Serial Marketer #267: AI, What Is It Good For?

Absolutely something

Issue 267: AI, What Is It Good For?
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AI, What Is It Good For?

By David Berkowitz

“What’s the methodology for how you collected responses?” a community member asked during this week’s AI Insiders call.

“Uhh, I put up a Google Form and asked some people to fill it out?” I said.

The answer’s more involved than that. Over the past year, I’ve been building a new community that now has more than 1,000 forward-thinking execs from brands, agencies, tech startups, and others trying to make sense of how AI applies to marketing.

I’ve learned a lot from this community, but I wanted to learn way more and then share all that. So I fielded a survey.

If you happen to have tens of thousands of dollars around, you can pay a research firm to do this.

I went another route:

I worked with ChatGPT to come up with questions, edited them, built a Google Form, asked my communities to respond, solicited partners for AI-themed prize drawings, got a guy from Fiverr to help with chart templates, redid all his work when I caught all the errors, ignored all ChatGPT’s suggestions for headings for the chart slides, tried to create the report in but couldn’t get it to work, produced the report in PowerPoint, used Ideogram to create the report cover (it worked well but took so many tries that I blew through my free credits), had Claude write a press release, pitched it to the press (it’s covered in MediaPost), built a landing page in Brevo to download it, and put the release on the wire.

Pretty simple.

So what’s in the "Marketing AI Adoption Report: Q1 2024 Trends” report?

A lot. Just a few highlights lest I regurgitate too much:

• Time saved was the top metric used to evaluate the success of AI in marketing (73% of respondents), followed by cost reduction (30%) and ROI (23%).

• The overall impact of AI on business performance was rated positively, with 76% of respondents assessing AI's impact as favorable.

• AI is being applied in other business functions beyond marketing, with 39% using AI in R&D, 36% in operations, and 33% in sales.

• 93% believe AI competencies will be most beneficial for content-related roles, while nearly two-thirds see similar value for analytics and creative professionals.

Also, a favorite little tidbit about the respondents: 96% have 11+ years of experience, and nearly two-thirds have 20+. This is a group that has SEEN things.

On the AI insiders call, we had a vibrant discussion, and I shared some thoughts about what I expect to change as we run future studies:

1) Only 17% said AI is being applied in customer support roles at their orgs. I’d be surprised if that didn’t reach near 100% within a couple of years – or at least 100% of orgs that have dedicated customer support.

2) ChatGPT with Dall-E 3 is by far the favorite app, even of an audience of more AI-savvy execs. More than 56% said it’s their favorite. The next closest only had 7% -- a tie between Claude and Perplexity. I’d be very curious to re-ask this question next time, but also ask a second version where respondents can pick up to three options and then see if a dark horse like Adobe gets a way bigger share. Granted, with Sora coming out, OpenAI sure as heck isn’t slacking, and we’ll have to ask about video next quarter.

3) Metrics are bound to change. “Time saved” dominated this survey, but there’s going to be more of a pressure for AI to also deliver more tangible cost savings and ROI.

4) We’ll see more interest in data and creativity. About 2/3s (80/115) of marketers say they use AI for creative / design, nearly double the next responses (personalized content delivery – 45 respondents, campaign optimization – 41). But 66% said in response to another question that AI competencies are most beneficial for marketing analysts and data scientists – the #2 response to that question after content creators (93%). Expect more marketers to actually be using AI for data and analytics in future surveys.

5) Only 40% of those hiring for marketing roles are including AI competencies in job descriptions. Or maybe that’s a lot, given we were probably at close to 0 a year ago? That’s going to keep going way up.

6) One sign that I’m very curious about is the impact of AI on business performance. Three-quarters of marketers said it’s a positive impact, and only 1 of the others said it was negative (the rest were neutral). As investments in AI go up, that will lead to disruption. This disruption will not only cause job losses for some, but it will lead to other organizational changes. Those changes may be objectively bad – like the idea that Wendy’s would use AI to implement ‘surge pricing’ (the chain said it meant ‘dynamic pricing’ to offer deals… sure…). Or it could just mean there are changes that some people won’t like. I just don’t see a scenario where those numbers stay so rosy.

Your turn now.

What would you like to see included in future surveys?

I’d love your input!

Meanwhile, two quick shout-outs: Thanks Ken Yeung for this wonderful story, AIMG: The Community Helping Demystify AI for Marketers.

And, thanks to AIMG’s sponsor and supporter Akkio for joining us April 4 to discuss How Agencies are Using AI for Ad Data Analysis. We have more than 100 people who RSVP’ed for this.

We’re just getting started with the Guild, so reach out anytime with ways you want to get involved.


Recent content shared by Serial Marketers and friends:


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April 11, Denver
"A local gathering of Denver’s top eCommerce experts and decision-makers across retailers, brands, merchants, and solutions providers. Our program is designed for high-impact impressions, sharing ideas, education, and networking. The day consists of panel discussions, presentations, and one-on-one meetings across eCommerce strategy, marketing, operations, customer experience, payment, shipping, loyalty, and more.”

April 16-17, Grand Hyatt Dubai
"Global AI Show is the premiere platform where thought leaders from AI & ML space and projects gather under one roof to share their insights and discuss future opportunities in this evolving space. This event brings together the global AI & ML humans and creates exceptional opportunities like networking, learning, leadership sessions, project showcases, Knowledge sharing and much more. The Global AI Show will help you explore what’s new, and upcoming in this space.."

May 9-10, San Francisco
"The Conversational AI Innovation Summit 2024 is your gateway to delve deep into the latest trends, breakthroughs, and best practices that are redefining how we as humans interact with technology and each other. As we navigate a world where our expectations and business landscapes are rapidly evolving, understanding and harnessing the power of AI and natural language processing is no longer optional but essential for staying competitive and relevant."


Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. Also, check out the AI Marketers Guild job board. For other job resources for marketing jobs, see a long and regularly updated list here.

Vice President, Ads
New York, NY
"Gopuff is the go-to solution for immediate everyday needs. The Vice President of Ads has/is: An accomplished, innovative and proven partnership and/or growth executive with an outstanding record of building and leading commercial organizations globally. Industry experience in retail media, eCommerce, adtech or broader data company experience. Deep success in brick and mortar operations and proven ability to increase KPIs such as traffic, conversion, and retention. Demonstrable track record of developing and closing strategic deals that have made major impacts for organizations and achieved strong outcomes for consumers and business results."

Sr. Product Manager
United States
"Sunny is a first-of-its-kind technology application that suggests simple, science-based actions to help power human. The Product Manager has/is: Background: 5+ years of product management experience with at least 3+ years of experience working for a consumer facing mobile app and understands b2b2c. Proven track record of developing and launching successful products, with experience taking products from concept to launch and ideally has seen growth. Strong proficiency in data analytics, with hands-on experience using tools such as Amplitude to derive actionable insights."

Chief Marketing Officer
United States
"Green & Tonic was established in 2012 in Darien, CT as a healthy option for those seeking balance and harmony via food. The Chief Marketing Officer has/is: 8-12 years of marketing experience within a fast-casual or QSR restaurant brand that has scaled from 5-50+ locations. Drive thru, delivery, vending experience a plus. Extensive marketing experience within G+T’s target demographic; elevated brand experience with a focus on product-market fit, customer growth, and branding. Results-Oriented with a Track Record of Driving Results; Player-coach with the ability to both lead strategically and drive execution."

Brand Strategy Leader
Chicago, IL
"Back in the day, we founded DUDE Products out of our apartment in Chicago. The Brand Strategy Leader has/is: 3-5+ years in brand marketing; 10+ years overall in marketing. Industry Experience: Disruptive CPG startup. Proven ability to develop brand and marketing strategies and communicate recommendations to executives either for a singular brand or across a portfolio of brands within a singular vertical. Values fit: Self starter, hands off, detail-oriented."


David Berkowitz, publisher
[email protected]


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