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Why AI Is Going to Make You Tell Better Stories

May 24, 2019

You're probably tired of all the hype around artificial intelligence.

Some people say it's going to take away everyone's jobs.

Other think it's just a buzzword.

You might wonder how this technology applies to you at all, especially if you tell stories for a living.

The reality is:

AI is going to transform marketing careers, including yours. But that reality is a little more complex than the commentary out there would lead you to believe.

At Marketing AI Institute, we're tracking how AI impacts sales and marketing. Over 2+ years, we've profiled 45 AI-powered vendors with $1 billion in total funding. And we're tracking more than 1,100 sales and marketing AI companies with funding north of $5 billion.

We expect AI to change some careers dramatically.

Others, we expect will evolve into a collaboration between people and machines.

And, when it comes to storytelling, humans and AI have the potential to be the ultimate co-creators.

To understand why, let's talk for a second about what AI is at a non-technical level.

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What Is AI and What Does It Mean for You?

You don’t need to know everything about AI to understand it.

At the end of the day, all you need to realize that AI is a set of technologies that make machines smarter over time.

"Artificial intelligence" is an umbrella term. It covers many different technologies that perform these cognitive tasks. Some include: machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing (NLP), and deep learning.

Even if you don't know it, you use AI dozens or hundreds of times a day.

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Machine learning powers Amazon and Netflix recommendations. Computer vision makes self-driving cars possible. And Siri or Alexa use NLP to "understand" your voice commands.

In marketing, AI is much like the marketing tech you use already. It's just much more powerful and can, in some cases, improve its performance over time.

Why does this matter to you?

Because, there's a good chance one or more AI marketing tools will affect your job.

Today, AI systems exist that can:

  • Write email subject lines.
  • Create ad copy and creative.
  • Manage ad campaigns.
  • Tell your team what type of content to write.
  • Identify which keywords to target.

These capabilities are the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens more across content marketing, branding, and other marketing disciplines.

You might notice some of these use cases apply to the more "creative" and "emotional" areas of marketing.

Can AI write stories better than humans?

What might that mean for the art of brand marketing and storytelling?

Are we all going to lose our jobs?

Nobody can predict with certainty over a long-enough timeframe. But we're seeing more scenarios where AI augments marketers rather than replaces them.

And we expect this to happen when it comes to storytelling.

Artificial intelligence excels at extracting insights from large datasets.

Properly trained AI systems with the right data can work wonders. That's why some of those use cases—email writing, keyword research, etc.—are even possible.

But these use cases augment storytelling. They don't replace it.

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Often, AI actually helps with the heavy lifting of executing on a brand story. But the actual branding, strategy, and direction of a company's story is a very human activity.

And it's an activity AI just can't do right now. You can't ask an AI system to write you the perfect story for every audience or situation.

But, it can help free you up to do more of the storytelling yourself.

This is why AI and humans are perfect co-creators.

Think of some popular person you follow online. Someone whose message really resonates for you.

You don't care if that person has speech writers or content creators or data analysts.

You respond to their story. Those other people just help them tell it at scale.

AI does the same thing for brands.

How Do You Get Started with AI?

OK, so how do you actually get started with AI?

As a brand storyteller, think of AI as a great assistant.

So, you start by finding some things for your AI assistant to do.

We recommend marketers make a list of everything they do in a week or month. Then, we tell them to rank the tasks by how much time each one takes. Finally, research what AI tools might exist to automate the most time-intensive tasks.

It’s a win-win.

You'll free up your time to focus on more of what you do best. And your organization will see business benefits from intelligently automating time-intensive tasks.

You might also want to look at highly data-driven tasks.

Plenty of humans are fine analysts. But we're not good at manually extracting insight from data at scale.

AI may be able to help. Systems exist that can uncover what topics and themes matter to your audience. Others exist to help you optimize the stories you tell, so audiences share them at scale.

(You can find some tools to do that in our free Marketing AI Buyer's Guide.)

Once you have a couple use cases for AI, you can start piloting them in your company.

What's Next?

You have a better sense of how AI and humans can work together to tell stories.

But where do you go from here?

AI can give brand marketers superpowers.

But going from understanding to adoption isn't always easy.

That's why we created the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON).

This event helps marketing professionals understand AI, educate teams, secure executive support, pilot priority use cases, and develop a near-term strategy for successfully scaling AI—all over the course of a few days.

MAICON has 40+ sessions and 60+ speakers from firms like IBM, Amazon, and Softbank Robotics.

I'd encourage you to join us at the event if you want to speed up your success with artificial intelligence.

Learn more here.

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