Image Cover for Article AI in Marketing: Beyond Hype to Real Results

How are smaller brands using AI in Marketing?

The question for you to answer is: How do you figure fact from fiction? More specifically, what AI tools are going to help you be a better marketer?

Here are a few real case studies from a range of businesses actively using AI in their marketing, so you can see where the rubber meets the road on AI. 🚗

AI and Human in Marketing

1. Marketing Budget Cuts 

It’s not just about surviving; it’s about thriving, evolving, and giving a digital high-five to the innovations that make the business game stronger.

Now, picture this manufacturing team, hustling hard to make ends meet. They weren’t just dealing with a budget cut; it was more like a financial rollercoaster, and marketing was the loop-de-loop. But hey, necessity is the mother of invention, right? So, with a whopping goal of saving 60 grand a year, they rolled up their sleeves and made a bold move.

Enter the scene-stealer: AI. They kicked those pricey outside vendors to the curb and embraced AI for SEO and content gig. It was like upgrading from a regular coffee to a double-shot espresso – the same kick but with a little extra oomph.

It paid off big time. The team wasn’t just counting pennies; they were counting the success stories AI brought to the table. Tightening the marketing budget didn’t mean sacrificing quality; it meant working smarter. AI became the unsung hero, not a job-stealer but a job-enhancer.

So, not only did the manufacturing team save, but they are evolving, and learning. Abudget-savvy success story that turned a financial challenge into a digital win.

AI applications used: 

    • Answer the Public for $9 a month for keyword research to pick the correct keywords that customers were looking for

    • ChatGPT for $20 a month to use their API connected to a Google Sheet to automate social media content creation 

    • Koala to write blog posts for manufacturing with SEO optimization

The Math: AI Results 💸

    • New tool cost: $54 a month… $648 a year

    • Replaced $5,000 a month in freelancer and agency costs 

    • $60,000 in annual savings


        • How it Works: The internal team researches and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create two/four pieces of content a month, while the admin assistant posts it to WordPress  

2. Using Scaling Image Creation with AI for E-commerce

Imagine a tiny interior design duo, just two cool folks hustling in the e-commerce scene. Now, these guys needed a bit of backup in the image department. Budgets? Tight. Photo shoots? Not exactly in budget. But, they wanted to flood their socials and website with eye-catching product pics without going broke.

Enter the superhero moment: they needed a solution that wouldn’t drain their wallets but would still churn out killer images. See, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not easy juggling a small team, a small budget, and big dreams. So, they were looking for some magic that would amp up their image game without breaking the bank.

That’s where the whole AI-human tag team came in. It wasn’t about replacing the duo; it was about giving them an edge. With AI taking care of the heavy lifting, these two could focus on what they do best – making their interior design game strong.

In a nutshell, it’s like having your cake and eating it too. AI is working alongside these design enthusiasts, turning their vision via a design-adjusted AI process, and all without burning holes in their pockets. It’s not just a solution; it’s a game-changer for the small guys in the big e-commerce world. And that, my friend, is how the design duo turned their image game from budget stress to easy visual content across social channels.

AI applications used: 

The Math: AI Results 💸

They used Midjourney to create new interior rooms and settings for their home decor products. Then, they used Canva to edit and create social media versions for Instagram and Facebook. 

    • New Tool costs $407 a year

    • 8x increase in number of monthly product images 

3. B2B Video Content with AI

Their CEO wanted more video content, but their budget was already allocated to other ongoing projects, CRM transition to Hubspot, etc. 

AI applications used: 

The marketing team did Zoom interviews with customers and executives and used Descript ($144 a year) to edit into 2-5 minute videos for internal and customer newsletter use. 

AI Results:

    • CEO’s and business leaders loved the videos so much that the marketing team is now expanding their project to account management to record Zoom meetings with customers to answer frequently asked implementation questions.

Ask These Three Questions When Using AI in Marketing

    1. Where is your organization on the adoption curve? Not every company should be an early adopter i.e. Banking which is more highly regulated. 

Innovators Bell Curve


    1. Can you manage the expectations? As artificial intelligence (AI) won’t solve core issues, it will likely exacerbate them. 

Gartner Hype Cycle


    1. What marketing should be automated with artificial intelligence (AI)?

AI in Automating Marketing Processes

Marketing AI can be powerful, but watch out for potential headaches 🤨

Before you go all-in on AI, make sure your company is really ready for it, and that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.

Alright, diving into the world of AI in marketing can be a game-changer, but you’ve got to watch out for some potential headaches. If your marketing game isn’t already on point or if your sales and marketing teams are like oil and water, throwing AI into the mix might just make things messier. Before you go all-in on AI, make sure your company is really ready for it, and that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.

First things first, AI isn’t a silver bullet. It’s not gonna magically fix all your marketing issues. In fact, it’s more like a spotlight that’ll shine on both the good and the bad in your existing processes. If your marketing foundations are shaky, introducing AI might just highlight those weaknesses instead of smoothing things out.

Then there’s the whole sales versus marketing saga. Even the slickest AI tools can’t fix a feud between these teams. If there’s a constant clash, adding AI without sorting out those underlying problems might just stir the pot even more. So, it’s not just about the tech; it’s about making sure everyone in the company is on the same team.

Before you hit the AI button, take a good look at your team. Check their skills, see where the gaps are, and get them the training they need. Having a team that understands the ins and outs of AI is crucial for a successful integration. It’s not just about the tech team; your marketers need to know what’s going on too. We believe that every person has a marketing superpower, consider leveraging their superpowers when you are closing out any gaps. If your team doesn’t know what their marketing superpower is, check out our superpower quiz on our homepage.

And hey, don’t forget to spread the word. Get everyone in the company in the loop about why you’re bringing in AI, what the benefits are, and yeah, what the potential hiccups might be. When everyone’s on the same page, it makes the whole process a whole lot smoother.

Lastly, don’t be the company that jumps on the AI bandwagon without thinking about the ethics. How you use customer data and potential biases in algorithms are real issues. Set some ethical guidelines, make sure you’re not crossing any privacy lines, and keep an eye on your AI systems to make sure they’re playing fair.

In a nutshell, AI in marketing can be awesome, but only if you play your cards right. Strengthen your marketing game, get your teams on good terms, make sure everyone knows their stuff, and keep it ethical. Then, you’ll be ready to ride the AI wave and take your marketing to the next level.

Regularly test your AI marketing strategies to stay on the right path. 🤓

Whether you’re playing around with different ad styles or trying out new ways to talk to your audience, the goal is to get the lowdown on what they vibe with.

Running tests to figure out what clicks with your customers is like an ongoing experiment – one that’s super important for making your marketing game strong. It’s not just a one-and-done thing; you’ve got to keep tweaking and testing to know what really works in the ever-changing market. Whether you’re playing around with different ad styles or trying out new ways to talk to your audience, the goal is to get the lowdown on what they vibe with. This constant feedback loop helps you make smart moves that actually pay off.

Now, here’s the real talk about AI – it’s not here to replace human brainpower. Sure, it’s a whiz at crunching numbers and sifting through heaps of data, but when it comes to creative thinking, AI’s a bit like a fish out of water. That’s why teaming up AI with good old human brainpower is the sweet spot. AI can do the heavy lifting with data, but humans bring in that creative flair and out-of-the-box thinking that machines just can’t match.

So, think of it like a tag team – AI and humans working hand in hand. AI helps you make sense of the numbers, spot trends, and do the math, but it’s the human touch that adds the magic. Humans get what makes people tick, the emotions behind the data, and can whip up creative ideas that really hit home. It’s like having the best of both worlds – the brainy precision of AI and the imaginative spark of human minds.

In the end, it’s all about finding that sweet balance. Let AI do its number-crunching, but don’t forget to let the human creative side shine through. That combo is what turns your AI-driven marketing from just okay to downright awesome. So, when it comes to marketing, it’s not AI versus humans – it’s AI plus humans working together to create marketing magic that genuinely connects with your audience.

Think of artificial intelligence (AI) as a helpful tool, not a magic fix. 🧙

AI and human brainpower is like having the ultimate marketing dream team!

Mixing up AI and human brainpower is like having the ultimate marketing dream team. You’ve got AI doing its techy crunching wizardry, sorting through data to find the trends and iterate the options. It is refined with human intuition and creativity, emotion, and the stuff that makes your brand stand out.

In this wild world of marketing, it’s not about AI trying to take over the show; it’s about a process-driven collaboration. It’s about understanding what people do and why they do it. Humans get the emotions, the nuances, and can cook up ideas that hit your buyer in a way no algorithm ever could alone.

So, let’s not pit AI against humans; in a binary race to the bottom. How can you rework your process to take the best of generative AI and the core of your brand and have them work together?

Want to learn more? Check out our other free resources.🗒️

What’s the Right AI Tool for my Business?

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