What Is Generative AI? (And Why Does It Matter?)
AI is all the rage, to the point where saying so has become a truism. From LinkedIn posts, to news stories, to teachers’ tales of woe over GPT papers, AI is quickly knitting its way into the fabric of everyday life.
This is all the more true for marketers; in an industry where efficiency is the north star and speed-to-market is a constant mantra, marketers can be swept into the trend of AI without a full understanding of what it is, including its capabilities and blind spots.
In this blog, we’ll unpack everything you didn’t know about AI, focusing on one of its most well-known types: Generative AI.
The Definition of Generative AI
Generative AI comes from the term “generate,” which means to produce by performing a set of steps. In the case of Generative AI, a user will make one or more commands, and the AI will produce a logical output.
One of the most popular examples of this form of AI is ChatGPT. The user will set commands— “write me a catchy ad about toothpaste!” — and the AI will generate a cogent response. If the output isn’t what you intended, it has the ability to regenerate several more. While ChatGPT is by far one of the most sophisticated examples of Generative AI, it certainly isn’t the first. Chatbots were among the earliest types of AI, dating back to the sixties. Since then, AI has grown far beyond basic text outputs, and can now generate high-quality visual and auditory content.
So, is that it? Not so fast. A quick definition of Generative AI is just the beginning; to truly harness its powers for stand-out marketing techniques, you need a full picture of its pros and cons.
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The Pros and Cons of Generative AI for Marketing
Like any tool, Generative AI has advantages and disadvantages—but in this case, the stakes can be pretty high. Read through the pros and cons so that you can leverage the power of AI while troubleshooting problems before they arise.
The Pros of Generative AI
One of the clearest wins for AI is its efficiency. As the vast majority of AI solutions are automated tools, marketers are able to save hours of manual legwork, letting them concentrate on the more strategic areas of their job.
Deep Analytical Insights
Ever tried to do algebra without a calculator? Analyzing customer behavior without AI falls into the same category: unnecessarily difficult and time-consuming. Though not all tools offer this capability, the best AIs for marketing allow customer behaviors to be quickly ingested and analyzed.
With in-depth analysis on lock, marketers are able to proactively respond to their customers in the most effective ways possible. When marketers can go beyond customers’ recent behaviors to understand their unique traits and affinities, they gain the ability to create content that resonates more than ever.
The Cons of Generative AI
If all you’re relying on is open-source data, marketer beware. As AI will only be as accurate as the data that’s inputted, content can be liable to biases, inaccuracies, and homogeneity if you’re not careful.
If you’re using open-source AI alone, chances are you’ll sound awfully similar to your competitors. When you’re both trying to snag the same customers, it makes sense that the prompts and outputs you choose will be the same—not exactly standing out from the crowd.
The data free AI tools use are often sourcing it from existing content that took countless hours of time and effort. Without strict parameters in place, marketers risk reusing material that they haven’t received the rights to.
While the repercussions of AI can be intimidating, the cons are avoidable. Here’s how to leverage the efficiency, insights, and powerful content of AI all while weaving around those annoying stumbling blocks.
How to Optimize Generative AI
With these three tips, you’ll be well on your way to using the full potential of Generative AI without the pitfalls.
Know Your AI
While Generative AI has the potential for transforming the customer experience, note that not all AI tools are created equal. Marketers need to be strategic in what tools they choose to invest in to create stand-out messaging. When choosing a tool, here are two main categories to watch out for:
This type of AI operates from a static model, meaning that a team of data scientists will need to regularly update their algorithms manually. As customers and their affinities are constantly changing, this type of AI can quickly become difficult to scale.
Unlike predictive analytics, machine learning AI automatically updates and adapts over time. This means that the tool will keep learning about customers and adjust its output to ensure that content remains relevant and engaging.
If marketers want everything that AI promises, such as better efficiency and offloading time-consuming data analysis, they need a machine learning AI. Nothing else will do for cutting-edge marketing.
Perfect Your Data Sets
To augment your AI’s output—increasing relevance while mitigating inaccuracies—marketers need to be critical of their training data. By ensuring datasets are accurate and diverse, marketers will skate past some of AI’s biggest hurdles.
To get off on the right foot with clean datasets, marketers can opt for a tool exclusive to their tech stack, allowing them to analyze their customer data without inaccurate pieces of information muddying the waters. While open-source tools are helpful, they are not a solution; marketers need to take further steps for next level AI use.
Build an AI Code of Ethics
For sustainable, ethical use of AI, marketers need to be quick to set ground rules that are universal to every single marketing campaign. For true longevity and optimized use, retain a critical eye and set parameters for mitigating problems in the output of your Generative AI.
Common ethical dilemmas to look out for? Biases, inaccuracies, and a lack of diversity in the output. But with the right guide, you’ll quickly and easily be able to put the necessary rules to AI ethics in place.
Take Charge of Generative AI
Generative AI has massive potential. If marketers combine a sophisticated tool with their own creative brain power, they’ll be sure to produce unstoppable content that catches customers’ attention and engages them for years to come.