3 Things managers need to know to embrace AI

How you can foster AI in your marketing and content team

Nobody knows what AI has in mind for us in the (near) future. All we know is that it will impact our marketing and content jobs enormously.

If you rely on AI to do all the work, you’ll get more of what’s already out there. No new insights or strategies, no creativity or surprising unexpectedness that sparks joy and engagement with your customers.

Hopefully, soon, it will become painfully visible who are the hackers, slacker marketers and content producers, and who are the witty ones who are creative, dare to think different, and innovate.

A hacker slacker is someone who copy-pastes prompts for a marketing plan or a long read, completely spared of any creativity, context, and strategic vision. Prompt-and-go. This can be out of ignorance or business. In both cases, these employees will not deliver amazing work or help you achieve your business goals. 

AI will give them an echo of what’s already there. More of the same. No bias, no point of view, no surprises or unexpected new and refreshing insights, knowledge, foresight, or interpretations.  Let alone any human emotion or connection for the engagement.

→ What’s missing is the human intellect (HI). That’s visible in wit, creativity, and strategic thinking, making the difference between mediocre, good, and great.

The new marketing and content job is to give insights, apply knowledge, provide context, and do creative thinking. After that, feed AI with prompts and let AI do the grinding work. The last indispensable step is taking AI’s output, sprinkling stardust, and making it yours.


Key takeaway: AI needs human intellect 

Sure, AI speeds you up and can do the grinding work in marketing and content. You can get more done in less time. Prompt and go. Before you know you've got so much content, you'll hardly have time to publish all of it. 

Yet, that's not the average content you're looking for. You want great content that's engaging and has a digital presence. Content that reflects your mission and vision and has brand personality. 

Here's what you need to know to get great AI-generated content:

  1. It’s AI + HI that sparks magic
  2. Management needs to facilitate that change and foster creative and innovative thinking over KPIs and output-driven
  3. Marketers and content producers can only distinguish themselves by staying curious, daring to be and think different, and not being afraid to make mistakes while learning to work with innovations and refusing to be average


→ AI will not take over the marketing and content jobs; the ones who know how to use it will. 


The indispensable role of human intellect 

The marketing and content that engages is human content. Content that’s emotional, has humor, is surprisingly unexpected, soaked in the brand’s personality.

All that is human connection; AI can’t initiate that.

Sure, you can come a long way with personalization in ChatGPT-4, adding a tonality to your prompts and weaving your prompts together to get a better output.

  • But it’s still YOU who has to write the prompts and think to add personality elements, optimize the tone of voice, make deep dives, or give context to the prompts.
  • It’s also YOU who defines a specific format as output from the snackable social caption, bullet list, table, or extended long reads of 1,000+ words.
  • Lastly, it’s YOU who does the final review on validity and sanity and who does the final formatting.

And that’s human intellect. And where the average wannabee, lazy employees will differentiate from the witty, passionate ones.


Changes are needed in management

From 2024, how we manage marketing and content teams will differ. It’s no longer about the number of campaigns or content, as AI can to the quantity. It’s about your team’s added value in creative thinking and embracing innovation to help the brand grow with marketing and content.

This means you have to step away from output-based KPIs and steer toward creative thinking and using innovations with in-depth craftsmanship and knowledge about marketing, content, and, above all, knowing how to apply all this to your brand.

All the management has to do is provide a safe environment for teams to play and fool around with AI and to innovate, test, and learn. Not being afraid to make mistakes, and, above all, they can keep your business's critical data and information safe and secure.


Changes are needed in the marketing and content 

This means the team has an exciting opportunity to show their knowledge and passion for their craft and your brand. The high performers will be distinguished from the average.

Marketers and content producers who slack and cut corners will miss the mark. The AI-generated marketing plans and the content will fall through the cracks as they lack in-depth insights-based strategic thinking to surprise and delight the customer.

One of the most important elements in this is safety.

  • Safekeeping of the business's critical and confidential data. And that’s also the data you want to put in AI to improve, learn, and iterate. So, your organization better have an alternative for ChatGPT and other AI tools, as you really don’t want that data out in the open.
  • Feeling safe by employees. To test and learn in the iterations. Not being afraid to fail, learn, make mistakes, and share those and their learnings.

And it’s up to management to provide that safe environment with tools and sufficient time to play and fool around with new technology.


Wrapping it up

AI is nothing short of amazing. Yet, it’s still the human intellect, the grid, the wit, the craftsmanship in marketing and content production that create the magic.


Three things to know

  1. It’s AI + HI; human intellect is where the magic happens. That means the job for marketing and content changes. More creative and innovative thinking is needed and should be encouraged and enabled by management
  2. For management, that means they need to adjust how they manage. A shift from output and KPI driven toward rewarding the creative and innovative doers who dare to think different and are not afraid to make mistakes while they apply their knowledge and craftsmanship.
  3. For marketers and content producers, that means you have to distinguish yourself from the average and step up your game. Always be curious, learn, and iterate. Foster your creativity, dare to be, and think different. Embrace innovation, and don’t be afraid to test and learn with fail fast mentality.

If you let AI do all the work, you’ll get more of what’s already out there. No new insights or strategies, no creativity or surprising unexpectedness that sparks joy and engagement with your customers.

It will become painfully visible who the hack marketer and content producer are and who the witty ones are.

This also means management needs to adapt and manage the teams in a different way, more based on strategic thinking and creativity and less on output and KPIs.



The concept ‘AI + HI’ is presented in  ‘AI and the Future of the Author: how human intelligence meets artificial intelligence in the world of writing’ where Rishad Tobaccowala interviews Josh Bernoff   

I recommend you listen, even if you're not a writer.