Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool that can help to automate repetitive tasks and streamline content production. However, “with great power comes great responsibility” - and businesses must have a robust AI policy in place to use AI for marketing effectively and ethically.
But where do you start? To get you on the right track, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of must-haves and best practices for your AI policy, from stakeholder transparency to data privacy considerations:
Engage all relevant stakeholders
As with any new policy, achieving stakeholder buy-in is crucial to the success of your AI policy.
While it might be tempting to view stakeholders as a hindrance rather than a help, stakeholders can provide additional insights you might not have considered and direct their teams to support adopting your policy.
Plus, when stakeholders view policies as a positive change, they can also become advocates for encouraging buy-in. The right stakeholders can even elevate your project to higher-level executives - and their buy-in may carry even greater weight!
The good news is that the stakeholder management process can be broken down into some easy steps:
- Identify stakeholders: Determine who will be impacted by your policy and who can influence it. Are there stakeholders who want your policy to succeed or fail?
- Prioritise stakeholders: Determine your stakeholders’ expectations. What information do they need, and when should you involve them?
- Assess stakeholder interests and needs: Determine if you understand stakeholder needs, priorities and issues. Consider what financial or emotional interests they might have.
- Define stakeholder motives: Hold interviews and focus groups, or send out surveys to get the information you need to define your stakeholders’ motives.
- Develop an engagement plan: Decide whether your stakeholders require frequent communication, consultation or collaboration. Your plan should be relevant to each person.
Once you’ve nailed down who will be involved in the project, the next step is determining how AI technology will be used in your marketing.
Consider current and future use
As you begin to write your AI policy, consider a two-fold approach: review how these types of tools are currently being used (good or bad) and consider how they might be used in the future.
For example, a copywriter might use a language AI tool like ChatGPT to generate basic blogs for your company website. While this increases their productivity and frees up their time to focus on more strategic tasks, there is potential for the work to be low-quality and less authentic than blogs written solely by a professional writer.
But with AI tools and technology evolving faster than a speeding bullet, it’s also important to consider how this technology might be used in the future.
At Brand chemistry, we’ve been trialling Market Muse - an AI-powered SEO tool that integrates with ChatGPT to help marketers plan, write and execute high-performing content. As confessed word nerds, we were initially nervous about the tool and how it would impact content quality and authenticity. With experimentation, we realised that a flexible AI policy that allows for human input and creative judgment in the content creation process, as well as regular reviews of the technology, might strike a better balance.
When crafting your own, consider having your AI policy in a constant state of refinement. This approach allows your team to seize new opportunities while maintaining a solid framework to address potential challenges and risks.
With the rapid evolution of AI technology, it’s also important to conduct regular reviews of your policy. Ideally, six months after writing the policy, you would review how the technology has evolved and any stakeholder insights. Any data you gather can be used to update the policy and educate your team on any changes you make. This ensures your AI policy stays relevant and effective and your team are informed and aligned with best practices.
Educate and train staff
To ensure your marketing team are using these tools for good (instead of evil), education and training should also factor into your AI policy. Consider providing training sessions that explore the benefits of AI and practical use cases - these will enhance your team’s understanding and confidence in using the tools. You could also cover the ethical considerations of using the technology, such as:
- Privacy and data protection
- Bias and fairness
- Misinformation and disinformation
- Job displacement (this is a big topic!)
Regular internal seminars and communications are also a great way to keep your team aware of any changes to the policy. Ensure that your policy is also easily accessible to employees - keep it up-to-date with clear version control so everyone knows where to find the most relevant information.
When equipped with this particular set of skills (pun intended), your team will be more likely to embrace AI as an asset and avoid its misuse.
Stipulate quality control
While AI tools can significantly reduce time spent on content production, there is no substitute for quality. Recent studies have confirmed that machine-generated content won’t break the web - in fact, much of what can be generated still requires human intervention. We recommend strict quality controls as part of your new AI policy.
Ensure any machine-generated content is accurate and reliable. Before publishing content, send your team on a fact-finding mission to confirm the information presented is true, credible, and aligns with your quality standards.
These quality controls should also extend to image and video generation. Verify the authenticity and accuracy of machine-generated visual content - and check that any images and videos are ultimately aligned with your brand guidelines.
Communicate data protection protocols
It’s a common but fair question: how can I protect my data when using AI?
Data protection protocols should be an essential element of your AI policy. Like sharing information and data with any third party, providing an AI tool with sensitive information comes with inherent risks. Businesses need to ensure they protect customer data and use AI responsibly.
To preserve data privacy, consider:
- Limiting data sharing: Give only the necessary data that the tool requires to perform a task.
- Obtaining user consent: Intend to use customer data? Ensure you have explicit consent.
- Data protection: Store your data securely and have data protection processes in place.
- Monitoring use: Monitor AI technology to ensure you comply with data privacy laws.
It’s also important to build a culture of awareness among employees and stakeholders to ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in data protection. Provide training and ensure any potential data breaches or security incidents are reported immediately.
Ensure customers receive human service
Although we can’t deny the benefits of using AI for content production, providing the human touch during customer service interactions is still important.
While AI-driven marketing and sales functions can be efficient and convenient, they should still retain the empathy and emotional intelligence that comes with human interaction. Likewise, providing avenues for customers to escalate problems to human agents when needed reinforces your commitment to delivering the service they expect.
Write your AI policy with confidence
A robust AI policy is not only essential but is an excellent opportunity to embrace the potential of AI in marketing. By involving all relevant stakeholders, planning for its use, and rolling out comprehensive education and training, your business can pave the way for successful AI implementation.
Streamlining content production and enabling creatives to focus on more value-driven work are among the many drawcards of AI marketing tools. But along with all the buzz surrounding these technologies comes questions and concerns of ethics. Watch our on-demand webinar to learn how to effectively and ethically use AI in marketing.
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