machine. It’s clear that, in time, machine learning for B2B companies will change the way we do business. Still, it can never fill the shoes of your marketing team or digital marketing agency. 

Instead of falling behind the curve of this advanced technology, align yourself with a digital marketing agency that can use it for your benefit. At IQnection, we are constantly experimenting with technologies that will lead our clients to greater success. Watch our webinar on AI’s impact on modern digital marketing, or contact us, to learn how we can leverage AI for your marketing machine.

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