Winning in a generative AI world

  • 20 Mar 2024

Alisha Lyndon

As Google Cloud’s Katharyn White explains, generative AI has the power to completely reshape how we understand customers, automate tasks, and improve ROI. But only if we embrace it fully.

As I spoke to Katharyn about building a world-leading generative AI-powered marketing team, there was one resounding theme. Those who want to succeed in the coming years must lead the charge, not follow it. “This is a moment that’s going to change us. So, we will either lead it or be led by it,” she told me.

As the Lead of Public Sector Marketing, Katharyn’s seen firsthand how gen AI is accelerating disruption in the industry. “Our jobs, our roles, our organization and, yes, even the market and customers we serve will look nothing like it does today in five years,” she predicts.

Leading the learning curve

Katharyn knew Google had to make a bold statement about their AI commitment when she launched their ground-breaking ‘AI Summer School’ program. Bringing in top experts from within and beyond Google, the intensive training equipped marketers to experiment and learn from mistakes, in order to apply their learnings immediately through hands-on projects. Now in its second year, the program is helping entire ecosystems raise their generative AI game.

Through nurturing a culture of curiosity and continuous learning, Katharyn and her team are tapping into the boundless potential of AI. And she underscores the critical nature of this ethos as the technology curve accelerates. This is how teams can successfully navigate the endless opportunities and challenges of AI.

If any of us have experimented with gen AI, we know it has the power to transform.

From chaos to clarity

Katharyn recognizes that the rise of generative AI in marketing processes may initially lead to increased uncertainty. “I think there will probably be a period of confusion before there’s a period of clarity, like most of these transition points,” she acknowledged. As tools become more widely available for prospect research, more companies than ever will end up on shortlists due to the wealth of insights AI surfaces. This influx of options means buyers could become overwhelmed with choice.

However, Katharyn believes focusing on building trust can help cut through potential noise. “For me, I believe it’s important for each of us to understand the principles around which the organizations are providing these tool sets. What they’re doing with our data security, not just of our own data, but of the system more broadly,” she stated. Choosing tools and providers that align with organizational values and prioritize data protection will help marketers navigate periods of change. Subsequently, they will emerge with customer relationships intact.

I think there are ways to accelerate and decelerate trust with any touch point. And importantly with any technology transition. And we are in, arguably, the largest technology transition of our careers.

Blending automation with inspiration

Katharyn and her team are using generative AI to revolutionize the way they craft campaigns, she explains. “It’s already populated with our brand voice style and other content guidance.” Pre-loading these brand elements means they can efficiently generate consistent, on-message campaigns.

As Katharyn demonstrated through one example, even a simple asset like a white paper could be transformed into a fully-fledged marketing program when leveraged in the right AI system. This rapid automation allows resource-constrained teams to reimagine what’s possible and maximize the impact of their efforts.

For visionary leaders passionate about pushing boundaries, AI opens immense opportunities. If your organization wants to thrive in the AI-powered future, look to Katharyn’s playbook for leading change, rather than following in AI’s wake.

Listen to the podcast here.

B2B marketing is undergoing a massive transformation, and generative AI is at the forefront of that change.

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Alisha Lyndon