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Let's admit it - AI is all the rage these days. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative force, putting marketers in a frenzy trying to figure out how to best use AI to assist marketing efforts and gain a competitive edge. However, as with any emerging trend, a lens of skepticism looms over AI, with many unsure whether it's friend or foe.

At a recent AI roundtable with Acquia and Paul Roetzer, the founder of the Marketing AI Institute, we discussed the role of AI in marketing. While there was a lot of excitement and curiosity around AI, most attendees admitted to lacking a plan for using AI in their marketing efforts. And as the saying goes, "Proper planning and preparation prevent piss poor performance."

Before marketers dive headfirst into the world of AI, it is crucial to define the 'why' of using AI within marketing strategies and incorporating it into processes and workflows. Understanding the purpose behind integrating AI into your organization is essential, so starting with a proof of concept (PoC) is not just a cautious approach but a strategic imperative.

So, as you consider how AI can help you in your efforts throughout 2024, let's look at the 5 key things to consider when building your AI PoC and defining your why for AI.

1. Ensure Strategic Alignment

Before adopting AI, marketers must align its implementation with their organization's overarching goals and objectives. Defining the 'why' helps clarify where to start with AI and how AI can achieve specific business outcomes. Whether improving customer engagement, enhancing personalization, or streamlining marketing processes, a clear purpose ensures that AI initiatives are not just tech-driven but strategically aligned with the organization's vision and digital customer experience goals.

2. Mitigate Risks through Proof of Concept

Implementing AI without adequately understanding its impact can introduce risks to an organization. A PoC serves as a controlled environment for experimentation, allowing marketers to test AI applications on a smaller scale. This helps identify potential challenges and provides insights into AI's feasibility and effectiveness in achieving the defined goals. Starting small allows marketers to learn and adjust without exposing the entire organization to unnecessary risks. When your PoC has proven successful, then you have a solid foundation to scale from (hence the next point), sharing learnings along the way.

3. Scalability and Integration

A successful PoC acts as a roadmap for scaling AI initiatives. Marketers can learn valuable lessons from an initial phase, taking time to understand what works and what doesn't and then scaling AI efforts and adoption accordingly. This stepwise approach ensures a smoother integration process, preventing the pitfalls that arise from adopting AI too quickly across the entire organization or lacking documentation and processes. Scalability without a well-defined 'why' can lead to inefficiencies and misalignment with business objectives.

4. Empower Your Team with Guidelines

Without a clear purpose and guidelines, the adoption of AI can become chaotic. Team members might experiment without a strategic direction, leading to inconsistent results and wasted resources. Defining the 'why' empowers teams to clearly understand the goals and objectives, enabling them to make informed decisions per the organization's vision. Guidelines for AI usage, including version control and prompt guidance, will help prevent team members from running wild with AI, ensuring a structured and purpose-driven approach.

5. Accountability and Measurement

A defined 'why' provides a basis for establishing accountability and measuring the success of AI initiatives. By setting clear objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) during the PoC phase, marketers can evaluate the impact of AI on their marketing efforts. This not only justifies the investment in AI but also guides future iterations and improvements. Without a clear purpose, it becomes challenging to measure success, leading to ambiguity and potential disillusionment with AI adoption.

A purpose-driven approach to AI

Undoubtedly, AI will continue to disrupt the way we do many things - especially in the world of digital experience. Regardless of where AI takes us, the journey of incorporating AI into marketing processes starts with a clear understanding of the 'why.' Marketers must define their purpose for AI adoption, and beginning with a PoC is a smart way to mitigate risks, align strategies, and empower teams with guidelines. With a well-defined 'why,' marketers can harness the true power of AI to drive innovation, efficiency, and success in the ever-evolving marketing landscape.

Have you defined your why for AI yet? Contact us to discuss developing your AI proof of concept to see how AI can help your organization today!

Has your organization defined your ‘why’ for AI adoption yet?

Let’s discuss developing your AI proof of concept. Reach out to see how AI can elevate and benefit your organization today!

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