Slow Cooking with AI Part 2

Author: Grant Owens | Critical Mass


It was a marketer’s dream come true. A few years ago, the piles of data around us turned into mountains. Dramatically increasing our use of AI and machine learning (ML) toolsets was a must—both for us and for our clients. Much of what we built during that time happened quietly. The convergence of AI, ML, and innovative data architectures isn’t a pop culture topic per se, but the results are certainly noteworthy.

Now, a frenzy of AI adoption is upon us. In addition to tools trained on data, we’re inviting generative AI to the party. As strategists, we’ve enjoyed the playfulness of text-to-image AI, but the magnitude of language manipulation in our space is substantially more powerful. There a number of ways our Critical Mass teams are incorporating the technology.

First up, speed to insights. Pulling initial research in seconds, not hours, is wonderful. When exploring a new category we can now find competitive benchmarks, recognize market forces, root out creative cliches, and get our hands on many other audit-like deliverables in a fraction of the time and effort. Aside from consumer-facing tools like ChatGPT, we’ve built internal self-service tools for faster access to our data sources.

Feeding unlimited human creativity. AI today isn’t creative, but it’s expansive and thorough, which is an exceptionally powerful ingredient for creativity. As humans, we are cognitively limited by two key traits; recency bias and a narrow field of view (limited perspectives). AI, with its internet-sized store of source material, is helping us move past those limitations and canvas broader potential spaces and idea territories. From keywords to cultural norms, it’s sparking thought starters we can craft into true creativity.

Powerful performance optimization is at hand. The days of set-it-and-forget-it are long over, but we’re already achieving real-time analysis and asset updates with the help of AI and ML. The speed and accuracy of these new tools are revolutionary. Each text or image component we put into a brand’s design system can be measured and improved while still maintaining cohesion. And the numeric performance of the work can be storied through natural language generation.

…that’s just scratching the surface of where we see AI heading. But if it gives us time to slow cook an idea or two, then I welcome our new AI friends to the industry.

PS, talking to my strategists here: Yes, you should become adept at AI prompts, but don’t forget, you are a brand steward and culture connector – two things AI can’t do, yet.

Critical Mass