The State of Artificial Intelligence From SyncShow Experts
by John Daters on Tue, Dec 19, 2023 @ 09:00
Stanford University Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence recently noted, "Generative AI emerged as the most prominent and impactful story of the year. The year saw models match or surpass human performance in some intricate tasks..."
While we use elements of AI daily with our Google Nests and Amazon "Things You'd Like" pages, consumers and business leaders alike were thrust into the world of generative AI this year with the release of ChatGPT and other technology. All of a sudden, AI was everywhere.
Now, AI is at the forefront of everyone's mind, especially in marketing. SyncShow is no exception. We've been actively monitoring the developments in AI over the last year so that we can leverage the tools that will help our clients succeed.
Recently, John Daters, VP of Client Services, and Julia Toke, Senior Account Strategist, sat down to discuss over Zoom the state of AI at the end of 2023 and how SyncShow plans to utilize AI in the coming year.
Here’s a summary of the discussion.
The Role of AI in Marketing
No one knows exactly how AI will evolve, so we can only make assumptions about how it can truly support marketing in the future. It's been around for a while, but it’s just now gaining traction in marketing. Only time will tell where AI ends up going.
In digital marketing, AI is a disrupter. It's changing the way marketers are building marketing strategies. Yet, AI is not ready to be the set-and-forget marketing strategy tool. For now, AI is a tactical opportunity. It can generate disparate pieces to build a strategy – insights or content, for example.
The Current Opportunities for SyncShow Clients
At SyncShow, goals and strategies are behind every marketing initiative we build for our clients. We don't believe in "whack-a-mole-style" marketing or moving from tactic to tactic without rhyme or reason. Our marketing initiative development process starts with goals, identifies obstacles or barriers to success, builds an overall marketing strategy, and then chooses channels and messaging tactics.
Our clients have access to a lot of data but don't always leverage it effectively. AI can help parse and analyze it. Humans can find it hard to separate emotion and expectation from data analysis. AI takes an objective approach to analyze the real story and provide insights into how data points connect and the best ways to use the data.
With good inputs, our marketing strategists can get practical intelligence and strategic outputs from AI to help build a complete marketing initiative. AI is great at extracting data and giving our strategists insights and analytics to choose the best tactics. AI can connect all the data dots and combine the information to support our client’s strategic goals best.
AI can generate high-level, repeatable, and generic content. For example, ChatGPT can be used for research, content creation, and more. However, it is not as good at humanizing or personalizing content for a specific market or brand. AI needs a human to tell it the strategic end goal and the language to make outputs cohesive and understandable. The human element is still necessary to ensure marketing strategies bring value to our clients.
The Future of AI Marketing Tools
Most available AI marketing tools right now are generalists. In the future, AI tools will become more segmented for specific tactics like SEO or paid search and built into existing online tools. There will be more universal AI tools that can combine disparate marketing tactics and outputs into more cohesive marketing strategies.
How SyncShow Chooses AI Marketing Tools
SyncShow focuses on results. Any new technology, AI included, must support our client's end goals. We expect at least two out of three of the following outcomes for AI to be deemed a useful tool:
- Expedited marketing timelines
- Reduced client costs
- Significantly better results than achieved with strategies not using AI
The human element of marketing takes time and is costly. AI has taken a significant step in reducing these costs, especially in creating content. Content is crucial to marketing strategy. While AI is not ready to create content from start to finish, it can assist our team and clients in content ideation, editing, and research. With the right tool, these tasks might be done faster and for less money. If we can pass those resource savings on to our clients, we will incorporate the tool into our process. SyncShow will only adopt an AI tool if it makes sense for the client's overall business strategy.
Not all AI tools are the same. There are lower-quality AI products. Some are not truly generative AI. Be very careful about adopting AI tech without thoroughly researching and testing it. At SyncShow, we won't throw out our existing processes until we've proven that AI is the better solution.
Ethical Considerations for AI
It's the Wild Wild West right now in AI – very similar to when the Internet was still new and SEO was not managed. Data safety is important to remember. Keep in mind that any data you enter into tools like ChatGPT might be accessible to the public. Leaky data is plentiful, and using it can lead to regulatory violations. Sharing or misusing it is risky.
Data accuracy is also an ethical concern. Ensure you know where AI-driven content is generated from. AI likes to make things up, using outdated data (or no data at all!) to back up claims. Also, be aware of creative rights and licensing. We suggest erring on the more conservative side for data creation and sharing right now. There will be regulations coming soon.
How to Determine if an AI Tool is Successful
At SyncShow, we go back to the overall strategic goal. Did the tool help us meet that end goal? If not, why not? Try to determine why it didn't work and change how the tool is used to make it more effective. Can it be used to get closer to the preferred results? It may take testing and iterating to make a tool work for a client.
We always use A/B testing on any new initiative, strategy, or tool. AI will be no exception. Our strategists will try new tools on specific marketing initiatives between client accounts. We will also evaluate strategies within one client account when appropriate. We will adjust processes and pricing for our clients as we measure results. Ultimately , meeting our client's goals is important, not the technology. At SyncShow, we strive to meet our clients where they are with new AI-driven marketing strategies.
The Challenges and Risks of Integrating AI
There is always risk in trying something new. Some dangers of using AI are known and can be mitigated, such as uploading data to a shared resource. Some are less well-known due to evolving technology and the unknowns of adopting new tools. If you don't properly use a tool, you risk negative results. We recommend a conservative approach for now. Do your research about the tool. Keep informed on new updates and integrations for that tool and others like it. Understand the tool's capabilities and the risks. Start small with testing and adapt to the results you receive.
How SyncShow Plans to Stay in the Forefront of AI
There are more innovations and breakthrough technology to come. SyncShow plans to keep an eye on it all. We will not choose one expert or tool and consider our job done. It's essential to look beyond our industry for information and research. We will evaluate new innovations and tools if they make sense for our clients.
The Last Word
When it comes to AI, SyncShow is committed to two things:
- Balancing AI with human creativity
- Understanding how AI will positively affect client success
Ultimately, we will always do what's best for our clients. Their success is what we care the most about. AI can be a powerful tool to help us achieve that. SyncShow will leverage AI where it makes sense. We’ll do this by adjusting how we do business based on what AI can and can't do. For now, AI is better at ideation and diving deeper into marketing insights and content opportunities. We will continue to leverage our human strategists to make clarity out of chaos.
Want to learn more about how SyncShow uses AI to drive results for our clients? Click here to request a consultation.