Contrary to prevailing storytelling that it just arrived in the waning months of 2022, artificial intelligence has been around for decades. I won’t bore you with the entire history (though it’s summarized well in this article); suffice it to say that it has played a significant role in the marketing industry for decades, including in predictive analytics used in many advertising platforms. But what has recently caught fire is the use of generative AI in marketing creatives, largely because the technologies are more accessible and easier to use than ever before. Though this perhaps goes without saying at this point, the industry is at an inflection point, and businesses better learn what is going on in this space, or they will be left behind.
State of usage play
A fascinating industry research study, published in March 2023 by Botco.ai (a generative AI cloud chat communications company), surveyed 1,000 marketing professionals across 16 different industries and company sizes (from 1 to 5000-plus employees). Its results were stunning, with a whopping 73% of respondents indicating that they were already using generative AI to help create text, images, videos or other content. The weighted average among B2B companies was a 78% usage rate, while among B2C companies it was 65% (I would have guessed the reverse of that). With me being among the 17% reporting that they did not materially use AI, I figured I needed to learn more, and quickly, to stay competitive among industry peers.