INBOX INSIGHTS: Technology and Connections, Generative AI for Tasks (10/4) :: View in browser
October 2023 One Click Poll
Please click/tap on just one answer – this is our monthly survey to see how we’re doing, so please do take it each month!
How likely are you to recommend Trust Insights as a consulting firm to someone in the next 90 days?
We use this information to measure how effective our marketing is. There’s no form to fill out – tapping your answer is literally all there is to it. Thank you for your help!
Technology is a Barrier to Connection
I recently started a new volunteer position at a local animal shelter. My primary responsibility is to tend to the dogs that are in the shelter. Make sure they have fresh water, fresh bedding, take them for walks, or just sit with them. My job isn’t to tell them what they need, but to help re-establish trust so that they are adoptable and can move onto the families they deserve.
This work is hard. This work is heart breaking. But this work is rewarding. This is the same reason I focus so much on people management. It can be hard work. It can be heart breaking. But it can be incredibly rewarding when you see someone succeed.
As I was sitting with some of the shelter dogs, working on rebuilding their trust with humans, it occurred to me that we are at risk. We are so reliant on technology, like generative AI, that we’re forgetting how to build relationships and trust with each other.
And you cannot outsource building relationships and trust to a machine. You just can’t.
No, this is not a new problem. With each technological innovation we create obstacles, barriers, and excuses for people not to interact with each other. Generative AI is only adding to that. The difference is that instead of just putting up a technical barrier between people, generative AI cuts other people out all together. When you use your phone to text someone, you’re still talking to another person. When you’re using generative AI, you’re not interacting with another person, you’re talking to a machine. This machine won’t give you feedback on your tone, on your conversation, or on your output. It will just do what it’s asked.
And this is the risk. You don’t have to spend time with generative AI to build trust. You don’t have to say things like, “please” and “thank you” to get an output. As humans, this will allow us to lose all our people and conversation skills.
There are a lot of experts, Trust Insights included, that want to educate on how to craft the best prompts for generative AI. What to include in your requirements to get the best possible outcome. How to interact with generative AI to make it work for you.
What if you spent that much effort into your human interactions? You assessed the needs and approached the conversation in a way that would lay the foundation of what you want to achieve. Then you kept working at it, kept refining based on the output to continue getting better results.
When I was at the shelter, no two dogs behaved the same. I needed to tailor my approach to each situation. I had to gather information, mentally build my requirements, and then adjust as I learned more. When working with Dexter, the 11 year old meatball, I could be more hands on and playful. With Gracie, the shy and timid pup who has grown up in shelters, I had to avoid eye contact and keep my distance. With Joe, the 100 lb German Shepherd who was all energy, I had to assert more dominance and help him learn to be patient.
When you’re dealing with humans, you’re unlikely to find two that will behave the same or even consistently. You will encounter the extroverts, the shy ones, the energetic ones, and the more relaxed ones. You will learn over time what works when interacting with different people. People will change over time. Your approach will adjust but you will learn more. You will deepen the relationship and strengthen the trust. When you’re dealing with machines, you’re more likely to get consistent results, but no feedback on how to better adjust your approach. You won’t have a relationship. You won’t have trust. You’ll have you. And you’ll have a machine.
All this to say, the more time you spend only interacting with machines, the more your people skills will fade away. If you don’t feel like your people skills are strong, use generative AI to practice. Ironic, I know. But instead of treating it like the machine it is, talk to it like a human. Interact with it the way you would a person, but also ask for feedback. In you prompt, tell it that you’re wanting to develop your communication skills. Let it know that you want it to behave like a person would.
Despite what Chris might say, people aren’t going anywhere and you have to learn to deal with them. They are the ones that build and manage the machines. They are the ones making decisions about our government, our rights, our health. Learning to work with, instead of against, people will be a skill that companies will covet. It will become harder to find and even harder to master.
So start now. Hone your people skills. Learn how to be a stronger communicator. Master the art of management. We will only see more technological barriers put up, preventing us from connecting. It will get harder. But it is not impossible.
If you want to learn more about how to talk to people and you’re at #MPB2B in Boston, swing by my session: Managing the People who Manage the Machines. I’d love to see you!
If you’re not at #MPB2B this year and want to continue the conversation, reply to this email or come join the conversation in our Free Slack Group, Analytics for Marketers.
– Katie Robbert, CEO
Do you have a colleague or friend who needs this newsletter? Send them this link to help them get their own copy:
In this episode of In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, Katie and Chris discuss generative AI adoption in business and how leaders can put effective guardrails in place through understanding employee needs and setting clear expectations.
Last time on So What? The Marketing Analytics and Insights Livestream, we talked through crisis communications with special guest Gini Dietrich. Catch the episode replay here!
We’ll be at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum this Thursday, so there won’t be . Are you following our YouTube channel? If not, click/tap here to follow us!
Here’s some of our content from recent days that you might have missed. If you read something and enjoy it, please share it with a friend or colleague!
- Innovation starts with a good foundation
- So What? Crisis Comms and Generative AI
- Content Curation Systems
- INBOX INSIGHTS, September 27, 2023: Marketing Event Attendee Success Guide, Marketing Jobs
- In-Ear Insights: How to Vet and Hire an Analytics Agency or Employee
- AI is a culture shift
- Almost Timely News, October 1, 2023: How Large Language Models Work
Take your skills to the next level with our premium courses.
Get skilled up with an assortment of our free, on-demand classes.
- The Marketing Singularity: Large Language Models and the End of Marketing As You Knew It
- Powering Up Your LinkedIn Profile (For Job Hunters) 2023 Edition
- Measurement Strategies for Agencies course
- Empower Your Marketing with Private Social Media Communities
- How to Deliver Reports and Prove the ROI of your Agency
- Competitive Social Media Analytics Strategy
- How to Prove Social Media ROI
- What, Why, How: Foundations of B2B Marketing Analytics
It’s monthly reporting time, and monthly reporting is one of the greatest opportunities for us to find efficiencies. How long does monthly reporting take you?
For me, doing reporting for our clients takes about a day, sometimes two days to process all the data and turn them into reports. Every month, I’m always on the lookout for ways to save additional time, to shave time off the process. Why? The less time I spend making the report, the more time I can spend thinking about the report, its implications, and what I can recommend for our clients.
Here’s an example of a simple report optimization. We have a series of templates we use for each month’s reports. In those templates, there are placeholders for the month, and typically I copy the report from one month to the next to preserve some historical data, plus any upgrades I’ve made over time.
Yet for dozens of websites and projects, even this can be a bit laborious. Finding the instances of the previous month and updating them to the next month takes time – not a ton of time per report, but it adds up. I could have someone else do that part, but that’s not a good use of their time either. No, the best choice here is to automate this process – it’s important work, but it’s low value work.
In the days before generative AI, I would have spent a few hours writing this code. Today, I simply log into ChatGPT, fire up the GPT-4 model (the current best model for general coding), and ask it how to find and replace text in a directory full of PowerPoint presentations:
Boom. The Python script is ready to use. I copy and paste it to my computer, and now I’ve saved about 12 hours per year. Is 12 hours a year a huge deal? No, not really. In the grand scheme of things, it’s relatively small. It’s not going to transform the company and make us instantly more profitable…
… by itself. Here’s the thing about process optimization with AI. It’s not sexy. You’re not going to win any awards for its innovative use. But as with all incremental things, it adds up. Shave 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there, and the savings add up quickly, to the point where suddenly you’re looking at free hours, not free minutes, in a day.
When we first started Trust Insights five years ago, the reporting process took a couple of full days for reports that weren’t super insightful at the time. They were significantly better than what other agencies were producing, to be sure, but looking back on them is like looking back on your Halloween costumes as a kid. They’re cute, you might cringe a little, and you know that what you can do today is so much better than what it was like a little while ago.
You can’t deliver those optimizations if you’re mired in processes that should be done by machines. You can’t improve if you never have time to focus on improvement. Today, the reporting process takes about the same amount of time, but much less time is devoted towards those manual, repetitive, relatively low value tasks and more time is devoted towards the insights, the recommendations, the strategies that good reporting should beget.
The key takeaway here is that AI can be used to save time and dramatically improve the quality of your work product incrementally. You don’t have to – and probably shouldn’t – wholesale replace giant processes with AI-driven processes, especially at the beginning of your AI journey. Instead, look at piloting the use of AI for frequent small wins, small tasks that can add up to big efficiencies in the long run.
- Case Study: Exploratory Data Analysis and Natural Language Processing
- Case Study: Google Analytics Audit and Attribution
- Case Study: Natural Language Processing
- Case Study: SEO Audit and Competitive Strategy
Here’s a roundup of who’s hiring, based on positions shared in the Analytics for Marketers Slack group and other communities.
- Digital E-Commerce Analyst at Holland America Group Careers
- Ecommerce Analyst at Henry Schein
- Marketing Assistant at Henry Schein
- Omnichannel Customer Marketing Manager at Henry Schein
- Scrum Master Business Analyst at Holland America Group Careers
- Senior Engineer – Marketing Platform at Confused.com
- Senior Ppc Manager at Confused.com
- Senior Social Media Executive at Confused.com
- Staff Data Engineer at Crisis Text Line
Are you a member of our free Slack group, Analytics for Marketers? Join 3000+ like-minded marketers who care about data and measuring their success. Membership is free – join today. Members also receive sneak peeks of upcoming data, credible third-party studies we find and like, and much more. Join today!
Now that you’ve had time to start using Google Analytics 4, chances are you’ve discovered it’s not quite as easy or convenient as the old version. Want to get skilled up on GA4? Need some help with your shiny new system? We can help in two ways:
Where can you find Trust Insights face-to-face?
- MarketingProfs B2B Forum, Boston, October 2023
- Content Jam, October 2023
- SMPS AEC AI, October 2023
- DigitalNow, November 2023
- Social Media Marketing World, San Diego, February 2024
First and most obvious – if you want to talk to us about something specific, especially something we can help with, hit up our contact form.
Where do you spend your time online? Chances are, we’re there too, and would enjoy sharing with you. Here’s where we are – see you there?
- Our blog
- In-Ear Insights on Apple Podcasts
- In-Ear Insights on Google Podcasts
- In-Ear Insights on all other podcasting software
Our Featured Partners are companies we work with and promote because we love their stuff. If you’ve ever wondered how we do what we do behind the scenes, chances are we use the tools and skills of one of our partners to do it.
- StackAdapt Display Advertising
- Agorapulse Social Media Publishing
- WP Engine WordPress Hosting
- Talkwalker Media Monitoring
- Marketmuse Professional SEO software
- Gravity Forms WordPress Website Forms
- Otter AI transcription
- Semrush Search Engine Marketing
- Our recommended media production gear on Amazon
Read our disclosures statement for more details, but we’re also compensated by our partners if you buy something through us.
Some events and partners have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, Trust Insights receives financial compensation for promoting them. Read our full disclosures statement on our website.
Thanks for subscribing and supporting us. Let us know if you want to see something different or have any feedback for us!
Need help with your marketing data and analytics?
You might also enjoy:
Get unique data, analysis, and perspectives on analytics, insights, machine learning, marketing, and AI in the weekly Trust Insights newsletter, INBOX INSIGHTS. Subscribe now for free; new issues every Wednesday!
Want to learn more about data, analytics, and insights? Subscribe to In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, with new 10-minute or less episodes every week.