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Paul Roetzer

Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) is founder and CEO of PR 20/20, author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint and The Marketing Agency Blueprint, and creator of The Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute and Marketing Score. Full bio.
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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. 

“Can we automate content creation using artificial intelligence? More specifically, can we use machines to write blog posts at scale?”

These are the questions we sought to answer in spring 2015 when I launched an internal initiative named Project Copyscale at my content marketing agency, PR 20/20.

I’d had a growing fascination with artificial intelligence since IBM Watson won on Jeopardy! in 2011. I didn’t understand the underlying technology at the time, but when I read Automate This by Christopher Steiner in late 2012 I became convinced that artificial intelligence would transform marketing as we know it. It was only a matter of time.

“Some algorithms’ roots trace to the field of artificial intelligence. They may not be intelligent and self-aware like Hal 9000 (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer), the machine from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), but algorithms can evolve. They observe, experiment, and learn—all independently of their human creators. Using advanced computer science techniques such as machine learning and neural networking, algorithms can even create new and improved algorithms based on observed results.” — Christopher Steiner, Automated This (Penguin Group, 2012)

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Editor's Note: The following excerpt originally appeared in Content Marketing Fast Forward. See the full article here

Despite advances in marketing automation, much of the technology marketers rely on to plan, execute, and evaluate content marketing campaigns is elementary. But artificial intelligence (AI) possesses the power to change everything. Artificial intelligence is the science of making machines smarter, which in turn augments human knowledge and capabilities.

While traditional marketing technology is built on algorithms in which humans code sets of instructions that tell machines what to do, with AI the machine creates its own algorithms, determines new paths and unlocks unlimited potential to advance marketing and business.

It may seem like a futuristic concept, but AI-powered technologies are already being used today by companies like Amazon, Salesforce, and HubSpot to improve marketing and sales. In the process, AI will change how brands organize their content marketing.

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Picture this: A B2B SaaS company with $2 million in funding and aggressive growth goals is struggling to meet lead-generation targets. The marketing team is consistently blogging, distributing content across their social networks, and producing high-quality premium content pieces monthly.

Despite the effort, not enough people are finding and engaging with the content. In fact, they are still quite reliant on purchased contacts. So what should they do? It’s the universal marketing performance struggle.

Sound familiar?

Most startups suffer from a lack of reach at the top of the funnel. And it’s no wonder, considering the oversaturation of branded content and the ever-increasing battle for consumer attention.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that we plan faster, experiment more efficiently and adapt to constantly accelerate success. In fall 2015 we introduced Marketing Growth Hackathons as a planning model to do just that. Our goal was to condense 30 days worth of planning into 3 hours.

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

We started the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute to connect the dots for marketers, executives and entrepreneurs who want to learn how AI will impact their companies, industries and careers.

Since our launch in late 2016, we’ve profiled dozens of marketing AI solutions providers and discussed how marketers can begin using AI to drive productivity, personalization and performance.

Over the course of this journey, we’ve learned there are three big things that marketers need to know as they get started with artificial intelligence. Understanding the ideas that follow is critical to applying artificial intelligence and related technologies to your business.

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Editor's note: This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. Check out more posts like it here.

Marketing automation platforms have transformed the industry over the last decade, making marketers more efficient, productive and successful. But, the great irony of marketing automation is that it’s largely still manual.

Consider how much time your marketing team spends on repetitive and administrative tasks, such as drafting social media updates, writing data-driven blog posts, personalizing emails and website copy, A/B testing landing pages, building lead nurturing workflows, developing advertising copy, managing paid media spend, conducting keyword research, finding insights in analytics and recommending strategies (to name a few).

Now, what if we told you every one of those tasks, and many more, could be done more efficiently using artificial intelligence technology that’s available today? The challenge is that the solutions mostly exist in stand-alone AI tools, rather than as native elements of the major marketing automation platforms.

While we expect marketing automation companies to rapidly develop and integrate AI capabilities in the months and years ahead (through both acquisitions and internal R&D), for now, marketers need to piece together AI-powered products and integrate them into their core marketing technology stack.

Following are 11 common marketing tasks that can be more intelligently automated right now using AI technology. Many of the companies we include are still early in their product and market development, so use this list as a starting point for your AI research, not as a de facto buyer’s guide.

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The proliferation of marketing channels, apps, mobile devices, social networks and content has given consumers more choices and greater control, while increasing complexity for marketers.

We want to help simplify and optimize the marketing planning process for your business.

Use the following marketing game plan model, as featured in Chapter 10 of The Marketing Performance Blueprint, to build core strength, spur growth through existing assets, connect actions to outcomes and allocate resources based on performance. There are three phases—evaluate, establish and execute (e3)—made up of 15 steps.

Most organizations and enterprises should complete these steps at least annually to guide long-term planning. For small businesses, start-ups and short-term goals, we'd recommend following our hackathon model to identify quick wins and accelerate success. 

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

In April 2015 I launched an internal initiative at PR 20/20 named Project Copyscale designed to answer one seemingly straightforward question, can we automate content creation through artificial intelligence (AI)? More specifically, can we use machines to write blog posts?

Like most organizations, we were struggling to create content at scale, while maintaining quality.

I had just returned from SXSW in Austin where I heard the managing editor of the Associated Press and the CEO of Automated Insights discuss how the AP had used Automated Insights technology to shift earnings reports to 100 percent machine written.

I had spent the better part of three years theorizing and building software that would use AI to automate marketing strategy. So I knew theoretically what was possible, but I had no idea if the technology truly existed to transform our agency, the marketing industry and the business world at large.

What we’ve learned since that time has altered my view of what’s possible today, and in the near future. We’re still experimenting with developing AI software, but I’ve shifted our focus to something we’re more uniquely qualified to do—tell the story of AI from a marketing perspective.

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I spent the first six years of my marketing agency career chasing hourly quotas instead of results. Our goal was to bill a minimum of five hours per day. 

Yes, we cared if the client was happy and successful, but the fundamental economic driving force behind the firm's existence, and my career potential, was the billable hour.

I discovered early on that the billable-hour model was a flawed, archaic, agency-centric system that wrongly tied agency performance to outputs, not outcomes. 

In 2004, four years into my career, I became highly motivated to build a more efficient and profitable solution that shifted the focus to client needs and goals. 

The idea was centered on making services tangible with clearly defined costs, features and benefits, almost like buying a product off a retail shelf or signing up for a software service.

My theory was that if clients understood exactly what they were getting, and agreed ahead of time what it was worth, then we could remove the mystery from the equation and focus on delivering value and results. 

The problem was that the billable-hour model was the only one I had ever known. How would I build an entirely new financial model and productize a service business?

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Editor's note: This post was originally published by Content Marketing Institute and has been edited for comprehensiveness. 

After months of planning, research, writing, and design, your new B2B research report is set to launch.

Personas have been defined. Databases have been segmented. Website traffic, lead generation, and sales conversion goals are all set. And your project management system has been stacked with all the standard elements of a successful content marketing campaign, such as:

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Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from The Marketing Performance Blueprint, and was also published on the HubSpot Agency Post.  

The marketing services industry is in a state of flux. As CMOs navigate the marketing talent gap, they are increasingly seeking performance-driven agency partners that are immersed in marketing technology and staffed with digital-savvy professionals. SMBs need partners that can deliver fully integrated solutions and in essence function as outsourced inbound marketing teams. Large enterprises commonly look for niche expertise in core digital disciplines such as content marketing, paid search, SEO, social media monitoring, and analytics to complement internal marketing teams.

The future belongs to dynamic agencies with more efficient management systems, integrated services, versatile talent, value-based pricing models, a love for data, and a commitment to producing measurable results. These tech savvy modern marketing firms thrive on change and continually apply advances in technology to strengthen their businesses, adapt their services, and deliver greater value to you, the client.

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