AI in Marketing: It's Time to Test, Learn and Adapt (or Risk Getting Left Behind!)

Insights from Charlotte's Tech Industry Leaders

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AI in Marketing: It's Time to Test, Learn and Adapt (or Risk Getting Left Behind!)

As marketers, we are at a crossroads. The impact of Artificial Intelligence on our industry is undeniable, and the choice we face is clear: lean in or risk getting left behind. At a recent B2B marketing event in Charlotte, co-hosted by Beacon Digital Marketing, Kingsmen Software, and RevTech Labs, I had the opportunity to engage with industry leaders, business executives, and marketing professionals. The insights we shared at this event underscore the urgency of embracing AI and the tremendous opportunities it presents for operational efficiency, reduced time to market, and improved quality of work.


Executive Summary

Here are the key takeaways from the event:

  1. AI is redefining our roles as marketers. It's no longer about repetitive tasks, but about strategic thinking and creativity. This shift requires us to adapt and focus on building deeper, more authentic connections with our customers.

  2. Successful AI adoption demands a culture of experimentation, education, and adaptability. We must encourage our teams to embrace change and continuously learn.

  3. AI is not just for automating simple tasks; it's creating entirely new workflows. We discussed hyper-personalized account-based marketing (ABM) as a prime example of AI's potential to revolutionize customer engagement.

  4. While we are excited about AI, we must also address ethical concerns. Transparency, fairness, and governance are key to ensuring AI is used responsibly.

  5. Despite concerns about job displacement, AI has the potential to boost productivity and foster innovation, driving positive outcomes for businesses and the economy.

AI's Current State: Observations from Business Leaders

During the event's first panel, moderated by John Christenbury, we discussed how AI is being integrated into various industries. Tyler Traudt, CEO of DebtBook, shared his optimism about AI's broader impact, suggesting that it can open doors to new opportunities despite the risk of job displacement. His perspective aligns with my own: AI has the potential to revolutionize our businesses, but we must manage the transition thoughtfully.


In my conversation with Jessica Hreha, Head of Marketing AI Strategy & Transformation at Jasper, we explored advanced AI use cases and the importance of using AI to enhance, not replace, human capabilities. This balance between technology and human touch is crucial as we navigate the AI landscape.


AI in Marketing: Insights from Marketing Leaders

The second panel, moderated by Jessica Antle, focused on AI's impact on marketing. As a marketer, I am particularly interested in how AI is transforming our industry and advising our clients on how to stay ahead of the curve.

Christy Harner of ZwitterCo emphasized the need for strategic thinking, creating truly valuable and authentic content, and understanding the "why" behind marketing approaches. This is where we, as marketers, need to step up and guide the AI revolution.

Christina Kyriazi of PhotoShelter highlighted the importance of cultivating essential skills, such as critical thinking and a deep understanding of marketing strategy. To succeed in this AI-driven era, we must redefine our roles and embrace a more strategic approach. As I see it, this is our moment to lead and drive the change.

Nathan Mairs of Bud Financial shared how his company uses AI to create more personalized customer experiences. While there are challenges, such as ensuring security and compliance, Nathan's approach demonstrates that with proper planning and innovation, AI can be a game-changer in marketing.

Sandra Judge of Vectra AI discussed the importance of promoting a culture of learning and continuous improvement. This resonated with me because it's exactly the mindset we need to cultivate as we lean into AI. Addressing team concerns and ensuring AI tools are used to their full potential requires leadership and a commitment to change management.


AI Tools and Technologies Used by Marketing Leaders

During the event, panelists shared insights into the specific AI tools and technologies that are helping marketers transform their workflows. Some of the tools mentioned included:

  • Jasper AI: A tool that assists with content creation at scale, allowing companies to generate thousands of high-quality product descriptions in a short time.
  • ChatGPT and Large Language Models (LLMs): Tools that help marketers automate customer interactions, generate personalized content, and analyze large datasets to gain insights.
  • Marketing Automation Platforms: AI-enabled platforms that facilitate hyper-personalized account-based marketing, enabling businesses to create targeted campaigns and engage with customers more effectively.
  • Custom solutions and APIs: Several folks attending and on our panel are building custom AI solutions to solve specific workflow challenges in financial services, insurance, accounting and other areas where manual tasks are a mounting issue. 

These tools demonstrate the potential for AI to revolutionize marketing, providing marketers with new ways to connect with customers and streamline their operations.

Addressing Ethical Concerns in AI Adoption

Ethical AI use was a significant topic of discussion at the event. As marketers, we must be aware of the ethical implications of AI and take steps to ensure responsible use. Jessica Hreha of Jasper emphasized the importance of transparency, fairness, and governance in AI applications.

To address ethical concerns, companies are focusing on:

  • Transparency: Ensuring that AI-driven processes are transparent, allowing customers to understand how their data is used.
  • Fairness: Addressing potential biases in AI algorithms and ensuring that AI is applied fairly across different customer segments.
  • Governance: Establishing clear guidelines and policies for AI use to ensure ethical practices and compliance with specific regulations.

These considerations are critical as we navigate the AI landscape and work to build trust with our customers.

Strategic Advice for AI Adoption in Marketing and Sales

For organizations just starting to explore AI in marketing and sales, I have some strategic advice routed in the discussion from our panelists:

  • Embrace Change and Experiment: Don't be afraid to experiment with AI. Encourage your teams to explore new possibilities and learn from successes and failures. This is how we drive innovation. Provide a space for teams to share their successes and failures with each other.

  • Foster Collaboration and Cross-Functional Teams: AI adoption requires collaboration between different departments. Break down silos and encourage cross-functional teamwork to unlock AI's full potential. Forming an AI council that involves your legal team, and other hand-raisers eager for a chance to lead, can be a great first step.

  • Focus on Strategic Thinking: As AI takes over repetitive tasks, we need to focus on strategic thinking and building deeper connections with customers. This is where we, as marketers, can truly add value. Take a moment to reassess your content strategy and make sure that what you're creating can't be done by AI.

Closing Thoughts

AI represents a significant opportunity for marketers to drive operational efficiency, reduce time to market, and improve the quality of work. However, this requires us to embrace change, address ethical concerns, and continually learn and adapt. The insights from the B2B Future of B2B Marketing Series event in Charlotte have reinforced my belief that AI is not just a trend — it's a watershed moment in technology and marketers have a unique opportunity to lead the way and make the most of this transformative technology.


Special thanks to our sponsors, Kingsmen Software,, and Revtech Labs! 



Whitney Mitchell

Whitney Mitchell

Whitney is a natural leader with a knack for creating something out of nothing. She’s helped dozens of brands gain greater recognition for their causes and products in the digital world. Whitney’s experience doing literally every job Beacon offers, from graphic designer to operations to web developer means she’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and dig in when it comes to helping Beacon’s clients build the future of business.