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Paul Hamshere

Growth Marketing (Success Factor 7 of 20)

Leveraging Machine Learning & Generative AI as a creativity & productivity tool.

Growth Marketing (Success Factor 7 of 20)

What is the ideal outcome and what benefits will it bring?

Over time, we've observed in many organisations a transition in the priorities of sales and marketing. Initially centred around creating awareness, acquiring customers, and retaining them, these functions have now expanded their scope. They also collaborate with product teams throughout the customer lifecycle and engage in testing and experimentation to rapidly explore growth possibilities. By employing this approach, the process of product development or improvements can be expedited leading to higher revenue, cost management, and increased customer experience.

There are countless approaches where sales, marketing and product can collaborate across the customer lifecycle, for example by utilising A/B testing capability to optimise revenue and customer journeys. However, in this article we will focus on the collaboration on future growth possibilities by adopting and experimenting with Machine Learning (ML) and Generative AI (Gen AI). The aim is to swiftly grasp the voice of the customer through data and insights and generate innovative ideas and concepts in a rapid and cost-effective manner.

What changes have we seen in the market?

Traditionally, two primary agency models have thrived supporting large organisations. 

  1. Creative agencies
  2. Technology agencies

Creative agencies have aided marketing and sales teams, while technology agencies have driven the creation of innovative products and services. This approach, where product development teams conceive the offering and then transfer it to marketing and sales, has yielded success for numerous years.

Yet, our current landscape is marked by unpredictability, fierce competition, and a cost-conscious atmosphere. With diminished customer discretionary spending curbing expenditure enthusiasm, the drive for continuous innovation to maintain competitiveness has intensified. Meanwhile, the economic climate's impact on corporate investment appetite (evident through budget cuts or reorganisations) necessitates innovative approaches that can effectively drive creativity and innovation while remaining cost-effective.

ML techniques have made it possible to rapidly understand the voice of the customer from a vast array of unstructured data. This is then coupled with the emergence of GenAI capability to bring to life what is possible. This has been spearheaded by ChatGPT's widespread accessibility, making it available to everyone. This surge has been accompanied by remarkable improvements in output quality compared to human-generated content.

Similar to how machines mastering human voice brought Google and Amazon into our homes, the current state of GenAI evolution has given rise to various tools for text, image, video, and music generation. These tools facilitate rapid creation that would have previously required significant time and resources. This disruptive advancement has affected both the creative and technological domains. The evolving demands on conventional agencies are fostering a transformative environment, leading to the convergence of the need of creativity and technological expertise.

The potential lies in utilising ML to rapidly understand your customers from the wealth of data and insights at hand and pin point key words or phrases to employ in generating GenAI prompts to visualise solutions. And best of all this data can come in any form or structure, free text, voice calls, emails, social posts etc. ML and GenAI are productivity enhancers, enabling greater output with fewer resources. This opens avenues for achieving more within existing budgets or accomplishing tasks more quickly and cost-effectively.

What successful examples have we seen?

There are many successful growth marketing case studies out there on the benefits of marketing, sales and product teams working together in rhythms to drive growth using data. Regarding the adoption of GenAI, we are currently standing at the forefront of significant opportunities.

In this context, organisations like Heinz and Coke are already harnessing GenAI's potential to engage with their customer base. They empower customers to generate product ideas and artwork using GenAI tools, showcasing these creations on platforms like social media and billboards. Moreover, instances such as Becks Autonomous beer or Modus Brewing demonstrate how GenAI has been employed to create complete end-to-end products, encompassing everything from recipes to marketing campaigns, solely using AI.

We are just at the start and adopting experimentation is the key to understanding where the value could lie for you and your organisation before making future investment decisions.

Coca‑Cola Invites Digital Artists to ‘Create Real Magic’ Using New AI Platform
Beck's Autonomous Beer

Where should you start?

  • How effectively does your current product, sales and marketing teams communicate and work together throughout the product life cycle?
  • Who currently develops and tests new ideas and concepts?
  • Do your current agencies have the right mix of capability across creativity and technology to meet your current and future needs?
  • What are your current growth marketing areas or processes that could benefit most from ML and GenAI?
  • At what point are you currently positioned on this maturity scale, and what benefits would your customers and business gain by advancing further?

Lean Technology is one of IE’s 20 success factors. To learn more, read our first article, ‘Winning in a Product-Led World’.

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