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AI in Marketing: Villain or Hero?

In 1147, the world experienced the arrival of the printing press, a revolutionary invention that transformed the dissemination of information and heralded a new era in communication.

This marked the beginning of mass communication, enabling ideas and knowledge to spread far and wide. The impact on society was profound, ultimately paving the way for the modern knowledge-based economy.

Fast forward to the present day, and the evolution of communication continues at pace, driven by relentless advancements in technology. From the radio to the internet, each new medium has expanded the marketer’s toolkit, offering novel ways to reach people and influence their choices.

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) stands at the forefront of this evolution, bringing with it both the potential for unprecedented marketing precision and the fear of uncharted ethical and business challenges.

As AI reshapes the landscape of marketing (and almost every facet of business), with the rapid rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies like ChatGPT the question emerges: Is AI a marketing hero, enhancing our capabilities and understanding, or a villain, posing new challenges and threats to jobs, privacy and authenticity?

I believe we're living in exciting times for marketers. Let’s lean in…

The AI explosion

AI technologies are exploding, transforming how we work and live. Marketing is no exception, with AI opening up new possibilities for audience research, content creation, data analysis, and more. Major players like OpenAI, Anthropic, Microsoft, and Google are driving rapid AI advancements.

ChatGPT grew to 100 million monthly users in just two months after launching. This large language model can understand and generate human-like text, making it valuable for tasks like brainstorming ideas, drafting content, and summarising data.

Making AI your marketing friend

"AI might not take your job, but someone using AI might."

The key is to embrace AI as a tool to expand your marketing capabilities, not replace human creativity and strategy.

Before utilising AI, it's critical to ground your efforts in your brand's core story, personality, and audience needs. Tools like Donald Miller's "Building a StoryBrand" can help crystallise these foundations. From there, you can employ AI to enhance rather than replace your human-driven marketing.

For instance, AI can fuel audience and market research by rapidly analysing data and generating insights. You can use it to brainstorm blog titles, social media posts, and other content ideas aligned with your brand voice. AI writing assists like ChatGPT can draft, expand, and refine marketing copy based on your specific prompts and examples.

Prompting: The art of instructing AI

Effective prompting is essential to getting the most value from AI. But, remember, "the output is only as good as the input." Carefully craft prompts that provide clear context about your brand, goals, and desired output format. Include examples to steer the output in your preferred direction.

Use AI as an ingredient in your "marketing sandwich" - bookending the machine work with your own creative and strategic thinking on either end.

 AI: a powerful tool, not a replacement

While AI showcases remarkable capabilities, it has limitations. Always fact-check outputs and be cautious about sharing sensitive data with AI tools.

Most crucially, AI should augment rather than replace human creativity and ingenuity.

“As one commenter noted when comparing Human Vs AI marketing on LinkedIn:

“AI is just another paint brush in a creative hand.

Let’s be clear about what we are asking, is AI a great tool to a creative mind? Yes.

Are there applications where AI can improve the creative process? Yes.

Does a paint brush replace an artist? No.

The impact of AI largely hinges on the ‘art’ of crafting an effective prompt - a task still performed by humans.”


By upskilling yourself and your teams on AI prompt engineering and responsible use cases, you can leverage the technology as a powerful addition to your marketing toolkit. Embrace AI as a friend - harnessing it to elevate your marketing strategies and brand stories.

Staying up-to-date on AI developments and best practices will be crucial. It continues to evolve at a rapid pace, stay tuned for more to come!