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  • Writer's pictureJohn Bell

The Best Practical Guides to AI for Marketers in 2024




Like most marketers, I have been experimenting with ChatGPT, Gemini (fka Bard), Stability.ai, Runway, and others to learn how to make my job easier or improve my output today.

 

As a writer, I am deeply interested in where this can all go in 5-10 years and, of course, the dystopian fait accompli of Skynet, HAL, or whatever.  As a marketer, I am much more practical and impatient.

 

But I only have so much time to tinker, and so far, my lessons are good yet a bit pedestrian.

  • Boilerplate strategies for B2B marketing of software products. What’s the point of rewriting the same outline over and over again? Gemini is great at creating usable strawman documents.

  • Outline for simple blog articles (not this one, no, this one I banged out all on my own – except where cited).

  • Draft Google Ad copy given a collection of messages for a particular product or service.

  • “Pretty good” SEO guidance without having to go under the hood with AHREFs or some other specialist tool. Since Gemini comes from Google, I have found that it returns decent suggestions on keywords and phrases more or less instantly.

  • Brainstorming marketing tactics. I worked with Gemini to create a list of ideas for how to take the experience of a great Science Museum located in the middle of the state and deliver it throughout the rural edges of that state. While many were expected, that doesn’t mean they were wrong.

  • Visual tests with Stability and some simple video experiments with Runway. I am not yet scaling that for practical application, although my good friends at the content solutions company, KittyKat, have really operationalized creating stunning product visuals for eCommerce companies.

 

With so much being written about how AI will change marketing today and tomorrow, how can a marketer cut through the noise and just get the good stuff, the real and practical suggestions for how to work with AI today?

 

 

Here are 3 of the best guides to AI for Marketers

You're welcome.

 

 

Michael Donnelly and the team at the ANA maintain a growing list of resources on AI for marketers. They recently released the AI Use Case Compendium, which features 84 uses for AI in 6 categories and 47 real-world examples. They are soliciting folks to send them new use cases and examples, which means new editions of their guide may be released. 

 

Some of my favorites from this guide:


Campaign brainstorming and ideation – nothing beats human creativity and collaboration, but ask ChatGPT or Gemini to list out a series of marketing ideas given certain requirements and source copy, and you may get a few gems in their list. At the very least, you will quickly get all the boilerplate ideas that clutter a brainstorm so you can move past those when you have your team together. They offer an example of McDonald’s, where the creatives captured the voice of ChatGPT in a clever way.

 

Beat top-ranked articles in organic search – there are all sorts of clever ways to get value today in SEO from AI, and most of them are pretty tactical and geeky. This is one of those. Feed the top-ranked articles on your chosen keyword, and AI will give you recommendations for your article on the subject that will help you compete.

 

Generate newsletters automaticallythe example used is for PFSK, one of my go-to trend-watching resources. Piers Fawkes created a wide variety of newsletters for different audiences using AI. Personalization is one of those AI golden promises, and he seems to have already put it into practice.

 

 

Part sales piece for Google’s many AI initiatives, including Gemini, and part marketer education piece, this guide is worth consuming. If you figure that Google’s overall investment in AI is far north of the $2B it invested in Anthropic and that they are the 600lb gorilla in marketing, then it’s a safe bet that paying attention to their use cases will help you.

 

Some of my favorites from this guide:


Google’s AI-powered ad solutions – there’s hardly a Google ad solution that AI isn’t making “faster and better” (not sure they are highly motivated to make advertising “cheaper”). Here’s one solid example:

 

“Media agency Wavemaker helped OxiClean pair AI-powered tools like Video Action campaigns on YouTube with custom landing pages to create a frictionless path to purchase. The result? A 3.9X increase in conversions and a 72% decrease in cost per conversion.”

 

Generative AI customer stories – most of these stories are for big brands making big bets, from Wendy’s further optimizing the drive-thru experience to GM powering OnStar’s virtual assistant with AI. Still, it’s a great browse through the land of big companies and how they think.  


 

I knew Shiv in the early days (Pepsi, Visa), and he’s a smart guy. Now, he’s researching a book on AI-meets-marketing, and we can benefit as he publishes bits and bobs during his journey.  His Substack will continue to grow, and you can easily subscribe for updates.

 

Some of my favorites from this guide:

 

Brace for Impact: GenAI's Role in 2024 – this is a series of predictions and each has an implication for how marketers can take action today. For instance, Shiv anticipates a ‘Creative Renaissance’ where GenAI tools boost creativity. That is already happening at my good friend’s company, KittyKat, where AI-generated creative visuals is huge differentiator in their business.

 

Customer Research in the AI Era: Evolution or Extinction? – AI will improve what we learn from our customers and prospects. He offers a fascinating and real example of marketrs feeding comments from their TiTok channel into ChatGPT to form a panel of personas and then pepper them with questions.

 

 

It only makes sense to ask one of the leading AIs out there what it knows of its own application to marketing. With all the hype, I would expect the response to be insightful and revealing. Not so much. Gemini’s response is as useful as boilerplate can be, but your query today might even deliver new information, so give it a try. The importance of this guide for marketers is simply in the act of asking AI for the answer.

 

One of my favorites from this guide:

 

AI-Powered Advertising and Campaign Optimization – the example Gemini offers is Uber using AI to optimize campaigns and gain a 20% increase in conversions. The maddening thing about AI responses is that Gemini can’t (won’t?) tell me where that data point comes from, and initial Google searches don’t offer a source. That being said, for most brands, their experience with AI-powered ad optimization will come through the use of the black box systems at Facebook, Google, or some other platform. As previously noted, all of Google’s products are now AI-enhanced in one way or another. Few brands will build their own AI ad “helpers.” Still, it’s time to experiment with all of the AI-enhanced solutions from the four horsemen of the ad apocalypse.

 

Unfortunately, the other use cases and examples from the Gemini query are all pretty pedestrian and leverage ancient or iconic case examples. For example, the “Personalized Content and Recommendations” use case cites the Netflix example of personalized movie recommendations. How old is that reference?

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