As B2B marketing becomes more technical, frontline marketers find themselves increasingly dependent on technical resources outside the marketing department. For example, they may rely on developers for website coding, IT teams for setting up marketing automation workflows, or data analysts to extract insights from complex data sets. These dependencies can create bottlenecks, slow down campaign execution, and limit marketers’ agility. As generative AI becomes more integrated into marketing platforms and processes, however, frontline B2B marketers can look forward to a future where they aren’t so reliant on outside technical resources.
Imagine a frontline marketing professional working in various marketing tools and platforms, such as CRM systems, social media platforms, email marketing software, and data analytics tools. At the center of it all is an AI-powered assistant. It’s a supportive technology, seamlessly integrated into key platforms, marketer touchpoints, and processes. The AI assistant may be directly tasked by the marketer with connecting systems together, analyzing and visualizing data, generating insights, automating tasks, and providing recommendations.
In case you’re thinking that AI-empowered marketers are more hallucination than vision, think again. Platform vendors are already lowering the technical barriers to producing common marketing outputs using AI. For example, Amazon recently announced a preview version of generative AI dashboard authoring for QuickSight customers. Soon, marketers will be able to ask their systems directly for insights by asking such things as “show me a count of current customers renewing in 2023 by city as a map.” (I can’t wait to try this.)
Capabilities like these require a lot of technical expertise to set up but are more useful for people without technical skills. It’s important to note that while AI can take over a lot of technical tasks, developers will still play a crucial role in setting up, overseeing, and fine-tuning AI algorithms; ensuring data privacy and security; and providing technical support to marketers as they navigate AI-powered marketing platforms. But those dependencies aren’t as likely to stifle marketing’s agility or impose workarounds when technical resources aren’t available in time to launch a time-sensitive marketing program.
Frontline marketing leaders should start preparing for AI-enabled marketing now. Audit and document current dependencies. Enable marketers to test and use AI in controlled environments. Carve out time for frontline marketers to stay fully trained in the marketing technology features available to them. And work with IT and technical resources early and often to make sure the foundations are in place to support a nimbler, AI-empowered marketing culture.
Keep an eye out for exciting new research on this topic from my colleague Jessie Johnson. Schedule a guidance session to discuss your current approach to technical dependencies and brainstorm the future of your AI-enabled frontline marketing team.