Augment Your Marketing Skills With AI

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One industry where generative artificial intelligence (AI) has delivered an immediate impact is the marketing industry.

Given that generative AI technology’s primary use case is content generation, it has quickly been adopted by businesses and marketing professionals for projects ranging from drafting blog posts to creating website graphics and videos.

The debate continues as to whether this change is positive. We are all uncertain about how marketing skills and job roles will change in a new norm where marketers work alongside AI technology.

As the VP of Marketing for a technology company, I have a front row seat for this debate. I’ve spent the past year leading a marketing department that has embraced AI software tools as we navigate the new norm.

I’d like to share my team’s findings to help other marketers considering where AI fits into their toolkit.

To guide this discussion, I’ll cover my team’s learnings on AI’s ability to augment marketing skill sets in these areas:

  1. The Most Skilled Practitioners Will Maintain Their Moat
  2. Copywriters Can Become Designers
  3. Designers Can Become Copywriters
  4. Video Production is More Accessible
  5. We Can All Become Better Marketing Strategists

1. The Most Skilled Practitioners Will Maintain Their Moat

Before I get into the ways AI can expand people’s skill sets, I want to share my take on how AI will impact the most talented creators and marketing professionals — The top of the talent market so to speak.

The following sections will discuss how marketing professionals skilled in one area or another can fill in their skill gaps with AI. They will not be top of the market in these skill areas using AI. However, they can go from what was perhaps a moderate skill level to the ability to produce content with a decent quality bar.

On the other end of the spectrum, I believe people with advanced skills in specialized areas will maintain their moat. For example, the best copywriters will still be able to write better copy and messaging than AI tools like ChatGPT or Jasper.

Similarly, the best graphic designers and art directors will continue to produce better visual content than what average designers are able to produce with AI tools like Midjourney or Canva’s new AI tools.

Furthermore, the top creators who leverage AI in their content creation workflows will be able to maintain and expand their lead. I wrote about this idea in a piece about the ways generative AI is changing the creator economy.

Kieran Flanagan, Chief Marketing Officer of Zapier, shared similar commentary on LinkedIn:

Marketers are creators. Content creation is non-negotiable. Most marketers using AI will do lazy copy and paste. Original thinkers will use AI to make content better. They’ll use AI as building blocks across text, audio, video, but will add original points of view, insights, humour, entertainment.

From this perspective, generative AI has the potential to be a win for creators of all levels:

  1. New creators, or those looking to elevate their capabilities in specific areas, can use AI to elevate the quality of the content they create.
  2. Established, skilled creators can leverage AI to create more of the high quality content that has brought them to the top of the market.

With that table setting, let’s discuss what AI tools mean for marketers looking to expand their capabilities and skillsets.

2. Copywriters Can Become Designers

Infographic showing a T-shaped skills profile for a copywriter. The copywriter’s “T,” or their deepest skill level, is labeled as writing skills. They have other supplemental skills, with their graphic design skill labeled to demonstrate how AI tools increase their design capabilities.
This is a T-shaped skills profile for a fictitious copywriting professional. You can see how using AI design tools expands their graphic capabilities and gives them a more versatile skill set.

I am not saying AI software will suddenly make someone better than a skilled designer.

Working with talented designers who can bring marketing strategies and written messaging to life visually is one of my favorite parts of my job, and a talent that is difficult to replicate.

What I am saying is AI can now create basic supporting imagery for marketing materials like newsletters, blog posts, and social media posts with a decent quality bar. For many individual creators and businesses with small marketing teams, this might be enough for their needs.

For example, copywriters and content creators who typically create written content can now use AI software to create assets to accompany their writing.

My Marketing Team’s Approach

I have seen this play out on my own marketing team. Our content marketing and digital marketing team members can now use tools like Canva and Midjourney to create the basic graphics they need to execute straightforward marketing campaigns.

AI is filling a design production gap that helps to augment content marketers’ skills. It also frees up our designers to work on their most critical projects, like producing hero imagery for our products, handling more nuanced creative campaigns, and giving art direction that marketers can follow while using AI tools.

In this instance, AI didn’t take anyone’s job like the scary headlines propose. What AI has done is elevate everyone’s outputs and enable our team to produce more marketing content at a higher quality.

Our designers are happy because their time is now spent on the highest priorities and biggest creative challenges. Our marketers are happy because they can now execute content marketing campaigns in a more self-sufficient manner.

Collectively, we are outputting more campaigns and not making any sacrifices on visual quality.

3. Designers Can Become Copywriters

Infographic showing a T-shaped skills profile for a designer. The designer’s “T,” or their deepest skill level, is labeled as graphic design. They have other supplemental skills, with their copywriting skill labeled to demonstrate how AI tools increase their writing capabilities.
This is a T-shaped skills profile for a fictitious graphic design professional. You can see how using AI copywriting tools expand their capabilities and gives them a more versatile skill set.

Within a marketing team, designers typically focus on visual elements. They often rely on copywriters and product marketing managers to provide the text content to complement visual assets.

With AI, designers now have the tools to generate decent copy. In some cases, this copy can serve as placeholder text. In other cases, it can go as far as representing final copy that another marketing team member can review or edit.

For example, AI writing tools can provide suggestions on headlines, product descriptions, and value propositions.

Designers can now use AI to create first drafts of landing pages inclusive of design and copy. This may be invaluable in smaller marketing teams, enabling designers to contribute beyond their typical role.

It also helps the entire marketing department get more done by giving other team members a head start on projects. Product marketing managers can come into a website landing page project and have decent placeholder copy to work with vs. starting from scratch, for example.

This doesn’t mean designers using ChatGPT will replace professional copywriters or product marketers.

However, it is a new workflow that can help designers prototype layouts faster, and give other marketers a head start on the roles they play in producing assets like website landing pages.

My Marketing Team’s Approach

Design wireframes often have lorem ipsum copy that enables designers to work on spacing and typography. Alternatively, a marketing manager would need to provide copy for the wireframe before design work can begin.

Before AI, these two workflows represented the primary ways my team approached campaign assets that required both copy and design elements.

Now, that workflow can flip. Designers using AI copywriting tools can draft copy for wireframes that marketers can copy edit later. Workflows like this are helping speed up the production of marketing materials, and making for even more cohesive collaboration among members of my team.

Furthermore, my point earlier about copywriters becoming designers has unlocked possibilities on the other end of the spectrum. For projects like website landing pages, marketing teams now have multiple approaches that save time:

  1. A designer starts the first draft of the website wireframe, using their design skills for the visual elements, and a tool like ChatGPT to fill in copy. They can then hand off a website landing page mockup that may be 75% of the way completed, and merely in need of a copy pass by a product marketer.
  2. A product marketer can start that same web page project. They can use their product marketing skills to draft the copy regarding value propositions and benefits. Then they can use a tool like Midjourney to add placeholder concept art that captures what the visuals need to convey. In a similar fashion to point 1 above, the product marketer can deliver a landing page that may be 75% completed, and only in need of a styling and asset production pass by a designer.

We have seen workflows like these introduce new capabilities for our team members, and invaluable flexibility in the way our team approaches marketing campaigns.

4. Video Production is More Accessible

AI-powered video content creation software does not suddenly make everyone a top tier cinematographer or video editor. Those are refined skillsets that take years of work and experience to learn.

That is why video production has historically been a skill with a significant barrier to entry. You had to have access to a good camera, and the skills and knowledge to use editing software, like Adobe Premiere Pro. There was not much of an in-between because poor quality video is quite noticeable.

Today, the top video production professionals still create content at a quality bar that others cannot yet achieve, even with the help of AI. This is similar to my notes above about the top copywriters drafting better copy than ChatGPT, and the best designers outperforming platforms like Midjourney.

What AI has changed is making the production of decent video content more accessible to everyone.

The combination of new AI tools, high quality smart phone cameras, and simple video editing software has unlocked exciting new workflow combinations.

These workflows make the production of basic video content possible. Marketers and content creators of all backgrounds can now create videos.

For example, anyone can:

  • Film a TikTok video with their phone and edit the video using TikTok’s video editing tools, or 3rd party tools like CapCut and Canva.
  • Use tools like Synthesia, Lumen5, HeyGen, and Runway ML to create high-quality videos from text inputs, animate characters, and even generate realistic voice-overs.
  • Use Canva’s new AI tool suite to edit videos with the same drag-and-drop simplicity required to create basic social media graphics.

These are exciting possibilities for new creators and videographers who now have the ability to add video to their content production wheelhouse.

My Marketing Team’s Approach

Using these workflows, my team has been able to add more videos to our content calendar without increasing budget expenses or hiring new talent.

We can create simple social media videos for platforms like TikTok and YouTube shorts to accompany our marketing campaigns.

We still work with professional cinematographers and editors for our key video assets, like product marketing promotional videos, for example.

Where generative AI has come into play is giving marketers who previously did not create video content the ability to create videos. These assets can accompany their campaigns, adding more value to content like blog posts, newsletters, and website landing pages.

Now every marketing professional can augment their existing marketing skillset by adding AI-generated video to their toolkit.

5. We Can All Become Better Marketing Strategists

One of my favorite ways to use ChatGPT is as a thinking partner.

When I am working on a marketing campaign, I can ask ChatGPT for alternate approaches, strategy ideas, and content suggestions.

I likely would have gotten to these ideas myself eventually. However, it’s nice to have AI speed up the process, do some of the leg work, and round out marketing campaign ideas that are 90% of the way there.

Here are tangible examples of ways you can use AI to be your marketing strategy partner:

  1. Write up a summary of your upcoming marketing campaigns and ask ChatGPT for supplemental strategies you can deploy, like suggestions for additional marketing channels and content ideas.
  2. Outline your target audience to ChatGPT and ask it to give you ideas for new marketing tactics.
  3. Ask ChatGPT to do competitor research using its Bing web search integration.
  4. Give ChatGPT a list of keywords and have it suggest search-friendly blog post and landing page ideas.
  5. Send ChatGPT the copy for a blog post or landing page, and ask it to give you headline, subtitle, and meta description options.

This is just a short list of the ways marketers can leverage AI as a strategic sounding board.

My Marketing Team’s Approach

My team’s favorite use case so far is number 1 above. Knowing our target audience and product suite in detail, we usually have a pretty good starting point in mind for our campaigns.

However, sending these campaign ideas to a tool like ChatGPT and asking it to fill in gaps has been beneficial. It usually helps us think of things we haven’t gotten to yet, or delivers suggestions that make our campaigns more robust by repurposing content on additional channels.

I also personally use ChatGPT for the point 5 above, asking it to help me come up with title and subtitle ideas. Although there are plenty of times I disregard ChatGPT’s suggestions for blog post headlines, it does give me a nice starting point that I can build upon when I have writer’s block. That, or I borrow portions of it’s suggestions and combine them with my own to create the best of both worlds.

Final Thoughts on AI and Marketing Skills

One of my favorite aspects of marketing is that it is so multifaceted. There are sub-disciplines ranging from product marketing to demand generation and design.

This can also be a daunting prospect to consider—You will never be able to fully master every aspect of marketing.

The arrival of AI tools has changed that calculus, allowing us all to become better T-shaped marketers with a broad set of complementary capabilities. I have seen this transformation play out firsthand on my marketing team during the past year in our AI software adoption journey.

Our team members are skilled marketing professionals who are leveraging AI to expand their skill sets, contribute in new ways, and ultimately make themselves and our team as a whole more versatile.

I am looking forward to seeing more peers in the marketing industry take advantage of this moment in time to expand their skillsets, accelerate their career paths, and become even more capable marketing professionals.

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Justin and I write Brand Credential.

I started Brand Credential as a resource to help share expertise from my 10-year brand building journey.

I currently serve as the VP of Marketing for a tech company where I oversee all go-to-market functions. Throughout my career I've helped companies scale revenue to millions of dollars, helped executives build personal brands, and created hundreds of pieces of content since starting to write online in 2012.

As always, thank you so much for reading. If you’d like more personal branding and marketing tips, here are more ways I can help in the meantime:

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