In their October 2023 survey on the state of marketing, Superpath and Minuttia have discovered that 91,5% of the 685 marketers interviewed have used AI for their job in the last twelve months 🦾
This groundbreaking change in the tech landscape in general has caused marketing techniques to evolve and to modify the way we perceive content creation. If, as Superpath's study evinces, 57.2% of the interviewed Heads of Marketing or CMOs have considered replacing human marketers with AI, it's time to get ahead and see how you can use AI as a marketing tool rather than as a way to cut costs or to save time!
The many faces of AI in Marketing
Artificial intelligence does not solely consist in generative tools like ChatGPT. In fact, OpenAI's software uses a mix of three components that make up AI, as used in marketing and sales:
- Natural Language Processing (NLP): its name comes from the fact that this branch of AI aims at receiving human language (either spoken or written) inputs and analysing them in a way a computer would understand it. Once the language processed, it can mimic the way humans interact with one another. Chatbots are of course the most common examples of NLP together with ChatGPT. Marketing tools like Ahrefs and thruuu, which can help you with keyword clustering for instance are also using NLP.
- Machine Learning: this branch of AI works with algorithms, which are gathering and learning from data. Your favourite CRM probably uses Machine Learning, like Salesforce's Sales Cloud Einstein, to help you with lead scoring or with customer segmentation.
- Deep Learning: Deep Learning is actually a sub-branch of Machine Learning. It is named that way because it mimics the way our neural system works. It can process large amount of data and can learn from mistakes without human intervention, while Machine Learning cannot correct itself alone. In marketing, Deep Learning is behind the automation of SEO meta-tags or titles, but also behind the algorithms that determine which ads you're seeing on your social media pages.
The growth of AI in Marketing
The Development of AI between 2019 and 2023
Before the groundbreaking release of OpenAI's ChatGPT in 2022, the CMO report already noticed a 27% increase in the use of AI in marketing between February 2018 and August 2019. If this development was already considerable, the same report in September 2023 underlines that "94.1% of marketers beginning to leverage this technology in the past three years and 60.4% for less than one year."
What does this increase mean when it comes to day-to-day tasks? How is AI changing the future of digital marketing? 🤔
Before ending in the pitfalls of sci-fi doomsaying, there are two aspects to consider: one purely practical, the other theoretical/ethical.
Pragmatic AI in Marketing
In its Machine Learning form, AI has been used by the scientific community to help carry out experiments and automate data processing.
This pragmatic function of AI has now been translated to the world of tech and start-ups, where Sales and Marketing teams for instance are using automation tools to save precious amounts of prospecting time. AI is mainly used in marketing to help marketers with content personalization and content creation, with automating tedious and time-consuming tasks, or with creating workflows with all your preferred tools (here's a quick example).
With the multiplication of social media platforms along with the development of several tools destined to either help you sort out the lead information you need or help you maintain relationships with your prospects, you can easily get lost in the fray. Tools like Phantombuster are a great way to centralize all of these processes so that you can focus on your more valuable missions as a marketer.
Phantombuster will do all of this for you:
- Search for leads
- Make connections between the different platforms you're using
- Enrich your CRM
- Create automated outreach campaigns.
Phantombuster has more than 100 automations for you to try, all powered by the many faces of AI. Using Machine Learning, The Sales Navigator Search to Lead Outreach Phantom is particularly handy:
- Start by logging into your LinkedIn account with your session cookie 🍪
- Craft a well thought-out connection request message, without forgetting a personal touch 😉
- Write the tailored follow-up message(s) you want to send to boost engagement 💌
- Start the workflow and enjoy the full power of automated invitations and follow-up messages 🤖
- Don't forget to keep track of your invitations and interactions in a spreadsheet 🗂️
Ethical AI in Marketing
On the theoretical side, the changes brought about by AI in tech companies go with a growing fear of AI replacing jobs as a way to cut costs. AI is also seen as a potential threat to data ethics in terms of privacy, of plagiarism, etc.
In fact, the development of ChatGPT and AI in the marketing world comes at a time of restructuring after many companies had dealt with COVID, inflation or more recently even the VC crisis that is hitting most of European and American startups with its wave of lay-offs and resignations. AI was then (and still is, to some extent) presented as a way to save companies' budgets and time, especially when comes to content creation and lead generation.
Thought we are firm believers in the power of automation, it's essential to beware of the unethical practices the use of AI can generate, especially when it comes to lead generation and data management. In this regard, The French Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (National Data Protection Commission) has set up the first guide for a responsible use of AI in compliance with the GDPR, with complete how-to sheets to help businesses navigate this growing practice.
AI doesn't have to be a threat🤝
With this comes a series of fundamental questions: will AI replace jobs? what can AI do that human won't? What about authenticity in social relations (hello chatbots 🤖) or in content creation? Will data privacy still exist?
It can all seem very confusing and even disturbing. Though we certainly don't have all the answers, we do think that the best way to envisage AI in your marketing position is to embrace it and learn that automation does not equal replacement.
By learning how to use AI, you will not only acquire essential skills but you will also earn a considerable amount of time on some of your tasks. Here are a few AI marketing examples to get you started.
In Marketing, it is essential to take into account data analytics if you want your company to effectively grow. Data analytics is part of AI, insofar as they are a result of automatic data processing. They represent a crucial role when it comes to using AI in marketing, so that you understand how what you're creating is working or not and what you can do to improve your strategy. Think of data analysis as your go-to smart cryptex 🔢
There are 4 types of data analysis, all with different tools and purposes:
- Descriptive analytics: this encapsulates your daily metrics, like how you perform on social media for instance. This has a purely informative role and is for instance available on your LinkedIn page if you want to see how many impressions your latest post has generated.
—> Answers the question "what happened?"
- Diagnostic analytics: this helps you understand why your campaigns have performed in a certain way. For instance, Pipedrive can help you understand your conversion rates by giving you a detailed funnel analysis.
—> Answers the question "why did it happen?"
- Predictive analytics: this offers an insight into the future of your company and of your marketing strategy. Tools like Mixpanel can help you analyze and consider the evolution of your churn rate, while solutions like Fincome are a great way to draw predictive charts for your ROI or your ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue). You can even compare your estimates with your actual performances.
—> Answers the question "what will happen?"
- Prescriptive analytics: these are designed to help you determine the best course of action for your marketing strategy. Rather than making decisions on a whim, you'll be able to base them on accurate data. Several Cold Email tools like Salesloft have an A/B testing function for you to see how a campaign is performing so that you can adapt your future messaging based on the results.
—> Answers te question: "what should we do?"
With tools like Smartlead or Luna, you can automatically generate email templates and tailor your emails to your leads. Thanks to their implementation of AI, such tools can analyze the performance of your campaigns to improve them based on their performances. 📈
Before sending out your Cold Emails, make sure that your contact list is clean and updated. Don't worry, we got your back 😉
Dropcontact is the only 100% GDPR compliant Email Finder on the market. Using proprietary algorithms and absolutely no database, Dropcontact enriches your contacts based on their first name, last name and company name. You can either drag and drop your .csv, .xls, or .txt file with all the information you need verified, validated updated and enriched. You can also use your very own API key to do so. We give you 100 free credits to try it out 🎁
👉 Try Dropcontact
No more misgendering your prospects when your emailing them or reminding them of the awful company from which they resigned… You can perfectly tailor your Cold Emails to your prospects without fearing of annoying them!
Dropcontact is also integrated with automation tools like Zapier, Make or n8n, just like your favorite Cold Email tool or your chosen CRM. These tools will also help you manage your workflows by automating them.
With Zapier, Dropcontact and Reply.io, you can enrich the contact data in your Google Sheet with Dropcontact and then add the updated contact directly into Reply. This will automatically transfer the data to your Cold Email tool and include your prospects into your prospecting sequence.
While Reply.io uses Jasper AI to help you write your Cold Emails, Zapier has more than 5 000 integrations and has announced on November 6 2023 its AI Actions, which allow you to use natural language to trigger AI-based actions like authentication on third-party apps.
Once you've got your clean contact list, selected your AI-based Cold Emailing tool, you're almost ready to go. But there's one more step where AI can help you: email content creation. ✏️
Though we advocate a certain amount of personalization in your emails, AI can still help you get started with the outline of your email or help you fight against marketer's blank page syndrome. Personally, we've tested out Clay and we're absolute fans! It combines contact data automation, AI-prompted Cold Emails and now, a Dropcontact integration: you can't go wrong there!
Tools and platforms like MerciApp and Grammarly can also help you check for typos and other editing tasks.
FRIENDLY REMINDER 💚
Though we said we didn't want to participate in the current doomsaying about AI replacing jobs, we still believe that AI has limits and that content personalization is essential. You can use tools like Woodpecker that will automate your email campaigns while letting you take over when a prospect replies. The Superpath and Minuttia study also reveals that AI is having a massive impact on corporate trust between managers and marketers. Generativity is not creativity, and that's where you should stand out.