What's Left for Marketers in the AI Age: Up-Skilling for Survival
Adding ‘AI platform management’ to your CV will boost your employability. It will demonstrate your ability to produce more with less, and your commitment to a learning mindset. Here are seven ways you can upskill with AI, to power up your professional portfolio.
Earlier this year a disquiet simmered under the AI furore, fuelled by ChatGPT-3 (and now 4), Google Bard and Salesforce Einstein. If you’d asked a handful of marketing professionals how they felt about AI platforms, you’d hear mutterings about the next dot com bubble, security concerns, errors and inaccuracies.
Often the earliest adopters when it comes to disruptive technologies, it’s not unfair to say marketers are taking a bit longer to embrace AI-generated tools. They’re concerned for their future even as the world becomes more obsessed.
Let’s get this straight: marketers, AI is not here to replace us but to assist us in our roles. It's high time that we embrace AI and upskill ourselves to leverage its transformative power in the industry.
Your experience, in-depth knowledge, skills and connections are invaluable when we need to review and correct what AI will produce for us; and the personality and character you bring to your role make you much more engaging to work with than an AI platform.
But by burying your head in the sand, you’re missing the most disruptive, transformative opportunity to hit the industry for decades. And unless you upskill, you risk being overlooked in favour of marketing professionals that are embracing AI as the greatest chance to upskill since we ditched Altavista, Bebo and MySpace for Google, Instagram and TikTok.
Adding ‘AI platform management’ to your CV will boost your employability. It will demonstrate your ability to produce more with less, and your commitment to a learning mindset.
Here are seven ways you can upskill with AI, to power up your professional portfolio:
1. Perfect your AI Interactions
“Trash in, trash out” – or a less polite version of the phrase – is still a marketer’s mantra, applicable to everything from data management to search. The same applies to AI. Just as it took us a while to realise search was improved by speech marks around keywords, there are ways to refine and improve your AI results.
If you’re using it to generate content, be specific and accurate with your inputs. Avoid words with multiple meanings or insinuations; and, at least initially, avoid searching for very recent data points. Learning to extract the right data from an AI platform, quickly and effectively, is a powerful skill.
2. Refresh and Redefine your Content
Getting into the habit of testing and trialling content using AI is good practice. We all benefit from a second pair of eyes – be it virtual or otherwise - on our content, and using an AI tool to review and edit content brings a fresh perspective.
It can help to eliminate industry buzzwords and company acronyms to make content more accessible and understandable.
3. Learn How to Integrate AI Platforms as Part of your Automation Journey
Understanding automation is a key skill for marketers, with 75% of marketers in one study using at least one automation tool. Over 40% of B2B companies are planning to adopt marketing automation if they haven’t already, and this will accelerate.
Salesforce and OpenAI have enabled the download of ChatGPT to Slack; HubSpot has integrated content assistant and ChatSpot.AI; and others will certainly follow, so understanding how AI fits into the marketing stack is really important.
4. Use it to Improve your Customer Data
AI platforms are incredibly valuable for building out profiles on your customers’ businesses: their plans, challenges, office locations and where they are in their buying cycles, for example.
They will also create consistency in their content, making it easier for you and your teams to identify gaps and opportunities and, ultimately, help you deliver a personalised, relevant customer experience.
5. Identify Behavioural Trends and Patterns from Feedback
Customer feedback is foundational to a company’s future success, but too often it’s generated across different touchpoints, in a variety of formats and recorded across several different platforms. AI platforms can bring together these data points to create consistent, meaningful, actionable insights which drive change.
6. Improve Productivity and Spend Time on your Most Value-Add Tasks
We all have tasks that we put off – we know they’re important but the time and effort involved outweigh the results. AI platforms can complete these tasks, improving your time management and efficiency while driving up your productivity.
For those of us who are bilingual or multilingual, using AI platforms helps drive fluency in our language, and those of us who are neurodivergent can also save time spent on content generation.
7. Help Remove Bias from Content
Every touchpoint, engagement and piece of content that we produce has a role to play in driving equity. But too often, it just doesn’t. Despite best intentions, the very nature of unconscious bias is that we often just cannot see the hidden implications in a text, or understand how differently it may be perceived by different audiences.
AI doesn’t make assumptions about a reader’s identification or orientation.
I asked ChatGPT to remove bias from this sentence, ‘He walked along the street and greeted his friend’s dog. “Hello boy!”’ In moments, it was changed to, ‘They walked along the street and greeted their friend’s dog. “Hello there!”’
So this was a pretty obvious example to make my point, but spending just a few seconds running copy through an AI platform to create equitable content could help.
AI is estimated to create 97 million new jobs by 2025. The World Economic Forum says it will create more jobs than it automates. Marketers that employ AI and take the chance to expand their skill set and optimise AI’s potential will be the changemakers, in highest demand across the industry.