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CMO copilot — v1.1

AI Is No Substitute For ICP Research, But...

If you’re in sales and marketing, you know that market research is invaluable. You’ve got to know who you’re targeting, how to reach them, and why they’d want to buy what you’re selling, otherwise you're screwed.

AI plus Human Expertise In Sales And Marketing

For the past few months, however, I’ve been testing out a hybrid approach that combines these three things:

  1. The customer research we’ve done in the past

  2. My own personal experience and expertise in B2B sales and marketing

  3. AI

My hunch was that AI could provide reasonably good insights into the mindset of prospects, and even though the current crop of large language models aren’t 💯 up to date, they’re probably up to date enough to help with B2B sales and marketing.

Since we're not starting from scratch — we know who we’re targeting (B2B sales and marketing professionals), what their pain points are (really just variations of “I am under pressure to do a lot more with a lot less”) and why they buy our products (because they help you do a lot more with a lot less) — what we'd hope to get from additional research (besides validation that we’re still on track) are really just a few of those “A-ha!” moments where somebody we're talking to says something that triggers a thought that leads to a new approach, angle or idea for a campaign, promotion, or piece of content.

So... Could AI provide us with a reasonable substitute for those kinds of customer conversations?

One advantage we have is that we already have a platform that uses AI to enhance and expand on Ideal Customer Profiles, so we took those ICPs and turned them into ChatBots.

Here's is the exchange I had with a ChatBot that's adopted the persona of one of our ICPs, which is a Marketing Manager at a mid-size company:

ChatBot: What would you like to chat about?
Me: What kinds of LinkedIN posts do you read?
ChatBot: 1. Industry news and updates.
2. Marketing tips and strategies.
3. Case studies and success stories.
4. Personal development articles.
5. Job postings within the tech industry.
Me: Are you interested in using AI for marketing?
Bot: Yes, definitely. AI can streamline processes, personalize messaging, and improve campaign performance. It's a valuable tool for marketing in the tech industry.
Me: Could AI be a substitute for consumer research?
ChatBot: AI can enhance consumer research by analyzing vast amounts of data quickly and accurately, but it should not entirely replace human insights and understanding of consumer behavior. Combining AI with human expertise yields the best results.
Me: What about content generation?
ChatBot: AI can assist in content generation by curating data, suggesting topics, and even generating certain types of content like reports or summaries. However, human creativity and storytelling are still essential for creating engaging and authentic content.

What happened next?

Just as I was about to ask another question, I thought... why don't I just write a post about this exact exchange?

It's a legitimate use case. The outcome was positive. It's probably broadly accessible to anyone who's got to create content, figure out strategies and tactics, and generate awareness.

And the fact that you're still reading suggests that maybe it was worthwhile.

I'm going to continue playing around with this approach, but the ChatBot really did sum things up pretty well when it said that AI can "enhance," but it shouldn't "replace human insights," and that "combining AI with human expertise yields the best results."

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