2: Prepare for the CEO question
It is only a matter of time before the CEO requests an AI strategy from the marketing department.
The CEO will likely be in the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ stage and have ambitions that AI can reduce headcount, improve product and increase sales.
So we need to thread the needle, managing expectations on a realistic timeline while still maintaining an optimistic outlook about AI – and therefore allowing for the time and budget required to allow this optimism to become reality.
The holding reply should be along the lines of, “We have listed key AI tools that appear to add value to core process, these are being reviewed against a balanced scorecard of potential value, effort to utilise and scalability.”
3: Develop a long list and assessment framework
With the CEO showing interest, it’s time to action your reply to them and start assessing key AI tools.
But before filling your boots with new AI opportunities, demand a business case from yourself or the team, documenting the various tools in market (the aforementioned Base10 post can help) and how the business anticipates the likelihood a given AI tool will:
- Add real value
- See its benefit outweigh the cost
- Make it to the ‘plateau of productivity’
The value equation is the curious one. For example, ChatGPT can write ad copy for digital assets, or create images for those ads, replacing a human task with an automated one. On the surface, this saves time, but that short-term time saving might not pay off with the performance of those AI ads against more crafted, differentiated ads derived and developed from human insight.
Always be mindful of efficiency vs efficacy, which is a balancing act AI is a way away from perfecting.
Once a long list of AI tools is assembled, prioritise them into testing buckets as follows:
A: Could add significant value to product, process, price or promotion
B: Could have some value to product, process, price or promotion
C: Just for fun
D: Ones IT will never allow, e.g. they require personal identifying information data to perform and the security of that data is not clear.
While the tools that fall into A and B may seem like the only ones worth pursuing, there are quick wins to be found in the ‘Just for fun’ camp.
A few ‘fun’ ones I’d recommend investigating include AI video creation platform Synthesia, which can create sales videos from text prompts; DALL·E 2 – by OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT – which “can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language”; as well as face-swap app Reface, which has been around a number of years and you may have already playad with, but is well worth revisiting as its capabilities continue to improve.
You have IT clearance, you have a curious CEO and an excited team, you have an assessment framework – you are good to go!
There is much fun to be had exploring this new world.
I have no doubt that we are seeing the beginning of a profound era, and despite the hype cycle, marketing practice will be enhanced by some core tools that will surface in the next two to three years.
We will be able to tell our successors that we were there in the ‘peak of Inflated expectation’, through the ‘trough of disillusionment’ and that our testing helped bring the world to a ‘plateau of productivity’ from this emerging technology.