By Danny Shepherd, Co-CEO of Intero Digital
AI knows what you want.
It just doesn’t know why you want it.
Therein lies the great divide between AI’s present capabilities and future potential when it comes to understanding user intent. And while that can be a frustration, it isn’t a reason to avoid or significantly limit folding generative AI into your digital marketing efforts.
Yet understanding user intent is just one of the many challenges that make up the myriad reasons why marketers and organizations are shying away from AI capabilities when they should be leaning into them. A steep learning curve, fear of the unknown, and lack of time and resources also contribute to the number of businesses who have yet to take advantage of all the benefits AI has to offer.
Right now, AI is only as good as the questions asked of it. But that won’t be the case forever. AI intent recognition is bound to get tighter and more accurate. I say that with confidence because we’ve already seen massive improvements in a very short amount of time that are harbingers of what tomorrow holds. Fortunately, as AI improves, so too will the number of businesses making use of all the features AI brings to the table.
AI Improvements on the Horizon
When it comes to AI being able to understand user intent, several innovative resources have emerged. The first tool is Google Workspace, which allows teams to input proprietary, confidential data into ChatGPT that doesn’t go into the broader public machine-learning algorithm. Workspace will allow for similar solutions for marketing teams who want to use AI to drive more relevant strategic initiatives and customer experiences for internal means only.
The second exciting innovation worth mentioning is file uploads through ChatGPT’s Code Interpreter. Once you have this tool, you can upload codes and files to interpret data. You can even use multiple data sets and get summarized data and graphs. With the addition of this multi-modal operation, we are seeing a degree of flexibility and increase in power that lessens the need to leave ChatGPT’s interface.
Another extension worth mentioning is WebPilot, which allows you to go to any website or individual page and ask a question. I used it the other day with one of our salespeople to come up with objections and qualifying questions based on a site’s existing content. WebPilot has countless ways of being a supportive tool for marketing and sales teams, including as a springboard for content ideas.
Avoid Using AI at Your Own Risk
We’re in a period of incredible evolution when it comes to AI technology. Are there still challenges of AI in marketing and an overall learning curve? You bet. You can’t afford to ignore artificial intelligence, though.
Regrettably, that’s exactly what many marketers are doing.
I was speaking with another agency owner the other day, and I asked how his firm was using AI. His answer? They weren’t; they were taking a “wait and see” approach. I recommend you take a different road. AI adaptation and improvement are going to happen through the experimentation of knowledge workers. All agencies — and marketers — are knowledge workers. Businesses that don’t dive into the fray now are going to get left behind.
As co-CEO of a digital marketing agency, I spend time learning about the advances of AI in digital marketing regularly. Recently, I watched a video and disseminated what I learned to my team. I want them to stay on top of the latest information about ChatGPT, plug-ins, etc. It’s simply not wise to take a backseat approach.
Even if you’re not someone who usually follows an early adopter mindset, I recommend that you do what you can to get more comfortable with tying AI into your marketing approaches. It’s certainly imperfect, but it’s getting better. When it becomes commonplace, you’ll have a competitive advantage because you already leaned in.
Steps to Improve Your Early Adopter AI Efforts
The simplest way to get your feet wet is to recruit your own team of hand-raisers. There may already be a few people on your team who are excited to dive in. Challenge them to find ways to use AI to improve their processes.
As your team extracts patterns and identifies trends, they can bring those back to their colleagues to inform upcoming ethical and transparent strategies, initiatives, and projects. Remember that predictive analytics is an important element here. AI-powered software can anticipate customer behavior and pinpoint upcoming opportunities, giving you a proactive head start on your closest competitors. With predictive analytics, you can lean harder into the customer-centric personalization that’s an AI “sweet spot.”
Over time, you’ll find it easier to rapidly experiment, test, and iterate because you can measure and evaluate the performance and impact of marketing strategies. To ensure that you don’t lose any insights you amass along the way about AI’s potential and limitations, consider setting up a repository of notes. You can then give employees and other stakeholders access to your private library to drive collaboration and move the needle on AI’s possibilities.
Despite its limitations, AI is becoming one of the most helpful and powerful tools that agencies and marketers have ever seen. With it, you can quickly process customer feedback, tailor your messaging, personalize at scale, optimize everything you do, and woo (and wow) your target audiences. All it takes is a willingness to jump into the driver’s seat and take AI for a spin. Even if you’re not quite sure where your final destination is going to be, you’re at least getting somewhere.
About the Author
Danny Shepherd is co-CEO of Intero Digital, a team of 400+ digital marketing evangelists that offers comprehensive, results-driven marketing solutions.