Solid Water Marketing Agency Blog

Are you also in the business of talking about AI?

Daria Partas, Strategic Communications Advisor, Co-founder of Solid Water Marketing Agency:
The business of talking about AI is thriving. Last week, upon an invitation of a friend, I attended Emtech Digital hosted by MIT Technology Review. The ‘exclusive’ conference brought essential AI insights from the AI experts at MIT Technology Review to London's demanding audience.
The price for tickets ranged from £400 for on demand access to £2,000 for in-person attendance. Surely, AI qualifies as an important item on everyone’s agenda. And fairly so.
Generative AI and AI-related startups raised nearly $50 billion in 2023, according to data from Crunchbase. Saudi Arabia plans $40 bln push into AI, creating ‘a gigantic fund to invest in AI technology, potentially becoming the largest player in the hot market’ © The NYT. And just a few days ago, it was reported that Andreessen Horowitz raised $7.2 bln to invest in tech startups, including those at the forefront of the generative AI revolution.
As long as AI is on the agenda, forget seven figures. The talk is no less than billions.
Now, here on Earth, common folk like us are testing and trying the AI tools for marketers which have flooded the MarTech with the promise of helping us ‘triple conversions’, ‘outperform competitors’, ‘improve CTR by multiples’, etc. We are, of course, attracted to the promises of our multiplied future and have recently hired a dedicated team member whose job is to scout, conduct trials, and recommend new Marech tools for our team's adoption.
Most tools come with 1-month free trial, which is convenient as you can put it to work and see for yourself whether it’s adding value.
Here is an important lifehack: set a task on your calendar to unsubscribe if you are not sure about the tool you are trialling.
Everything AI comes with a hefty price tag, so better be safe than sorry. Like us.
Surely, we are not the only ones ever tricked by the quest of unsubscribing from free trials. As it happened, our business account was charged over £200 for the monthly subscription to the AI-driven ‘most talked creative automation platform’.
Here is the irony of this situation. We filed a complaint for refund in the early days of March and since then received at least five messages from customer support with the unwavering commitment of refunding the amount. As we approached the end of April, I have only now got this money back in my bank account. Given the time it’s taken for the refund request to be processed, one would assume that the lion's share of profits this company makes from selling their AI tool is allocated towards compensating their customer service team.

So for all this talk, where does the truth lie?

Speaking at EmTech Digital last week, Paul Murphy of Lightspeed, a global venture capital firm with $25 billion in assets under management, was asked when, in his view, people will pay for AI. His answer was:
It’s whether AI can take the cost out of their business.
This made me think, "As things stand, the AI-powered tool to which we unwittingly subscribed has not only taken money out of my bank account but also hours which I invested in chats with their customer support, rather than with my clients.”
From my perspective as a marketing and communications advisor, my time is the most expensive and scarce resource, which I have to keep available for my clients. So I will be looking around for the tools which help us automate standard tasks internally to free up time for our experts and consultants. And we are already successfully using some of them for better and more efficient work as a team.

Don't forget to subscribe: nothing generic or boring, only tangible advice and a bit of fun!

Do I believe that Gen AI can be better at marketing strategy and creative tasks than the humans on my team?

I certainly think that, at this point, AI can be our own little helper and, with time, as we train it, it will become better and better at helping us read and interpret rich data sets, collect and analyse reports, and researches on industry trends, freeing up our time for the things that educated and sensible humans do better such as… marketing strategy and creative.
Maja Pantic, Professor at Imperial College London and Meta’s AI Scientific Research Lead, says she does not believe in general AI:
Every model has to be trained on a relevant data set.
It is a question to be answered in the future - can AI absorb and compute through the wholeness of our world or will there always be limitations and blind spots?
We will have to live and see, I suppose.
Venkata Niteesha Tengarana, MarTech Developer and Data Analyst at Solid Water:
'Yes, AI is reshaping the marketing landscape, but obstacles remain. The integration of AI capabilities into marketing products and strategies has accelerated rapidly over the past 2-3 years. Generative AI, in particular, has found applications in areas like market research, where companies are leveraging it to generate insights from vast datasets, expediting product development cycles.
There is ongoing discourse around determining truly value-additive use cases versus embracing AI solely for its novelty. While AI has advanced rapidly, the achievement of general artificial intelligence that can match human cognition across domains remains elusive. Currently, AI finds application in simplifying marketing tasks like content creation, email personalisation, and dynamic creative optimisation, in the form of tools like Jasper, Synthesia, Canva, etc. However, effectively monetising these capabilities to solve complex, industry-specific challenges remains ambiguous for many organisations'.

In the industry of marketing and communications, it is vital to focus on delivering results that will power up our clients' businesses. At times, it feels that some emerging ‘AI’ tools are more about vanity-edging towards kitsch and paying tribute to the hype of our times, whereas our job is to identify - or build - tools that will become transcendent'.

The list of AI-powered tools our team uses on a daily basis:

Maria Tsarkova, Growth Marketer and co-founder of Solid Water Marketing Agency:
As a MarTech enthusiast, I am constantly scouting for new AI tools that will help my team streamline the processes. I am an avid reader of Superhuman, but I cannot say that we have integrated many tools that I tested - we were not impressed. However, I love that some of the software we've been using for years is getting more powerful thanks to AI - think task managers such as Notion and ClickUp, CRM & campaign automation tools.
Daria Partas, Strategic Communications Advisor, Co-founder of Solid Water Marketing Agency:
Otter AI Assistant. We call it ‘our little pet’, which it sort of is. It can sometimes be intrusive, and there are still questions to be answered as to where the data is stored and how secure it is to use in a highly sensitive business environment. I find Otter certainly useful for the calls which I am unable to join. It joins on my behalf and sends me meeting minutes afterwards. Super useful but scares some people off. So give them a heads up before giving Otter access to your calendar. Creepy, eh? 🙂
Anastasia Dobronravova, Marketing Strategy at Solid Water Marketing Agency:
Perplexity. As a strategic marketer, I need a deep understanding of different industries and markets. Before AI, I used to spend loads of time digging into industry reports and market trends. Now, Perplexity AI has made that process much easier. This tool is a blend of Google Search and ChatGPT—it analyses articles and PDFs, creates summaries, and provides links to all the relevant resources. Plus, it’s free.
Anna Chernykh, Junior Marketing Manager at Solid Water Marketing Agency:
Captions. As a digital marketer, I see Captions as a game-changer for boosting our social media content. It makes the process of creating subtitles for our video content really easy, which is very important as videos continue to dominate social platforms. Captions are crucial in video marketing as they make our content more accessible and ramp up engagement. This tool captures all the nuances and contextual hints in the speech. Honestly, if you’re looking to get the most out of your video content and save some time, Captions is your go-to tool!

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