AIMG: The Community Helping Demystify AI for Marketers

Adobe Firefly-created image containing diverse group of people in superhero poses.

As an enthusiast exploring the dynamic realms of marketing and technology, I’m perpetually drawn to unraveling the intricate ways companies can harness the power of digital innovations. Artificial intelligence stands at the intersection, arguably the most significant disruption to business in recent memory. As AI proliferates, marketers grapple with staying abreast of new developments and their implications. Enter the AI Marketers Guild (AIMG), an organization empowering over 1,000 members to leverage AI in their work.

About AIMG

David Berkowitz, marketing expert and founder of the Serial Marketers and AI Marketers Guild communities. Photo credit: David Berkowitz/LinkedIn
David Berkowitz, marketing expert and founder of the Serial Marketers and AI Marketers Guild communities. Photo credit: David Berkowitz/LinkedIn

“[Generative AI] has been different on so many levels. The most impactful thing I’ve seen is how visceral generative AI is, that as soon as you start interacting with it, you don’t just see but feel what happens from that,” David Berkowitz, marketing expert and AIMG’s co-founder, tells me. “So there’s this kind of god mode that you get in. And a lot of the time, it’s likened to having superpowers, and I think there’s something to it.”

A long-time community organizer in marketing, he sensed something amiss when it came to AI. “I didn’t see anything that was really community-led at that intersection of marketing and AI.” Berkowitz says this resulted in his “why not me?” moment.

AIMG’s goal is to foster collaboration among marketing professionals to address the key challenges generated by AI. It focuses on professional development and networking opportunities, typical of many other similar programs. Each week, Berkowitz hosts “AI Insiders,” a call-in show featuring guest speakers who discuss the latest tech developments. Past shows have included CMO Vanessa Camones, ad futurist Tameka Kee, Mofilm CEO Michelle Vincent, analyst Paul Greenberg, and Harvest Chocolate co-founder Matt Cross.

The AI Marketers Guild website. Photo credit: Screenshot
The AI Marketers Guild website. Photo credit: Screenshot

“AI Insiders” usually has guest speakers, but sometimes it’s just free-flowing conversations. He mentions that sometimes the topics are really about recent news. For example, when Microsoft introduced Copilot, there was a talk about whether it would be better than ChatGPT since Microsoft invested a lot in OpenAI. Other debates involve how agencies should react when Request for Proposals (RFPs) ask how firms use AI, and how marketers can use the technology ethically.

AIMG is more than a peer support organization. It also provides additional services. Depending on the membership level, you could receive individual Q&A opportunities or enlist the help of Berkowitz or an AIMG executive for a half-day workshop. Additionally, there are plans available to allow access for multiple team members.

Marketers Are Embracing AI

Marketing AI Adoption Report. Image credit: AIMG
Marketing AI Adoption Report. Image credit: AIMG

Among the things Berkowitz wants to do with AIMG is evaluate marketer sentiment around AI. “This is very high on my wish list,” he shared.

This week, the organization published its inaugural Marketing AI Adoption Report, which showcases how businesses currently integrate the technology into their marketing practices. According to the report, 83 percent of respondents stated that they are already beginning to utilize AI in their strategies, with 13 percent indicating they have fully integrated it.

“This report underscores that AI is now a core part of the marketing technology stack,” Berkowitz said in a statement. “From content creation and personalization to analytics and optimization, AI is being applied across the marketing mix to drive efficiencies, insights, and performance.”

In addition to exploring the integration of AI with marketing, AIMG asked respondents about their motivations for adopting the technology, the specific tools or solutions they used, their preferred generative AI platform, and the key metrics they prioritized in evaluating AI effectiveness.

Creativity and Personalization Are Major AI Use Cases

Marketers polled said they used AI primarily for creative usage and delivering personalized content. Tools such as Midjourney, Adobe Firefly, Stable Diffusion, and even OpenAI’s Sora make it easy to produce somewhat professional-looking images on the fly at a more affordable rate. And we’ve seen how AI has benefited search engines to provide users with contextual information.

So even while AI provides convenience, some concerns must still be addressed. Namely, how do you restore humanity to the content surfaced by an algorithm? Berkowitz highlights the 2023 strikes by the Writers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild as a significant event where the use of AI in the creative process emerged as a major issue.

He believes soon, AI will write a movie or TV script just as well as a human could. “It might not be The Sopranos, but it might be good enough for people to watch and they’ll have no idea that it was entirely AI-driven,” he declares. And for creative professionals who don’t have the caliber of David Simon or Toni Morrison, it can be demoralizing to try and compete not only with incumbent geniuses and artificial intelligence.

“I think it’s going to be really scary for someone who wants to get into the ad industry because even if it’s not doing the creative writing they wanted, then their writing appears on TV or TikTok, and brands are paying them to do this kind of stuff for a living — it’s pretty cool. If it’s more like managing things that AI spits out, it’s very different. I think it’s dehumanizing [and] also demotivating. It’s scary,” Berkowitz explains.

The AI Tool Most Marketers Prefer

And when it comes to their favorite AI tool, OpenAI’s ChatGPT is the fan favorite (56 percent). But Perplexity, Google Gemini, Midjourney or Claude weren’t in second. It was “Others” (12 percent), so it’s unknown what falls into this category, though it will likely be a mashup of multiple providers instead of a single service. Because of ChatGPT’s headline-grabbing popularity, it’s no wonder OpenAI is the dominant service.

What Else Do Marketers Think About AI?

Among the other findings in the Marketing AI Adoption Report:

  • Time saved was the top metric marketers used to evaluate AI’s usefulness (73 percent), followed by cost reduction (30 percent) and Return on Investment (23 percent)
  • An overwhelming majority of marketers rate AI’s impact on business positively (73 percent)
  • 93 percent of those surveyed believe AI will be “most beneficial” for content-related roles

You can download the full report here.

Advice to Agencies and Marketing Companies Thinking About AI

In the AI era, businesses are rushing to find ways to adapt the technology, but do they have a sound plan for maximizing their investment? It’s more than just a shiny metal object — AI needs to be properly vetted to ensure it will do right by the company and its customers. So how should marketers approach the use of AI tools in their strategies?

Berkowitz says one of the underappreciated is the adoption span of Gen AI, compared to social media platforms, app development, and mobile website optimization. “Some things that would quickly go from zero to billion user adoption, scale and relevance took years…But with Gen AI, we’re seeing this happen so quickly.”

He elaborates further by saying adoption rates can vary within an organization. However, as interest in AI grows, businesses must be prepared to make tough decisions, especially with rights management for work created using Gen AI tools, data security implications, and how AI will impact people’s jobs.

Should agencies and companies deploy an AI-first mentality and find ways to squeeze the technology into everything they do?

“Ultimately, the best advice is that the AI piece doesn’t matter,” Berkowitz states. “So much of this goes back to fundamentals: What problems does it solve? Or on the buy side: What problems do you have?”

In short, focus more on the mission and objectives. “If AI can help me get there, okay great.”

If you’re interested in the AI Marketers Guild, click here.

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