June 05, 2023
We’ve heard it buzzing around our networks, seen posts on social media and read news articles about it: artificial intelligence (AI). While there are varying viewpoints and levels of understanding on the technology, our take is that it can’t be ignored and is here to stay, bringing opportunity with it. To give his expert opinion on artificial intelligence for brands and marketers, we have special podcast guest Paul Roetzer. Paul is the founder and CEO of the Marketing AI Institute, an online education company that makes AI approachable and accessible to marketing and business leaders around the world. In this episode, he shares how brands can best use AI to enhance their marketing strategy and when to avoid AI, as well.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:00:04] This is The 19. A 19-minute-or-less podcast that brings you marketing insights aimed at improving lives. Presented by Orange Label, the leading response marketing agency for wellness brands that grow when their customers do.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:00:24] Hello and welcome to The 19! I’m Rochelle Reiter, President of Orange Label. Artificial Intelligence or “AI” is a hot topic of conversation in most circles today. It’s all over the news and can be quite controversial. Questions come up about the impact of AI on society, potential job losses, copyright infringement, privacy. The list goes on and on. On the flip side, it can increase efficiency, stimulate creativity, and create new jobs. Today, we are going to focus on the impact of AI on marketers and brands. AI is forecasted to have trillions of dollars in annual impact, yet many marketers struggle to understand what it is and how to apply it to their marketing programs. Our special guest that’s here with me today to talk about AI is founder and CEO of the Marketing AI Institute, Paul Roetzer. He is the author of several books, including Marketing Artificial Intelligence, and is the creator of the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON). Paul, welcome to The 19 – we’re so excited to have you!
Paul Roetzer: [00:01:25] It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:01:31] So for our listeners that are new to AI, what is your simplest definition of artificial intelligence?
Paul Roetzer: [00:01:37] Yeah, the definition that I often use is the science of making machines smart, which we take from Demis Hassabis, who’s the co-founder and CEO of Google DeepMind. And the simplest way to think about that is replace machines with software. So it’s the science of making the software you use to do your job smart. It’s the most relevant way to think about it as a business person or as a marketer is the software is going to get better and better. It’s going to learn. It’s going to help you by making recommendations and predictions and generate content.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:02:04] Okay. What are the key areas of AI?
Paul Roetzer: [00:02:07] We’ll often teach? Is the form that most people have been exposed to in the last, say, decade is the prediction side. That is the machine learning where the machine is taking data in. So if you think about an email, taking the data in about what people click on, whether they convert to be able to then make predictions about future behavior. So machine learning takes data in and it makes predictions about future outputs. So you see this in Netflix recommending shows and movies, making predictions about what you’re going to be interested in. Spotify learns the music you love, makes predictions about what else you’ll listen to, you know, Gmail, finishing sentences and Google Maps routing you around accidents. All of it is prediction using machine learning. And then the other two that have become very present in the last year is vision. So that’s like image generation, object recognition in photos, video generation and then language, which is ChatGPT is, you know, really where everyone sort of dove into artificial intelligence in the last six months or so. And that’s the ability for the AI to generate language.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:03:11] Great. So what do you believe the advances of AI will have on marketers and brands in general?
Paul Roetzer: [00:03:18] So if you think about knowledge work, which is what marketing is, we think for a living, we come up with plans, we execute things. But largely it’s our minds doing things and not, you know, manual labor. So about two thirds of all jobs in the United States, at least, are knowledge, work jobs. And AI is going to be infused into every aspect of knowledge work in the next one to two years. It’s going to be ever present and what we’re doing. So it’s going to have an enormous impact on marketers in many ways it’ll be really, really positive and it’ll assist you in doing a lot of things like maybe you don’t like building pivot tables and analyzing data. Maybe that’s not your thing, but it’s helpful to analyze data to inform what we do well. You won’t have to learn that anymore. The AI, you’ll just ask questions of spreadsheets and it’ll be it’ll respond to you and tell you everything you need to know. So there’s really exciting aspects to this. There are there are parts that are going to be a little unsure, you know, the impact it’s going to have. How much of specific roles may be intelligently automated, and a lot of that’s to be seen. And so there’s a lot of uncertainty and fear because we just don’t know. But I think that for people who are just diving in and figuring this out, we’ll figure it out along the way. We’ll make it work.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:04:25] Do you believe areas of marketing will become obsolete because of it?
Paul Roetzer: [00:04:30] I do think that there are areas that will be impacted more sooner. So, like customer service is certainly an area that seems to be universally viewed as a spot that’s going to be highly disrupted in the near future. So Sam Altman, himself the co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, was asked point blank, you know, career paths that he thought might stand the greatest risk of being impacted, and he called out customer service. So, you know, I think that anything where there’s repetitive data driven tasks that you just do over and over again, like I used to use the example of like if you AB test landing pages for a living, like, yes, you will be out of a job. Like we won’t need that.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:05:11] Yeah.
Paul Roetzer: [00:05:12] But there aren’t very many people who do that 150 hours a month. And so I think it’s going to be a lot more of if you take your 150 hours or so that you work in a month and you start looking at all the tactical things you do, you may find that 10 to 20 hours a month is going to be able to largely do for you. And maybe that’s in six months depending on what industry and maybe it’s in eighteen months. But there’s going to come a point in the very near future where. Percentages of your monthly activities are going to be done largely by the AI with limited involvement from you. And so just think it depends on how much of your job is able to be easily automated. And so, you know, for some people it could be 20, 30%. And then hopefully your organization finds ways to redistribute that time and to do things that just aren’t getting done right now. Kind of a wish list of all the ideas and projects we would love to be doing as businesses but we don’t have the time for. And maybe this gives us the time to start doing more of that is what I’m hoping.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:06:12] Yeah, for sure. So you described Next-gen marketers in your intro to AI webinar. Can you explain a little bit more what this means for our listeners?
Paul Roetzer: [00:06:24] I just look at it as people who are willing to embrace smarter technology, because at the end of the day, the easiest way to really think about AI is, is just smarter tech. So if you’re an email or advertising or, you know, communications or social media like you use software to do your job, there’s going to be smarter software that does more of your job and really assist you in doing it more than we see today. And so next gen marketers to me could be interns all the way up to the CMO. They just accept the fact that, okay, this is where we are and they move forward and they learn what they can about the technology and they figure out how to transform their own businesses, their careers using this technology. So it’s really people who think about application of smarter technology to intelligently automate tasks, unlock creativity and drive performance that maybe their peers just can’t achieve.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:07:11] It’s great that it can happen at all levels of an agency or a brand’s firm.
Paul Roetzer: [00:07:16] Yeah.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:07:16] For sure. So according to the latest CMO survey, web performance is one of the most used marketing metrics. Are there AI tools that boost these metrics, such as increased time on page or improved search?
Paul Roetzer: [00:07:29] Yeah, I mean, I think it’s going to go the opposite direction, honestly, a little bit.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:07:34] Okay.
Paul Roetzer: [00:07:35] Because I think that search is changing. Like once Google infuses these generative responses into the search engine results page, organic traffic is going to take a hit for most brands. Nobody knows how much or how like how quickly it’s going to happen, but search is going to fundamentally change. And so my assumption is brands are going to start seeing a decline in organic traffic. So in some ways the metrics may shift. Like my belief is that more human content becomes really critical. And what I mean by that is stuff that’s not easily faked. So if you and I can both both go into ChatGPT and write a blog post and put it up and it’s just like list of ten things to do or whatever, like the standard stuff we used to do as marketers, maybe some people are still doing. It starts to feel commoditized, like when start reading those things and I’m just like, This is just ChatGPT like I don’t, I don’t want to read another ChatGPT article. And so it may not be, but that’s how it feels to me now when I read that stuff. And so I’ve found my own listening and viewing and reading habits have evolved to where I want to like listen to podcasts where I’m just hearing someone talk. I want to be at a live event where I’m seeing someone in person and knowing it’s them and their thoughts. I want to see videos of interviews where people are just like having conversations and want to read like editorials and things with points of view. So I think that that like, so podcast metrics might become more important. Youtube video views might become more important versus like the traditional web metrics of views and time on page. Like I feel like those KPIs may evolve in the next couple of years as the kind of content people consume and how they consume changes.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:09:14] Right. People are craving that authenticity and perspective.
Paul Roetzer: [00:09:18] I know I do.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:09:19] Yeah.
Paul Roetzer: [00:09:19] Like I just I just want to hear from people. Like I get that the AI is really good at creating some of the stuff. I just don’t want to read it.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:09:25] Yeah. What are some AI apps that are must tries for marketers?
Rochelle Reiter: [00:10:33] What are those three to five that you have to have?
Paul Roetzer: [00:10:36] The ones I just outlined.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:10:37] Okay.
Paul Roetzer: [00:10:37] Yeah. I mean, yeah, those are the main ones for Language writing. We use image generation as well. I use DALL-E, but I think Mike on my team might use Midjourney. I’m not sure what he uses actually for our blog images and social share images, but we create images for blog posts. We use transcription technology for the podcast and webinars. We use content summarization. Again, GPT-4 is the main one I would use, but take a transcript, drop it in and have it summarize it for blog posts. Creating social shares, headlines, ideation. Like most of my personal use cases, are language models.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:11:18] Sure.
Paul Roetzer: [00:11:18] And applications over those language models.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:11:21] So you also in the webinar suggest that brands create a generative AI policy. Can you explain what this is and why it’s so important for companies?
Paul Roetzer: [00:11:32] Yeah, I mean, depending on the size of your organization, there are people within companies like big companies who don’t even know if they’re allowed to use ChatGPT. And so maybe they’re their marketer and they’re using it to help them write some emails and some blog posts, but they’re not telling anybody about it because they’re not sure if they’re allowed or if people are going to like, judge them if they start doing it. So for one, it’s just clarity for your team about what they’re allowed to use. So I think that’s really important. And then I think beyond that, transparency to your audience of how you’re using the technology. So when we say generative policies, generative AI includes five main categories. So you have language or text, you have images, video, audio and code. Those are kind of the five major ones that we all have exposure to today. And so we’re basically saying is regardless of the size of the company, you should clarify for your team. You are not allowed to use these technologies. If you do use them, here are the guardrails for which you’re allowed to do it. So, for example, if you’re allowing them to use ChatGPT and your employees are exploring different use cases, they could be taking a transcript of meeting notes out of Zoom and dropping it into ChatGPT and asking it to summarize it or find action items. Well, that information just became training data for OpenAI. They keep all of that. So anything you put into ChatGPT, they keep. The other thing is anything you create with generative AI you don’t own. So the US Copyright Office has offered guidance in March that says that a human has to author something to be able to get a copyright on it. So if you use AI to generate a logo, I can take that logo and put it on a hat and sell it and you can do nothing about it because you don’t own it. The AI created it. So the generative policies make all this clear to your team. Like, here’s how we’re using them. Here are things you need to be clear about when we do use them. And then here’s how we’re going to be transparent to our audience about our use of these technologies. And we’re not going to put it in every post like, oh, this paragraph was written by AI. It’s just down at the bottom. The way I envisioned this as just a generative policies link. And then if I’m on your site and I think this is pretty good stuff, I wonder if AI wrote all this, I could just click on that and be like, oh cool, they’re just using it for outlining and ideation. Awesome, like.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:13:51] Yeah, that’s that’s what we’ve done so far is just outlining ideation, looking up images, getting brainstorming started.
Paul Roetzer: [00:13:59] Yeah, that’s how I use it. I don’t it doesn’t write anything for me. I do use it though, for outlines and and ideas and I do use it for strategy, like internal planning and thinking. But I don’t like nothing I write on LinkedIn, which is my main channel. Like I try and post once a day or so. I don’t I don’t even use Grammarly like I don’t even have AI editing that stuff. I just don’t like it. I just want to. I’m a writer though, so like I like the process of writing. I have no desire to have AI do that for me.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:14:29] For brands that want to get started with AI, I know you have courses and things that you can take. What would you suggest for them?
Paul Roetzer: [00:14:36] Yeah, I think education is the key thing for everyone. However you do it, you need to level up your team because again, people are going to be afraid of it. They’re going to think it’s just abstract and they’re not going to be invested in helping build a smarter organization because they may fear for their jobs. And so you really have to invest in getting people within the organization, including the leadership on a on a level playing field with what exactly is this and how is it going to impact our organization and our team. So I mean, we we do have education. So we have online courses, as you mentioned, like our Intro to AI for Marketers course, we teach every few weeks and that’s free. It’s just a Zoom and we’ve had, I think close to 11,000 people have registered for that over the last year or so. So that’s a nice thing. Then we have our Piloting AI for Marketers series, which is seventeen on demand courses, kind of bundled into an eight hour training program and that has a professional certificate. And then we have a marketing conference that’s dedicated to this topic. So those are like some free and paid options through us. But there’s just a ton of, of content out there, a ton of a great courses. We have a Marketing Artificial Intelligence book. There’s some other really good books by like Chris Penn and Jim Lozinski and some others like so. So yeah, there’s, there’s lots of emerging content. When I started studying this stuff back in 2011 and 2012, there was nothing for marketers like.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:16:03] Right.
Paul Roetzer: [00:16:03] It was just the researchers talking to researchers. And I just had to try and figure out what they were saying was kind of my life for a few years.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:16:10] Well, things are changing so fast.
Paul Roetzer: [00:16:11] Yeah.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:16:12] I think probably the best access would be your podcast immediately.
Paul Roetzer: [00:16:15] Yeah.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:16:16] Is it weekly?
Paul Roetzer: [00:16:18] It is. We record it every Monday and it definitely mean if we weren’t doing that, I would be having trouble keeping up. I have trouble keeping up and we still have that forcing function of the podcast.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:16:27] Yeah
Paul Roetzer: [00:16:27] But we just all week long just kind of keep a internal note of everything as it’s happening and then we curate it Sunday night and pick the topics and yeah, so it’s become a good way for us to sort of filter through what really matters. And then people have the listenership has grown very quickly. So I think other people kind of appreciate that as well because they feel like they don’t keep up all week. They can just listen to that for 45 minutes and get caught up.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:16:51] Right, Right. Well, thank you so much, Paul, for being on the show today. We’re so excited to have you and we’ll be following along on the podcast, potentially even going to the show in July. So thanks again.
Paul Roetzer: [00:17:02] Yeah, appreciate it.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:17:09] Thank you for listening to The 19 with Marketing AI Institute’s founder and CEO, Paul Roetzer. For additional insights on marketing artificial intelligence to access their free introduction to AI webinar or to attend the July Conference. Go to marketingaiinstitute.com. To learn more about Orange Label’s strategy, data analytics, media, social content and design, visit orangelabelmarketing.com.
Rochelle Reiter: [00:17:36] A special thank you goes out to our contributors Creative Services Director Kelsey Phillips, copy and Content Strategist Ashley Andreen and Design and Sound Director Micah Panzich. Be sure to subscribe to The 19 Marketing Podcast by Orange Label on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify and leave us a review!