Lisa Gately, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

B2B marketers who are hoping to make the most of generative AI (genAI) — but don’t know where to begin — are in good company. Most are still figuring it out, says Principal Analyst Lisa Gately. On this week’s What It Means episode, Gately shares insights into where early-adopting B2B marketers are benefiting and provides some pointers for getting started.

Gately starts by noting that many B2B marketers are accustomed to using longer-established AI technologies for activities like audience targeting, personalization, and tactic orchestration. Yet the breakneck speed at which generative AI tools have emerged, and the enthusiasm accompanying their emergence, have induced mass FOMO. “Everybody thinks that everyone is using generative AI,” Gately says, but in fact, most are “at a stage of learning and exploring.” That means there’s plenty of opportunity, provided that marketers dig in and start experimenting.

Some B2B marketers have started using genAI to gain efficiencies through tasks like transcribing and summarizing audio files. Gately says that she also sees marketers using generative AI tools as creative assistants, helping to draft messaging and short-form content. Over time, she adds, the impact may be more profound, helping marketers serve up the right content at the right time and plan and execute better targeted messaging and campaigns.

Despite genAI’s enormous potential, concerns around privacy, trust, and brand protection have given organizations pause. It’s critical that marketing leaders provide their teams with clear guidance, Gately says.

“You don’t want to risk having your sensitive, confidential company information being entered as a prompt or uploading confidential proprietary documents,” she says. Because generative AI is known to serve up coherent nonsense, she adds, it’s important that humans review the output. “It’s also talking to the team about watching for bias and lack of representation in the outputs,” she notes. “Ultimately, you want to make sure that as a marketing leader, you’re [telling] marketers that we, the humans, are responsible or accountable for all these decisions and actions, even though we use AI to assist us.”

Later in the episode, Gately gives advice for deciding where to focus genAI efforts and how to effectively pilot projects using genAI. And stay tuned until the end to hear her predictions for how the technology’s impact on B2B marketing will evolve.