How AI is Changing the Face of Marketing


The featured guest for episode 148 is Paul Roetzer, Founder & CEO of PR 20/20, a well-known marketing agency specializing in inbound marketing strategies. Paul is the author of two popular books: The Marketing Agency Blueprint and The Marketing Performance Blueprint. In November 2016, Paul launched the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute (MAII). On this episode, we dive deep into what MAII is, why it exists, and why you should care.


If you’re not familiar with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Paul describes it as “the umbrella of the tools and technologies that are designed to make machines smarter.” It’s meant to enhance our knowledge and capabilities, not replace humans. Under AI is machine learning, or when a computer gets smarter on its own by looking at past user behavior. Deep learning is the next step down and includes applications such as Siri, Alexa, and Tesla.

In 2012, shortly after IBM Watson won Jeopardy, Paul started to ponder the idea of what Artificial Intelligence could do if applied to marketing. He read Automate This by Christopher Steiner and was even more inspired by the possibilities of the technology. In mid-2016 he launched MAII to “tell the story” of AI and how it affects marketing and sales. Interviewing more than 15 companies doing AI in marketing has shown Paul that there is a lot of venture funding pouring into AI.

“Pay attention to it. Start reading about it and explore it.”@paulroetzer #sbeshow #artificialintelligenceTweet: Tweet This

The Associated Press works with the company Automated Insights to create their earnings reports. Before using Automated Insights, they produced 300 earnings reports per quarter with humans; they now publish 3,000 each quarter written by machines. The promise sounds great in emerging AI companies, but there are few case studies available at this time.

Everyday marketing tasks like creating blog titles, sending emails and scheduling social media posts have the potential to be automated through AI. Build a list of these functions to see what kind of AI tool is available to automate it intelligently. Also, look at the data that you report on and then search for tools using Natural Language Generation to “turn the data into narratives at scale.” You’ll have to teach the machine, but from there it can easily conduct your reporting more efficiently, and at scale. Another way to stay up to date on AI is to interview the companies in your marketing stack about how they are using AI or plan to in the future.

Paul predicts that it might be three years before AI impacts SMBs, but advises marketers to keep their eyes open and pay attention. AI will significantly affect careers. It’s very disruptive and will probably lead to telemarketing through humans becoming obsolete and SEO becoming archaic compared to its current human-powered form. Content strategists, website content managers, and market researchers are likely to be impacted too, although it’s not clear how.

Paul wants you to know that if you’re not already paying attention to AI, it’s time. AI isn’t a fad. It’s real, and it’s moving fast.

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