Prompted: 3 Non-Content AI Applications for Marketers

A woman wearing a paint-stained apron bends over a table to paint a large blue canvas in her artist studio.

When considering AI’s applications in the marketing world, you probably first think of content creation: generating social media posts, writing blog headlines, or crafting email copy. But by focusing on generating content, you might be leaving other, more strategic uses for AI on the table. 

Like many other industries affected by the generative AI boom, marketers have been promised AI will transform their creative process. But many creative professionals have remained AI-wary, skeptical that AI can create content as well as a human — or do it without compromising on moral and legal standards. The increasing focus on plagiarism and copyright infringement in AI builds a case that there are better ways to use AI beyond content creation.

The Case Against Content Generation

Software giant Adobe has been in some hot PR water recently for a number of AI moves that have caught the attention of creatives. A new terms of service agreement raised the alarm for artists suspicious that Adobe would train its AI tools on their work. (Adobe has since denied the claim, but it’s still unclear exactly where Adobe is sourcing its training data.) The estate of photographer Ansel Adams also chided the company for AI-generated stock images that matched the artist’s style. Popular AI startup Perplexity has also been the focus of recent headlines accusing it of plagiarizing content from news sites, and many AI tool providers are the subject of multiple lawsuits claiming copyright infringement. 

But generating content is only scratching the surface of what generative AI can do for marketing professionals. From research assistance to simulated customer feedback, marketers have the opportunity to embrace AI’s promises of efficiency without wading into the sometimes murky implications that come with AI-generated content.

1. Your Personal Research Assistant

We recently discussed how AI is replacing Google search for information-seekers. AI tools like ChatGPT’s ability to access the vast library of information on the internet makes it an invaluable assistant for research-related tasks. 

Need recent stats to back up a blog post on how climate change is affecting the winter sports industry? Ask AI for timely references and get ten relevant data points fed to you immediately. Want to learn more about the influence of social media on mental health? Ask AI to point you toward some relevant studies or explainers to start your exploration. Working with AI tools can get you the information you need much faster than traditional search tactics. 

When using AI for research, keep these two tips in mind:

  • Unlike Google search, tools like ChatGPT work best when you treat it as a conversation with a human. If you don’t get the results you need at first, continue to refine your ask in a conversational manner, pointing out what the AI got right and wrong about your request and adding specifications until you find the information you’re looking for.

  • Never forget to fact check. AI doesn’t actually know if what it’s serving up is true or not, so check your sources and make sure you’re not repeating misleading, outdated, or entirely fabricated information.

2. Instant “Customer” Feedback

In marketing, direct customer feedback is highly valued — and becoming harder to collect with the sunsetting of third-party cookies and increasing data privacy restrictions. Users are able to assign personas to their AI tools, having them act and respond as if they were a certain person, character, or role. Have your chosen AI tool take on the perspective of a specific customer or customer segment and feed it marketing campaigns, pieces of content, or branding messages to get instant insight on how a customer might respond. 

U.S. Bank utilized AI personas for its recent campaign “The Power of Us,” which tells the story of how the company supports its customers and employees through life’s ups and downs. The bank used AI to create avatars of its different target audiences, like small business owners and affluent mid-career professionals, to test its creative against. The AI’s reactions helped U.S. Bank ensure effective messaging and consistency across all elements of the campaign.

3. AI-Powered Insights

Combing through large datasets for relevant insights can be a grueling task. From customer feedback surveys to purchasing data to social media metrics, marketers often don't have the time or tools to make use of all the data at their fingertips. Luckily, AI’s bread and butter is parsing through large amounts of information to summarize key points or pull out relevant insights — and it can do the same for your marketing. 

If you have access to non-sensitive customer data, use AI to parse through and identify distinct audience segments based on behavior, preferences, and demographics, which you can use for more targeted and effective marketing campaigns. Based on past purchasing information, AI can also be used to predict future customer behavior, such as churn risk or product preferences, enabling proactive marketing strategies and better resource allocation.

If all you have is external data, AI can provide insights from that, too. With information from various sources such as social media or third-party research, AI can offer a deeper understanding of market trends, competitor activity, and consumer sentiment.

Embracing AI

As AI investment, development, and adoption continue to advance rapidly, marketers will have ample opportunity to introduce AI tools into their work. But the current focus on AI-driven content creation pigeonholes marketers into certain applications and ignores some of the more impactful, strategic benefits of AI. Instead, marketers should be thinking about generative AI holistically if they want to get the most out of it. Real AI success comes from rethinking how processes and programs can be augmented by the technology, and not dismissing where human guidance and expertise is still necessary.

Prompted, our biweekly blog series, brings you relevant updates and insights on how to strategically add AI-driven solutions into your marketing toolkit. Subscribe  to receive updates in your inbox.


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