Skip main navigation

Five roles AI can play for you

This article by David Rawlings explores five roles AI can play for you.

AI has the capacity to divide people.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground. I have found that very few people are ambivalent – for some ‘it’s another tool, it’s nothing,’ and people at the other end of the spectrum go to the catastrophic position of ‘my job is about to be made redundant’. This is the AI as saviour or anti-Christ thinking. And it doesn’t help.

People tend to move toward the middle ground – away from both positives and negatives – once they start seeing what it can do and learning its limitations.

So we’re going to start with the positive. There are many ways you can use AI to improve your marketing and communication efforts to reach your target audience more effectively and to generate a better outcome for your efforts. Whether that’s more sales leads, better sales leads, more inquiries, better engagement, or whichever measurement metric and KPI you are using.

One of the benefits of looking at AI in reverse by starting with the outcome is that it helps you select the right tool for the job and it helps you stay strategic. It also future-proofs you for anything that is coming next, and as the whole field of AI is constantly evolving and changing, this is an important approach.

So let’s look at the benefits AI can provide for you in your day-to-day marketing communications activities.

1. Content creation and optimisation

AI can streamline and optimise your content creation processes.

This is perhaps the largest benefit that AI can provide for your marketing and communication activities. Developing content has been the largest challenge for communicators for decades. In the online world since the early 1990s (the visual timeline of the internet), content has been both the biggest time sponge and the largest frustration. You have these platforms that are hungry for content, and the constant pressure is to feed them.

Natural Language Generation (NLG) algorithms can automatically generate content for you, providing your input is targeted, strategic and clear. You can use text-based, visual-based or video-based platforms to help you create basic content – everything from article outlines to fully written and developed articles, tweets to posts, captions that support your video, to converting inch-thick reports and PDFs into summary documents or even small chunks of content that you can share.

So what is the key benefit to you here?

The benefits to you include everything from time saved to conserving your brainpower so that you can invest it in other elements of your marketing and communication, uncorking writer’s block through to exploring different ideas and directions for your content.

2. Using AI to monitor and analyse your data 

AI can empower you to make data-driven decisions by analysing vast amounts of customer data. Machine learning algorithms can extract valuable insights from customer behaviour, preferences, and interactions across various channels, helping understand your target audience better, identify trends, and predict future consumer behaviour.  This last point can help you better engage with them particularly if you’re taking a longer-term relationship approach with your customers.

We’ve had AI-powered analytics tools for a while now, such as Google Analytics to give you one example, that help you identify the trends and track the effectiveness of the campaigns and messaging that you deliver. 

So with AI you can look at your own social media platforms and tackle the huge responsibility of managing and monitoring. AI can now take on the previously onerous and time-consuming process of collecting and monitoring data.

So what is the key benefit to you here?

This is as much about better targeting as a time saver for you. AI can allow you to analyse more effectively which in turn helps you to streamline and better target your messaging that goes out to the marketplace.

3. Better managing campaigns

This is an extension of the previous two points. By analysing responses and being better targeted with your content, you can be more effective in tweaking and tailoring your campaign or marketing collateral both in a real-time sense and to ensure that its effectiveness grows over time.  

By continuously analysing performance metrics such as click-through rates, conversions, and engagement levels, AI algorithms can make automatic adjustments to campaign elements. These include targeting, ad placement, messaging, and budget allocation.

You can use AI to better segment your customers by specific attributes, enabling you to create highly personalised campaigns.

What is the benefit here to you?

Clearly measuring the effectiveness of advertising, marketing or public relations campaigns over the decades has been has never been as clear cut as it is today. AI allows you to be able to analyse effectively in a way that is both time effective and cost-effective.

4. Streamlining your customer services processes

AI can assist with anything from employing a chatbot to providing more personalised content or tools to help your customer service staff. While we’ll explore later how people are starting to push back on that process of being answered by a virtual assistant, in the current climate chatbots or virtual assistants do allow you to take a proportion of your customer questions and have them answered in the moment without draining staff resources and making your service available 24/7. They also allow you to better funnel customer service requests so that the simple ones don’t clog up your phone, email or online channels. This gives space for those more personalised or complex questions. 

And AI can streamline your scripting for your team – giving them a range of answers to use, or even better answers to use.

What is the benefit here to you?

The main benefit here is about better time and resource management – yours and your teams. It also can improve response rates and response times.

5. Better or wider research

Good research findings are at the heart of any good marketing communication as you narrow the gap between what you need to say and what your target markets and audiences need to hear.

AI can function as a research tool that you can add to your qualitative research that engages directly with your target market. You can also start researching how different industries are marketing just at the touch of your fingers and get written content as results, rather than search results if you were to use Google.

For example, if you were a wedding planner developing content to attract couples looking to marry, if you used a text generator (I used ChatGPT) to ask this question: “What are the most successful marketing messages that a florist can use when it comes to wedding flowers?” 

You get this back:

When marketing wedding flowers as a florist, it’s important to capture the emotions, dreams, and aspirations of engaged couples. Here are some successful marketing messages you can use to promote your wedding flower services: 
Romantic elegance: Highlight the romantic and elegant nature of your wedding flowers, emphasizing their ability to transform a wedding venue into a dreamy and enchanting space.
Example: “Indulge in a world of romantic elegance with our exquisite wedding flowers. Let us create a floral wonderland that perfectly reflects your love story.”
If you are a wedding planner, this could now be a starting point for your own marketing (emotional or aspirational content), or even how you talk about how you, the wedding planner, will handle the flower arrangements for the couple’s wedding.
What is the benefit here?
This one is mainly about time, but it’s also about streamlining your research, which is also about cost. 
So if we look at the upside of AI, it can do so much for you. All of that will be determined by how you use it, which is what we’re going to be looking at in weeks two, three and four. But AI can deliver real positives if it’s used well.
And for reasons of balance and to ensure you have the whole picture about AI, we’re going to explore some of the negatives next.

Share your thoughts

What positives do you think AI might deliver for you?
This article is from the free online

Harnessing AI in Marketing and Communication

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now