The Role of AI in Marketing A Conversation with Katie Robert 8

AI efficiencies ripple effect

This content was originally featured in the July 12, 2023 newsletter found here:

AI is great! AI is terrible! AI will take my job! AI will make my job easier! Love it or hate it, AI (artificial intelligence) isn’t going anywhere. Some of you may have concerns about your job security because of AI.

If you’ve introduced AI into your business processes, you may have started to see the efficiencies and cost savings. But what about the rest of your business?

It’s the butterfly effect. One flap of a butterfly’s wing could set in motion a greater series of events, like a typhoon.

Introducing AI might not cause something catastrophic like a typhoon, but there will be a ripple effect on different parts of your company.

Let’s say you started using ChatGPT to write content. You decide that the content is good enough so you stop renewing your write’s contracts. In the short term you’ve saved some money and made the process more efficient.

Now, let’s look longer term. You’ve made one part of your process more efficient using AI, so where is the ripple effect. You have to look backwards and forwards in your process. Start at the beginning of your content creation process. How do you select topics? Who creates your editorial calendar? How does the keyword research get done? Then think about what happens after AI creates the content. Who edits the content? How does it get disseminated? Who keeps the content updated? What metrics do you need to track?

You could argue that AI could handle some of this, or that creating more content wouldn’t have a ripple effect on the other parts of the creation process. What if the stakeholders decide to increase the volume of content because AI can do it so quickly? Now you’re looking at doubling or tripling the workload for the other people involved in the process.

We can start to look at the process beyond content creation and see what the effect is there too. If you’re generating 2x, 5x, or even 10x the amount of content you were before, chances are you’re getting more views, more visits to your website, more engagement. What’s the ripple effect there? Possibly more load to your website, more inquiries from potential customers, more time spent qualifying leads, more sales.

That all sounds fantastic! Sure, but you still need people handling those tasks. Are they equipped to take on more? Let’s say your AI efficiencies generate more sales, more contract, more clients. Now you have to staff up. You need Account Managers, Analysts, Marketers. You need a more robust project management system. All these things come at a cost and a learning curve.

The point is not to scare you aware from using AI in your process to make it more efficient. The point is that you need to look at the bigger picture when optimizing one small part of your process. When Henry Ford started incorporating the conveyer belt into his car manufacturing line it changed everything. He needed to produce more materials to build cars. He needed to hire more people to manufacture the vehicles. He needed to bring on more staff to manage the equipment and sell the cars. One change to the process have have far spreading effect on your overall business.

My advice is to audit your immediate process that you want to optimize and then start to take a look at what else that process touches. Where are the weaker spots in your business that you have to pay attention to if things ramp up? For us, it’s bandwidth. We will need to hire very quickly when our AI processes start generating even more business. It’s a good problem to have, but one that I want to have a plan for.

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