Generative AI: Hype or Game Changer?
Let’s start with something Forrester recently said: “Ignoring generative AI will be a costly mistake for enterprises.”
For the last couple of months, marketers have been inundated with reading material, webinars, news outlets, and their peers talking about how generative AI is changing the game. However, as marketers, it’s important we know the difference between something that is truly a game changer vs. hype.
Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of trends and fads within our marketing sphere. However, with big names on the playing field––like Microsoft, with Bing/Windows 11; Google, the original player, with Bard; and Open AI with ChatGPT––it’s safe to say generative AI is not only redefining the internet, but is also redefining marketing for B2B companies.
Let’s look at a couple of different ways marketers can use generative AI in the B2B space.
Using generative AI to define market size
The “cool” thing about AI today is its ability to analyze information within minutes. This means that companies can use this technology to create content that is tailored to the specific needs and interests of their target audience.
For example, if a B2B company in the healthcare industry wants to target potential customers who may use their product, generative AI can analyze data on the latest trends and challenges in the industry and use this information to create relevant and engaging content. I gave that a shot yesterday, and here’s what it said:
Question: I’m a healthcare company with a product that will help doctors and nurses take notes faster and ensure patient records are up-to-date. This will include anything from medication history, previous doctor visits, and any diagnoses they’ve received prior to being my patient. In 100 words or less, can you tell me how big the target industry for this product would be?
Answer from ChatGPT: The target industry for your product would be the healthcare industry, which is a massive and growing market. In the United States alone, the healthcare industry is worth over $3.8 trillion and employs over 18 million people. With the increasing demand for healthcare services and the need for efficient record-keeping and documentation, there is a significant opportunity for your product to address the needs of doctors and nurses. In addition, with the shift towards electronic health records and the need for greater accuracy and efficiency in patient care, your product could potentially have a wide-ranging impact across the entire healthcare industry.
As a marketer, not only have I gotten the total addressable market (TAM) for my target audience, I’ve also got some insight into the opportunity that exists as well. I like to call this “Google on steroids.” I know there are a number of resources I could turn to that would help me find this information, but this whole exchange happened in less than one minute. The information that’s available within seconds is something we’ve never had before, and being able to ask the AI to provide more context, statistics, and evidence-based research is saving us hours that were previously spent consolidating tidbits of information from search engines in the past.
AI helps create killer marketing content
Another way AI is changing the game for B2B marketers is in its ability to create content at scale. Whether it’s an outline for a blog article or a whitepaper or some general ideas for content topics, AI is truly a tool that can’t be ignored by content creators.
I’ll preface this by repeating that AI is a tool that can assist content creators, not replace them. In recent news, Buzzfeed announced they’d use AI to create quizzes and polls to enhance their existing content. Although this came as a shock to some of their content creators and created no shortage of controversy, it’s important to remember that a simple replacement of an individual or agency working on this area for the business wouldn’t be efficient.
However, using AI as a tool to enhance or support the teams in charge of this space will be a game changer. I heard something recently that resonated with me as a marketer: AI won’t replace content creators; it’ll replace content creators who don’t use it. I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
As an illustration of what it can do––and where its drawbacks lie––I used ChatGPT to create a potential introduction to this blog post. This is what I got:
B2B marketing is undergoing a transformation with the advent of generative AI. This technology has the potential to create more personalized customer experiences, improve lead generation, and enhance customer retention. In this blog post, we’ll explore the impact, examples, and opportunities of generative AI in B2B marketing.
Not a bad place to start, but it’s pretty generic. I would want to customize this language and add more personalization to it. But again, not horrible.
Yes, there’s a catch
Although there are a number of use cases where AI will work to benefit the world of marketers, it’s important to remember that there are some pitfalls we must consider. Unfortunately, AI tools like ChatGPT aren’t able to provide the most recent data. This is simply because the language is operating off of an older set of data (September 2021). Here’s a quick example of that:
Question: When does Avatar 2 come out?
ChatGPT Answer: The release date for “Avatar 2” has been delayed several times, but as of my knowledge-cutoff date of September 2021, the current scheduled release date is December 16, 2022.
With that being said, it’s important we recognize this when asking for content that’s based on research or evidence from the last year.
Generative AI is a game changer
In conclusion, generative AI is not just another marketing trend, but a game changer that enterprises cannot afford to ignore. The ability to create tailored content for specific target audiences, quickly analyze data, and create content at scale is transforming the way B2B marketers approach their craft.
However, it is important to remember that AI is a tool that enhances content creators rather than replacing them. As we continue to explore the possibilities of generative AI, we must also be mindful of its limitations, such as access to the most recent data.
The future of marketing with AI is bright, and those who embrace this technology will undoubtedly have a competitive advantage in the industry.