by Brittany McSorley
A few weeks ago, I was apartment hunting and hating it. Like most sane people, paperwork gives me extreme anxiety. Has anything ever been wrong with my taxes? No. Do I nevertheless imagine being audited, swiftly convicted of tax fraud, and joining the ranks of so many beloved politicians as a white-collar criminal because I forgot to type my middle name or something? Every single year. So you can imagine how fun I am when faced with all the documents you have to receive, print, sign, scan, attach as a PDF, and so on when you’re moving. I was already a complete stress case when I received the following email, which I have redacted for privacy reasons:
Thanks for your interest in [overpriced complex]! My name is Ella. May I have your name and email address?
How many bedrooms are you looking for?
Are you available today or tomorrow for a self-guided tour
If you have questions, please feel free to ask me.
AI Leasing Assistant
Pretty standard stuff, right? Wrong! Stressy Bessie knows better! (It’s me, I’m Stressy Bessie.) That email was sent to me by a robot, everybody. A ROBOT. (Okay, I know “robot” is not the right term for most (any?) AI tools, but I am a child of the late 1900s, so it’s all robots to me.) The point is, Ella is an artificial intelligence leasing assistant, and at the risk of sounding old, cranky, and jaded, that email freaked me out.
It’s not just Ella-the-dangerous-cyborg that makes me uneasy. It’s the whole recent rise of AI technology that everyone but me seems so thrilled about. When artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT launched in November 2022, people were all, “Wow! You can ask it anything and it will answer in a coherent and human way! Will wonders never cease? What a blessing to live in this time!” It was like the moon landing or something. And it’s like, dude, have you ever seen a movie? Technology so good at seeming human that you can ask it to write your Stephen King paper is a narrative red flag. That C+ will not be worth it by the third act. Just read The Shining and share your thoughts! It was very cool of your English teacher to assign that book! It has swearing and everything!
My own (extremely well founded) fear of the future aside, AI is here to stay, and it can be a huge time saver for those of us with organs and the capacity for empathy. Artificial intelligence tools can automate tasks and make valuable predictions that can inform marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes. According to Marketing Evolution, “AI is often used in digital marketing efforts where speed is essential. AI marketing tools use data and customer profiles to learn how to best communicate with customers, then serve them tailored messages at the right time without intervention from marketing team members, ensuring maximum efficiency.”
Here are a few ways small business marketers can incorporate AI solutions into their marketing efforts (otherwise known as rendering me useless! Just kidding, we’re having a good time):
- ChatGPT and other chatbots can create content for social media posts.
- Lately and similar tools will condense larger pieces of content into digestible pull quotes and/or summaries for social channels.
- Sprout and other technologies can analyze tweets and other messages from your customers and suggest automated responses.
- HubSpot and friends will use metadata to create social media posts.
- Cortex and similar programs can make recommendations for when and how often to post to your socials.
And the list goes on. Now please, don’t make me talk about this anymore. I have to watch Mad Men and weep for simpler times.