Generative AI in Marketing - Benefits, Methods & Tools

Generative AI has in a short time had a major impact in the way we work. As a CMO leading a small marketing team, I've seen first-hand how AI can transform a marketing team's productivity, leading to a 22x increase in productivity over a year.

In this article we'll look recent results of a survey of Finnish CMOs to explore how generative AI has impacted marketing, the key tools that every marketer should know and what the marketing leaders of the future should keep in mind in the future.

What exactly is generative AI?

Generative AI refers to tools and methods that leverage large language models to generate outputs that mimic human creativity. Put it simply, they are advanced machine learning models that have been trained with very large amounts of source data capable of providing human-like responses and communications.

The most commonly used generative AI tool is ChatGPT - a tool that anyone can use for free to interact with a large language model using text-based prompts. Since it was launched in late 2022 ChatGPT has become immensely popular with marketers. It has added a large number of new features giving more versatility for generating new content.

ChatGPT is not the only generative AI tool relevant for marketers. There are already many hundreds of options for generating text, images, video and even sound content. Later in this article we'll go through a few best options supporting search engine optimization.

How generative AI can be used in marketing

Generative AI can be used across most marketing team tasks from new content creation to communicating with customers. GenAI can be used for analytical tasks such as data crunching, as well as creative ideation. 

While the potential applications of generative AI in marketing appear endless, the actual ways marketing teams use it are a lot more limited today. In a recent survey we found that the top areas where generative AI used in marketing include:

  • In blogs and website copy: 84.3% of marketing teams use GenAI in blog or website copywriting.
  • Creative thinking: 80% of marketing teams use GenAI to inspire creative thinking.
  • Social media: 60% of marketing teams use GenAI when creating social media content.
  • Online advertising: 48.6% of marketing teams use GenAI in creating online advertising content.
  • Image assets: 42.9% of marketing teams use GenAI in creating image assets.

While there have been many video and sound generation tools available in the market, only 18.6% of marketing teams have used them so far. In addition there are many other less popular use cases for generative AI, with 22.8% of teams using GenAI for other purposes.

How generative AI can be used in marketing

Benefits of generative AI in marketing

While it is clear most marketing teams are keen to test generative AI across different use cases, what are the actual benefits we can expect to get? This is also something that was covered in the recent CMO survey.

Key benefits of AI in marketing:

  • Acceleration of workflows- At the forefront of benefits, a staggering 90% of CMOs highlighted that generative AI helps expedite work processes. The integration of AI in routine tasks has drastically reduced turnaround times, allowing marketing teams to achieve objectives faster.

  • Enhancement of creativity and idea generation  - Closely following is the ability of generative AI to inspire creative thinking, with 88.6% of CMOs affirming this. AI tools are not just automating tasks but are also becoming collaborators in the creative process, suggesting new ideas and approaches that might not be immediately obvious to human marketers.

  • Elimination of repetitive tasks - About 85.7% of CMOs agree that AI effectively removes the burden of manual, repetitive tasks. By automating these tasks, marketing professionals can focus on more nuanced and strategic aspects of their campaigns.

  • Creation of time for strategic work - Generative AI has freed up valuable time for 77.1% of CMOs, allowing them to engage in more strategic work. This shift from tactical to strategic focus could potentially lead to more innovative campaigns and better long-term planning.

  • Improvement in work quality - 60% of CMOs observed an improvement in the quality of work produced. AI's analytical capabilities ensure that decisions are data-driven, leading to more effective and targeted marketing efforts.

  • Skill and knowledge enhancement - More than half of the CMOs surveyed (52.9%) have witnessed an enhancement in their team's skills and knowledge base. As marketing teams learn to implement and work alongside AI, they acquire new technical competencies and insights.

  • Other benefits - A small percentage (5.7%) indicated other miscellaneous benefits, which may include improved customer insights, cost savings, and enhanced personalization in marketing strategies.

benefits of generative Ai in marketing

Popular GenAI tools for marketers

Marketing professionals have a tendency to use a large number of different tools and software. According to there are over 11,000 marketing technology solutions in the market today. 

When surveying Finnish marketing leaders it was clear that ChatGPT is by a long way the most popular tool in use today. Also, 61% of marketing teams in Finland pay for ChatGPT Plus, making it also the most popular paid option. 

Popular image editing tools used by marketers include Midjourney, Adobe Firefly and Canva. For copywriting, the list is even longer with tools such as Jasper, Writesonic,, Sudowrite and many others competing for the attention of marketing professionals.

In total, 70 marketing professionals mentioned 40 different tools in use, so for the moment the amount of tools in use is quite fragmented and broad.

Tips for exploring Generative AI tools in marketing

If you're spoiled for choice and would like more inspiration for testing out new tools, you can follow these six best practices.

1. Define your needs and objectives. Before you begin testing, clearly define what you need the AI to achieve. Are you looking to automate content creation, enhance data analysis, or improve customer interactions? Understanding your objectives will help you choose a tool that aligns with your goals.

2. Start with a pilot program. Implement the AI tool on a small scale before rolling it out company-wide. A pilot program allows you to see how the tool fits within your existing workflow and how it might scale in the future.

3. Evaluate the learning curve. Assess how easy it is for your team to learn and use the AI tool. The ideal tool should have a user-friendly interface and provide ample resources for training and support.

4. Analyze output quality. Test the quality of the outputs thoroughly. For content generation tools, look at factors like relevance, creativity, and personalization. For data analysis tools, examine the insights' accuracy and actionability.

5. Inspect data handling and security. Understand how the tool handles data. Check for compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR and ensure that the AI provider has robust security measures in place.

6. Consider the cost implications. Compare the cost of the AI tool against the value it brings. Consider not only the initial cost but also the long-term ROI, taking into account time savings, productivity gains, and potential sales increases.

By following these tips, you'll be better equipped to select a generative AI tool that not only meets your immediate needs but also serves your long-term strategic objectives.

Is generative AI full of hype?

While it is already clear that generative AI will have a major impact on marketing, there are still a few doubts about the immediate and longer term implications.

In the recent survey of Finnish CMOs, over half of respondents were unsure whether they would invest more in generative AI tools over the next 12 months.

Even so, the same marketing leaders saw that within 5 years generative AI would be embedded in the majority of marketing team work. On average, marketing leaders perceived that within 2028 52,2% of total marketing team time would be spent working on generative AI tools, content and methods.

future of generative ai in marketing

Key implications of GenAI for the future of marketing work

Increasing reliance on AI: The data forecasts that marketing teams are expected to more than double their use of generative AI tools. This reliance on AI indicates that the technology will become increasingly integral to marketing strategies, workflows, and execution.

Shift in skill sets: With the rise in AI utilization, there will likely be a corresponding shift in the skills that marketing professionals need. Creativity and strategy may become more valuable, while technical proficiency in AI tools will likely be essential.

Enhanced efficiency: Generative AI's ability to automate and streamline tasks suggests that marketing teams could become significantly more efficient. This could mean more campaigns, more personalized content, and faster data analysis, all of which can lead to increased productivity.

More strategic focus: As AI handles more of the repetitive and time-consuming tasks, marketing professionals may have more time to focus on strategy and creative work. This could lead to more innovative marketing campaigns and strategies that can better engage customers.

Changing job roles: The evolution of AI could lead to a transformation in job roles within marketing departments. Roles may evolve to focus on managing and interpreting AI outputs, integrating AI into broader marketing strategies, and ensuring the ethical use of AI-generated content.

Data-driven decision making: With AI tools processing vast amounts of data to inform marketing strategies, decision-making is likely to become more data-driven and precise, potentially leading to more effective targeting and segmentation.

Impact on employment: While the survey does not explicitly address employment, there is often a concern that increased automation can lead to job displacement. However, the data suggests that generative AI is being used as a tool to augment the capabilities of marketing teams rather than replace them.

Ethical and regulatory considerations: As generative AI becomes more prevalent, marketing teams will need to navigate the ethical implications of using such technology, as well as any new regulations that may emerge regarding AI-generated content.

The survey results underscore the transformative impact generative AI is expected to have on marketing teams. As the technology continues to mature, marketing organizations should prepare for significant changes in how they operate, the skills they value, and how they engage with customers. While this transition presents challenges, such as ensuring ethical use and managing the integration of AI into existing processes, it also offers substantial opportunities to enhance creativity, efficiency, and strategic insight.

Lari Numminen

Lari is a 2-time B2B SaaS Company CMO and marketing enthusiast. He has written extensively on topics such as business process management and the role of artificial intelligence in the workplace.

Related posts

Search Generative AI and SEO - Methods, Tools and Tips
How to generate better B2B leads (with help from AI) Search