The marriage of artificial intelligence and marketing and sales is a match made in data heaven. Amidst the accelerating evolution and adoption of AI in the GTM sector, the value of human creativity and strategic thinking remain as important as ever. We have now moved into an era where well over 50% of companies have adopted some form of AI tools for their marketing and sales operations, yet teams are struggling to figure out where to plug in the humans and where to let AI do its thing. Forward thinking companies and leaders recognize that it's not a zero-sum game; instead the two must be viewed as partners, with each contributing their uniquely valuable elements to an overall strategic approach.
AI tools can be a veritable force multiplier for sales and marketing workflows. When leveraged appropriately, their ability to analyze vast swathes of data swiftly and accurately gives businesses an edge in understanding customer behaviors, purchasing patterns, and predicting future trends. AI tools can efficiently segment markets, tailor content to individual profiles based off both demographic and behavioral data, and automate routine tasks such as sending follow-up emails or personalized advertisements. AI is getting extremely good at creating robust content across channels that not only resonates with the intended audiences but that can inherit a company's voice, tone, and brand. These AI-driven efficiencies save precious time and resources, allowing businesses to scale their operations and do more with less. This is even more critical for companies in the current market environments when hiring freezes and budget cuts have taken full effect.
While AI excels at crunching numbers, generating content, and automating tasks, it lacks the ability to conceptualize and implement the nuanced, creative strategies that make marketing campaigns resonate on a deeply human level and companies differentiate from their competitors. If we left elements like core messaging, positioning, and branding to AI, every company would start to look and sound the same, rendering their GTM efforts useless and creating way more noise for buyers. We still need the humans to concoct brilliant marketing strategies, design iconic brands, brainstorm innovative ideas, and create compelling storytelling that connects and resonates with customers. The process of developing such narratives requires a deep understanding of human psychology, extensive research on customer behavior, language, and market, and the ability to turn these insights into compelling messaging; skillsets that, as of now, AI cannot replicate.
Additionally, when it comes to strategic decision-making, human experience and intuition still play a vital role. While AI can provide insights based on data, it is the humans who are adept at making informed decisions in the face of uncertainty or when data is incomplete. This is because humans possess the ability to draw on a range of experiences, values, and intuitive judgements that AI currently lacks.
Today, humans are approaching AI with equal parts excitement and trepidation. The majority of marketers and salespeople are optimistic and believe that AI will enhance their efforts but at the same time, over 70% believe that AI can outperform humans at their jobs, giving them some pause and fear when it comes to adoption. On top of that, the outputs of AI right now are good, not great which is causing teams to want to review and approve every output generated by AI as well as analyze all of the derived data by hand. During this trust-building phase as the AI continues to learn, improve, and product better outputs, humans still want to be heavily in the loop. Over time, this should gradually fade away as performance improves, hallucinations are eliminated, and brand safety and data privacy can be ensured. Once AI products can ingest data, derive insights, and use that information to generate personalized, on-brand sales and marketing campaigns, we won't need to humans to performing manual work of creating derivative content, editing, approving, deploying, or manually measuring. They should focus on the inputs to ensure that the content is differentiated and compelling and making strategic decisions based off of the results.
There is zero doubt that AI will play a larger and larger role within marketing and sales orgs in the future. It feels inevitable that AI takes over manual workflows such as creating content like blog posts, sales decks, email campaigns, social media posts, and paid ads (and doing so in a much more personalized fashion) or mining data for insights on customer behavior and market trends, human creativity remains a crucial cog in the machine for leading companies. When used in tandem, AI and human creativity can create an incredibly potent GTM force that is much more effective than either one in isolation and we will start to see huge gaps in performance between teams who figure this out and those who don't. The key to a successful future in sales and marketing lies in embracing the strengths of both AI and humans and creating strategy that let's each act as a force multiplier for the other.