Are We Ready To Activate Personas And Messaging With Artificial Intelligence?
ChatGPT, Bard, and Bing (or is it Sydney?) have taken AI from a great idea to something that has a much more practical and tangible impact on our lives today. As marketers, many of us are already thinking about and playing around with how AI may write our next lead-gen email or create content that our buyers want to see. But there’s another area that will be a game-changer for portfolio marketers: how AI will distribute the insights we surface in persona definitions, buyer’s journey maps, and messaging. Today, these deliverables can go unused. A study of B2B enablement professionals from 2021 found that personas were the least requested asset of sales and partner teams.
Benefits Of AI Activation
We know that the insights inside these assets are valuable, despite the fact that our fellow marketers and sellers don’t always request them. Sellers want to know what to say to buyers. Demand marketers want to know where those buyers actually go for information. Content teams want to know the types of assets that buyers request.
Generative AI can be a more effective way to get these insights into the hands of downstream teams that need them the most. Imagine this common scenario: A sales rep combs through a document (or, worse yet, an extra-long sales playbook) looking for what to say to a buyer after they’ve just seen a product demo. Instead, what if the rep could just type a query into an internal search bar asking, “What are the top three things that I should say to an IT executive after they’ve just seen the demo?” Up pops a short bullet-pointed list with the top three things and a link back to the document for more details. This is the very-near future.
Risks Of AI Activation
Not all the kinks have been worked out of AI yet. One of the biggest issues for portfolio marketers will be the AI “hallucinations” and coherent nonsense. Plenty of reports describe how generative AI systems produce made-up answers when they don’t have either a defined response or enough data to generate a real response. This is an enormous risk to organizations. Faulty responses might lead a sales rep to promise a product that’s not available or suggest a promotion that either isn’t ready or isn’t available to the buyer. These risks are real and should give pause to B2B organizations attempting to go down this path now.
That said, this is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Generative AI will completely change the way that portfolio marketers distribute information in an organization. We should be cognizant of the opportunity and potential changes available and look for the right time to engage with this new technology.
Peer Discussion Opportunity
I encourage existing Forrester portfolio marketing clients to join me and my colleague, Barbara Winters, on Wednesday, April 26, at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT for a peer roundtable to discuss personas and messaging activation across the organization. Reach out to your account team to let them know that you want to participate. We hope to see you there!