Artificial Intelligence (AI) has long been a topic of discussion, with most debates focussing on its potential to surpass human capabilities. However, it is crucial to shift the focus from comparing AI to human excellence towards understanding how AI can enhance individual skills and abilities. So I was pleased to read a recent interview with Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys. He highlighted the value of AI as a tool to assist and improve creative processes – even for him!
Neil Tennant’s viewpoint aligns with the idea that AI can be a valuable resource even for established musicians and artists. He cites the example of a song, "Forest Floor," which the Pet Shop Boys never finished. Tennant suggests that if AI had been available at the time, he would have used it to generate multiple versions of the chorus, potentially uncovering an unexpected gem. This demonstrates how generative AI can act as a creative catalyst and assist artists/experts in overcoming writer’s block or exploring new avenues.
The real question: does AI make me better?
Often, discussions surrounding AI revolve around its ability to outperform humans in specific fields. However, the true value of AI lies in its capacity to amplify individual potential. When we reframe the question to focus on what AI can do for us, the possibilities become apparent. This mindset shift opens up new opportunities for marketers, designers, and generalists who may lack specialized expertise in certain areas. By leveraging AI, individuals and organizations can level up their skills and accomplish tasks that were once time‑consuming or costly to outsource.
AI as a levelling-up opportunity
The potential of AI to level up individuals in various fields is evident, especially for jobs requiring multiple skills – marketing being a prime example. If you are a marketer who also has responsibility for email, or an email marketer who lacks specialized expertise in an aspect of the role or have limited resources at your disposal, leveraging generative AI to enhance their skills, produce quality content, and maximize their productivity.
AI in copywriting
Copywriting plays a vital role in marketing, and AI‑powered generative models have proven to be valuable aids in this domain. While there are skilled copywriters who excel without AI, many marketers can benefit from using AI to generate and refine copy. By providing a straightforward brief to AI language models like ChatGPT, marketers can swiftly create subject lines, short‑form copy, bullet points, and newsletters, all while maintaining control over the desired tone. This collaborative approach allows individuals to become better email marketers and enhances their overall productivity.
SubjectLinePRO for instance, is a valuable tool I use that harnesses the power of ChatGPT to assist in writing and then testing compelling subject lines. Several other AI‑powered solutions are available in the market, offering similar benefits. These tools empower marketers with limited copywriting skills to craft engaging content more efficiently and effectively.
AI in image creation
The process of sourcing images for articles or marketing materials can be time‑consuming and expensive. AI‑powered image creation tools, such as Bing Image Creator, have revolutionized this aspect of content creation. Marketers can now generate their own images based on their envisioned concepts, saving time and eliminating the need to rely on external designers. Although having a skilled designer will still result in superior outcomes, AI empowers individuals – like me, who lack that luxury to produce higher‑quality visuals that effectively convey their ideas.
AI in email coding & deployment
While generative AI is a powerful ally, certain aspects of marketing particularly email, still require caution. Challenges related to email deliverability, rendering and accessibility across various email clients necessitate expertise or collaboration with coding specialists. Agencies like The Email Factory (who I recently joined as a NED) specialise in optimizing email design and build to ensure rendering consistency and compliance with industry standards. In terms of email deployment, segment creation etc. I am yet to see a tool that performs those functions.
By recognizing the areas where AI is yet to reach its full potential, marketers can make informed decisions about when to insist on expertise.
Generative AI’s role in the creative process is not to replace human expertise but to augment and empower individuals in their respective fields. By adopting a mindset that focuses on AI’s capacity to enhance personal abilities, rather than comparing it to the best human talents, we open ourselves up to a world of opportunities. Neil Tennant’s perspective, along with real‑life experiences, supports the argument that AI is a tool for levelling up and improving individual skills. Marketers in general, Email Marketers in particular, can benefit from AI‑powered solutions for copywriting and image creation, enabling them to excel in their roles without extensive specialization. Embracing AI as an enabler rather than a competitor will ultimately lead to personal growth and professional advancement in the evolving landscape of marketing.