In an industry increasingly influenced by Artificial Intelligence, understanding its impact is crucial for B2B marketers. In this episode of Leadtail TV’s Agents of Change, Matt Engelson, Digital Marketing Director at SageFrog Marketing Group, shared his thoughts with host Danielle O’Neil, offering a blend of caution, insight, and optimism.
Changing the Face of Search
Is my job safe? It’s the first thing everyone wants to know when it comes to AI.
Matt offers a realistic take on the future of marketing jobs in the face of AI. “I don’t think it’s going to come for our jobs right away,” acknowledging the inevitable integration of AI into marketing practices.
His primary concern is how AI is reshaping user experience in search engines. “I’m very curious slash nervous about how it’s going to change people’s experience on search. So I don’t know if websites are going to be all that necessary for much longer, which is kind of scary.”
The current search engine model is essentially a list of websites. Users click through to get the information they’re looking for. With AI, the answers can be encapsulated into a single response.
This reflects a significant shift from the traditional search-to-website dynamic to a new model where search engines provide answers directly.
Cheaper, Faster, Better: Ads and AI
Delving into the realm of paid strategies and SEO, Matt highlights the advancements brought about by AI. “[Ad vendors] have made huge improvements in their automated bid strategies, for example, which is AI machine learning. Max convergence/max clicks is working so much better than it used to. We used to use third-party tools to help us manage bids for our larger accounts. And we don’t really need those tools anymore.”
This evolution underscores the need for B2B marketers to adapt to AI-driven tools for more efficient and effective advertising strategies.
AI Assistants in the Content Studio
For content creation, there is a clear and growing reliance on AI tools like ChatGPT.
“With AI changing and analytics changing—we wish it wasn’t happening at the same time. But we have a great copy team who’s leaning into ChatGPT and learning how to write better prompts.”
Matt cautions against relying too much on AI for content creation. There’s simply no substitute for the unmistakable touch of human creativity: “I do think, you know, if you just ask [ChatGPT] to write a blog, it’s pretty obvious that a machine wrote it and not a person. But certainly, it’s getting better.”
AI Helpers, Not Replacements
Matt has the utmost confidence in the continued relevance of human marketers: “I definitely think for now for the foreseeable future. I think our jobs are safe. You know, I have to do so much of this work by talking to people. Right now a computer can’t do that. So I have to, you know, get on Zoom, explain the data, make recommendations. And the computer’s not doing that just yet.”
Matt Engelson’s insights reveal a critical truth: AI is transforming B2B marketing, but the essence of our work—understanding, communicating, and building relationships—remains a distinctly human domain. As AI evolves, so must we, blending its capabilities with our intrinsic human strengths to thrive in this new era.
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