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Mike Kaput

Mike Kaput is a senior consultant at PR 20/20 who is passionate about AI's potential to transform marketing. At PR 20/20, he creates measurable marketing results for companies using data-driven strategies, market-leading content, and scalable marketing technologies. Full bio.
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Recent Posts

Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated to be more current and comprehensive.

Brands have a major problem using the S-word. The term strategy is so overused by marketing departments and agencies that it is, in many cases, meaningless. They build marketing or content strategies. They think or act strategically.

Too often, marketers are irresponsibly using strategy and its variants as synonyms for planning.

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This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. The Marketing AI Institute was created and is powered by PR 20/20. 

“How do I get started with AI?” This is one of the top questions we get from marketers. A lot of professionals want to understand and apply AI to their work. But they don't know where or how to start.

It's understandable. There is a lot of content out there on AI. And there's a ton of hype.

So I want to walk marketers through how I would approach this process, using mock examples.

The goal? Show you how a brand could actually go from conception to reality with marketing AI.

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If you’re Bethany Johnson (@thanybethanybe), you learn as much about it as possible.

Johnson is a content marketer who wrote an article for Skyword’s Content Standard about natural language generation (NLG), an AI technology that automatically writes data-driven narratives. She caused a stir among freelancers and writers who feared bots were going to replace them.

“This particular form of artificial intelligence may one day have the potential to put many of my buddies out of a job,” she writes. “What I consider exciting really upset many community members, so I decided to dig into the topic to clarify.”

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This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. The Marketing AI Institute was created and is powered by PR 20/20. 

Will AI replace your job?

To be honest, no one knows for sure. Not yet. Which makes it more important than ever to ask the question.

We know AI is advancing rapidly. Image and voice recognition have become serious technologies. Natural language processing and generation are progressing. Neural networks push the envelope of how well machines learn without human intervention.

This has led to some insane advancements. We all now have AI voice assistants in the form of Siri and Alexa. Self-driving cars are viable technologies—and self-driving trucks may be next. Google built AI that taught itself how to be superhuman at a board game—without human teachers.

It's still very early in AI. But these advancements mean we need to move beyond hype and start asking tough questions.

How might AI redefine marketing jobs? How might it redefine our entire industry? And how do we train ourselves and others to survive potentially massive disruption?

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated to be more current and comprehensive. 

The term doublethink was pioneered by George Orwell in his dystopian masterpiece 1984. In it, an alternate England is enslaved by the totalitarian Party, headed by the omnipresent Big Brother.

To maintain power, the Party invents Newspeak, a reductionist language that eliminates the ability to express complex thought.

Doublethink is the result: the ability to believe two contradictions without question. In 1984, doublethink is everywhere: citizens believe they’ve been perpetually at war with another country one day, perpetually at peace the next. It’s also present in the Party’s slogan: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

That world may be fictional, but doublethink is real—and it’s destroying your content creation efforts.

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This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. The Marketing AI Institute was created and is powered by PR 20/20. 

Because AI is such a hot topic, everyone is talking about it. But not every commentator has a solid grasp about what AI technologies can and cannot do. This leads to some serious hype about AI’s capabilities and potential. When this hype invariably proves incorrect or incomplete, marketers discount the opportunity presented by AI (and understandably so).

In reality, AI can’t do everything, but it is already transforming business as usual in marketing and sales. And marketers need to pay attention.

Marketing automation and CRM platforms like HubSpot, Salesforce and IBM are baking AI into their solutions. Polled by Salesforce, 3,500 marketing leaders say AI is the “leading technology” where marketers expect the most growth in the next two years. There has been a 4.6X rise in deals to AI startups in the last five years, according to CB Insights, from 150 companies in 2012 funded to 698 in 2016.

Marketing artificial intelligence is here to stay. The real question isn’t “Is AI a thing?,” it’s “What does the future of marketing look like in the age of AI?”

We’ve spent years experimenting with AI and learning about the potential direct from AI providers. And we’ve identified what we believe to be several significant trends that are going to define marketing’s near AI future.

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This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. 

Artificial Intelligence has reached peak hype stage, but is it possible that its potential to transform marketing, and your career, is even greater than advertised?

You bet. Join us on Wednesday, April 11 at 2:00 p.m. EST to learn how to use AI to improve your marketing performance in a free webinar from Content Marketing Institute and the Marketing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute. 

The Marketing AI Institute is powered by PR 20/20. It was created to educate modern marketers on the present and future potential of artificial intelligence, and connect them with AI-powered technologies that can drive marketing performance and transform their careers.

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This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. The Marketing AI Institute was created and is powered by PR 20/20. 

For over a decade, savvy professionals have used inbound marketing to grow. Inbound marketing consists of creating and promoting content that addresses customer needs. The goal is to attract, convert, and close more qualified leads by being helpful to consumers. Today, companies use inbound marketing methodologies to market more effectively and cost-effectively.

Marketing automation company HubSpot has defined much of modern inbound methodology. That methodology looks a little something like this:

Source: HubSpot

Says HubSpot:

“Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.”

To achieve these goals, inbound marketers rely on many tools. They include marketing automation software, content management systems, and email marketing systems. They also include CRM systems, content creation tools, and content promotion tools. These systems comprise the inbound marketing tech stack. That tech stack can make inbound marketers more productive, personalized, and performance-driven.

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This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. See even more like it here

If you’re a marketer who wants to use artificial intelligence, the internet certainly isn’t doing you any favors.

There’s tons of hype about AI, but little substance on the subject of how you might actually use marketing AI systems and solutions.

We’ve spent a few years testing AI solutions, implementing AI for clients and talking to solutions providers about what’s possible.

So we thought it would be helpful to outline the biggest use cases for AI in marketing that we’re seeing right now.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of what AI can do, but it is a guide to what we think marketers ought to be doing with AI.

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Editor's Note: This post was originally published on Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute (MAII), a new community for modern marketers created and powered by PR 20/20. 

Gartner predicts that a full 20 percent of business content will be written by machines starting in 2018. This is a startling claim. The analyst firm says: “Business content, such as shareholder reports, legal documents, market reports, press releases, articles and white papers, are all candidates for automated writing tools.”

Will artificial intelligence automate content creation? It’s a legitimate question. If Gartner is talking about the issue, it’s worth considering. Artificial intelligence technologies are advancing rapidly, to the point where the Associated Press now has machines writing full earnings reports. Marketers rely on content more than ever as a linchpin of their strategies. What if the creation of content was suddenly the responsibility of a machine, not a marketer?

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