How Marketers Can Use AI Right Now

How Marketers Can Use AI Right Now

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AI is generating more than ample marketing buzz, but it can be hard for marketers to separate real opportunities from the hype. Street Fight checked in with AI expert Tod Loofbourrow, CEO of ViralGains, to learn about how marketers can use AI right now.

Everyone in tech throws around the term “AI.” What are some of the applications or forms of AI that you think marketers need to be aware of right now?

Some of the most interesting applications of AI for marketers right now are:

  • ChatGPT, which allows you to brainstorm ideas, create first drafts of written work as idea starters, and explore topics far more efficiently than traditional search
  • Dall-E, which allows you to generate AI-created art, which can serve as inspiration or illustration tools
  • Lensa AI, ad app for turning face shots into beautiful avatars in many different styles
  • ViralGains OdysseyTM, by my own company ViralGains, which allows for creation of zero-party data and large-scale audiences tailored to specific audience objectives.

For marketers, I would be less concerned with the nuts and bolts of how the AI works (though the algorithms are fascinating for AI folks like me!), and more with the opportunities they create. It is also important for marketers to understand the limitations of tools like ChatGPT and Dall-E and also the importance of not relying on these tools alone without expertise involved. Right now is a great time to dig in and learn.

ChatGPT commanded many marketers’ attention, mine included. How do you think the technology will affect marketing?

ChatGPT and its underlying technology GPT-3 (and soon GPT-4) will create profound opportunities for marketers. If you’re facing writer’s block, let ChatGPT take a cut at a draft and use what it generates for ideas. But like any other research source, don’t simply accept what it gives you and pass it off as your own, as that is a flavor of plagiarism. 

And bear in mind that ChatGPT is always confident but sometimes wrong (a friend described it as similar to a Harvard freshman), so be sure to back up its assertions with a bit of expertise and research, just as you would do for an article on the Internet, a tweet, or a Wikipedia page.

ViralGains enables its customers to collect and personalize ads based on zero-party data. How does AI affect your own business?

AI is at the core of ViralGains’ business — we use it for creating zero-party data and audiences through interactive media like display, video, and streaming TV. We help businesses infer customer intent for large numbers of potential customers by interacting with prospects through their advertising.

 If 20M people see an ad, which encapsulates ViralGains technology, we can create a categorized audience of 20M potential prospects, and the characteristics of those most likely to be your best customers. I’ve been in AI my entire career, and part of seven books on AI, and advertising is the single best market to apply real industrial strength AI. The innovations are phenomenal.

Big Tech companies like Google can afford to hire hundreds or thousands of AI researchers. How do you think the growing role of AI in digital marketing will affect the balance of power between big platforms and smaller companies?

Smaller companies are far more nimble than big platform companies. Innovation happens at the edges. Big companies get stuck in their ways and attached to business models that they can dominate. Just watch the Google reaction to ChatGPT (created by a 7 year old startup called OpenAI, albeit a well-capitalized one) to see the impact of disruptors who aren’t stuck in old business models. Search will look very different in 2024 than it looks today — less noise and more useful to consumers.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]