New in AI for Marketing & Sales: What To Know Now — and Next

Kelly Wilhelme
Posted by Kelly Wilhelme on April 15, 2024
ai updates for marketing and sales

Artificial intelligence is changing the ways businesses operate, and for sales and marketing, generative AI is already becoming a powerful tool for efficiency and growth.

But it’s more than efficiency that’s at play; AI is today’s gateway to the data-driven marketing strategies of the future. And believe it or not, AI’s enabling marketers and salespeople to make more human-centric connections with target audiences and sales prospects.

“I think having an intuition for how these systems work is going to be important just for understanding what is happening to society. And you can’t do that if you don’t get over this hump in the learning curve; if you don’t get over this part where it’s not really clear how to make A.I part of your life.” — Ezra Klein, “How Should I Be Using A.I. RIght Now?” 

AI’s capabilities are advancing almost too fast to keep up with. That’s why on March 28, Appleton (Wisconsin) HubSpot User Group (HUG) members joined a few of Weidert Group’s team to continue a conversation we started back in November 2023. (Missed the HUG? You can catch the recording here.)

In our latest HUG meetup, a few Weidert Group teammates demonstrated HubSpot’s AI-powered tools, plus a few tools outside of HubSpot, that they’ve been using to take some of the tedium and busywork out of their day-to-day jobs.

The past few months alone have witnessed a seismic shift in the AI landscape, and tomorrow’s marketers need to understand today’s changes to stay on top of the game.

The AI Revolution Accelerates: Major Shifts Since November 2023

AI is evolving too fast to really call it an evolution; it’s not hyperbole to say we’re witnessing the AI revolution. The past few months have brought a wave of landscape-shifting developments, from the AI arms race between tech giants to the rise of powerful new tools. A few key updates we covered are summarized below.


Search Engines Get an AI-Powered Upgrade

  • Microsoft’s Copilot (formerly Bing): Microsoft revamped Bing, infusing it with cutting-edge AI to create a more conversational and helpful search experience. Copilot can summarize information, answer complex questions, and even generate text formats to help users get a jumpstart on writing tasks
  • Google’s Gemini (formerly Bard): Not to be outdone, Google rebranded its AI-powered chatbot Bard as Gemini and promoted it with a two-month free trial. Gemini excels at understanding natural language, providing insightful responses, and assisting with various tasks

The Rise of New AI Powerhouses

  • Claude 3: Anthropic’s release of Claude 3 sent ripples through the AI community. This advanced model demonstrates remarkable language capabilities and potential for nuanced real-world applications
  • Custom GPTs from OpenAI: OpenAI now allows businesses to create their own bespoke versions of ChatGPT tailored to their unique needs. This opens up incredible possibilities for personalized customer service, content creation, and more. Explore customized GPTs:

AI Tool Updates and Innovations

  • GPT Team: OpenAI’s recently added ChatGPT for teams feature empowers collaborative work across AI models. Marketers can leverage this to brainstorm, strategize, and share. Users can create their own GPTs and assistants to work within other applications with its Assistants API (in beta as of this writing)
  • ChatGPT 5 Incoming: The buzz around ChatGPT 5 is at an all-time high. OpenAI has hinted that the next release is slated for this summer and promises significant improvements. Get ready for even more intelligent and versatile AI interactions
  • Image Generation and Design Tools: AI-powered platforms like MidJourney and Canva continue to evolve, offering enhanced image generation, editing, and graphic design abilities. Marketers can quickly effortlessly produce visuals, some of them quite impressive, with minimal design experience
  • Hugging Face: For those looking for help, inspiration, and community, Hugging Face remains a hub of innovation. This open-source AI community offers a vast array of pre-trained models and tools, accelerating AI adoption for marketers of all technical levels

All machine learning is AI, but not all AI is machine learning

AI refers to the broader field focused on building machines that can mimic human thinking, analysis, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making. Within the AI field, machine learning is a technique focused on using algorithms and statistical models to enable computers to learn from data patterns — without being explicitly programmed.

How Will You Apply These AI Advancements in Marketing & Sales?

Beyond the specific advancements above, go-to-market teams have plenty to think about in terms of trends and developments in the coming year:

1. Hyper-Personalization at Scale

AI’s impressive and still-improving ability to analyze vast amounts of customer data will enable businesses to understand their audiences more deeply, down to the individual level. Expect to see:

  • Individualized content recommendations: AI will suggest products, services, or content specifically tailored to each lead or customer, based on past interactions, preferences, and behaviors
  • Dynamic pricing and promotions: AI-powered systems can personalize pricing and offers in real-time, helping to optimize conversion rates and offer the best value for consumers
  • “Know-me-better-than-I-know-myself” service: In customer interactions, AI can tap into deep data insights to anticipate needs proactively or provide recommendations that perfectly align with customer interests

RELATED VIDEO: AI for B2B Marketing & Sales: Boost Productivity & Get Better Results 

2. AI-Driven Predictive Analytics

AI and machine learning are set to revolutionize how we approach data, with the potential to go far beyond basic reporting, opening the door to:

  • Uncannily accurate sales forecasting: AI will analyze complex data sets that can include historical trends, market conditions, and individual sales rep activities to provide highly accurate forecasts, so sales leaders can make data-informed decisions about resource allocation and strategy
  • Churn prediction — and prevention: AI models will pinpoint patterns in customer behavior that signal potential churn risk, allowing for customer service to proactive intervention and customer retention efforts
  • Real-time campaign optimization: AI won’t just analyze results after a campaign; it will be able to help optimize ad targeting, messaging, or budget allocation on the fly during campaigns, for maximum performance

3. AI-assisted Creativity

AI isn’t replacing human ingenuity; it’s augmenting it. Marketers and salespeople can expect more — and more capable — AI tools to fuel their creative processes like:

  • Brainstorming and ideation: AI has already become a “thinking assistant” to generate campaign ideas, content topics, customer engagement strategies, and more
  • Copywriting assistance: AI helps overcome writer’s block, refine messaging, and improve subject lines, titles, content structures, etc.
  • Design co-creation: Creatives are using AI tools to generate design variations, suggest layouts, and ensure brand consistency across visuals

4. Conversational AI as a Standard

Chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming ubiquitous. Here are some of the ways users can expect them to advance — and fast:

  • Human-like interactions: AI will go beyond simple question-and-answer formats, engaging in more empathetic, natural conversations that enhance the customer experience
  • Omnichannel presence: Conversational AI won’t be siloed to a website chat box. It’s already integrated into social media, messaging platforms, and even voice assistants
  • Sales enablement: AI-powered conversational tools can help guide sales reps during calls, provide real-time insights, suggest relevant offers, and streamline deal closings

ALSO READ: HubSpot How-To: Using AI Tools for Sales Call Summaries & Transcripts

It’s Not Just About the Tech — It’s About the Strategy

Remember, adopting and integrating these AI technologies effectively requires a thoughtful approach. Focus on how AI augments your team's skills, frees them for high-value tasks, and aligns with a customer-centric strategy.

The AI innovations we’ve seen are truly just the beginning of the transformation taking place. Marketers ready to embrace these tools stand to gain major advantages, so be sure to register for the next Appleton HUG (subscribe to be notified when registration opens) — they’re free, hosted virtually or hybrid, and easy to attend.

Want to go even deeper? Don't miss Experience Inbound, Wisconsin’s Premier Marketing & Sales Conference on May 7 (Milwaukee) or May 8 (Green Bay)! Keynote Andy Crestodina will speak to using AI for performance, not just productivity, and Weidert Group's own Director of RevOps, Rick Kranz, will deliver a session packed with real-world examples of how AI and automation are transforming the sales process. Get ready to discover actionable tactics to streamline your sales efforts and close more deals.

Register for Experience Inbound today!

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Topics: Marketing Automation, Artificial Intelligence

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