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Marketing uses for generative AI that will outlive the hype

Generative AI was the shiny new thing this year (despite having been around for quite a while). Curious consumers wrote poems with ChatGPT, created masterpieces with Midjourney, and browsed Google’s and Microsoft’s AI-chatbot search functionalities. As the hype clears, which generative AI applications will be most relevant for business? And how can marketers put those applications to use? Here are the top examples.

1. Chatbots (83%)

Chatbots are useful for retail customer service, where just 3% of organizations expect generative AI to be significantly disruptive, but 93% say it’s a topic of discussion in the boardroom and 62% say they have already established a team and budget focused on generative AI, according to the Capgemini Research Institute.

For marketers, bots like ChatGPT are still more useful for ideation and brainstorming than for final content creation. “I personally don’t believe in my 2024 plan I’m going to have a bunch of prompt engineers on my team,” Lynn Tornabene, CMO of Anteriad, said during our “Understanding the New Buyer Journey: Insights Into B2B Marketing’s Omnichannel Transformation” Tech-Talk Webinar. “I’m excited about the creativity that this drives.”

2. Data (75%)

Some 48% of organizations say generative AI has the most potential within marketing and communications, specifically when it comes to creating personalized campaigns, per Capgemini. But before they can build those campaigns, marketers need to know who their customers are. Generative AI can assist in the collection and summarization of data via tools like Jasper’s Text Summarizer.

3. Text (71%)

Marketers may be excited for generative AI’s efficiency-building capabilities, but they need to make sure it’s not at the expense of quality.

“In a rush to get more content, [and] faster content, we will not get better content. We will just have lots of it, and that’s not gonna help my brand,” said Bruce Biegel, senior managing partner at the Winterberry Group, during the webinar. “That’s not gonna help my sales process. That’s not gonna help marketing. So my concern is we overindex on speed and volume at the expense of quality. And [generative AI] is not there yet when it comes to quality.”

4. Search (70%)

AI-chatbot-based search engines could change the search marketing game completely. Google CEO Sundar Pichai called Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) a “clear quality win” on an earnings call last week, but experts aren’t so sure.

“I haven’t seen it improve in the months I’ve had access to [SGE], and it still gets many basic things wrong. The lack of links and proper (/fair) attribution continue to be the worst part,” Lily Ray, senior director of SEO and head of organic research at digital marketing agency Amsive Digital, wrote on LinkedIn.

Executives are right to consider search relative to their business, but marketers and publishers should keep in mind that SGE (and Bing) could cause them new problems.

Other useful marketing applications: Images (48%), audio (34%), and video (26%)

These technologies ranked lower among execs on the whole, but they’re particularly relevant for marketers. Eventually, tech like DALL-E, Sonix, and Pictory could allow marketers to personalize campaigns at scale. For now, watch, learn, and experiment.


This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.