How to use AI as your small business marketing assistant

It’s been over a year since ChatGPT burst onto the marketing scene, and the buzz around AI shows no signs of slowing down.

There are blogs a-plenty that love to hype up AI’s “amazing potential” to help companies, but often the examples they give just aren’t relevant to smaller, independent businesses. I mean, how often do you really need to summarise a 200 page report or generate a PESTLE or SWOT analysis?

So, here are some ways you can more usefully deploy AI as your small business marketing assistant (all of which we’ve recently taken advantage of ourselves at NSDesign):

1. Transcribe your calls and webinars

Apps like Grain and Otter use AI to generate transcripts of your Zoom calls, giving you a full account of the call, unlike handwritten notes. You don’t even have to trawl through the whole transcript to get to the salient points: you can use their in-built assistants to look for the relevant parts of the transcript. This can save you a LOT of time when you’re interviewing subjects for case studies, or holding briefing calls for new marketing campaigns. Just make sure you get all participants’ consent to be recorded!

2. Analyse spreadsheet data

Recently, a client asked me to pull together some facts and figures (highlighting trends, with fancy graphs, and customer quotes etc) which were all contained in a HUGE excel spreadsheet from over a year’s worth of training evaluation data.

To pull together even a fairly basic report would normally take at least 1-2 hours if I were doing it manually. Using ChatGPT and its data analysis capabilities, my report took just 20 minutes: 10 minutes to run the right prompts and get the info I needed, and 10 minutes to copy the results into a word document. (And don’t worry: the client knew I was using AI to complete this task!)

3. Generate ideas

While the jury is still very much out on using text generated by an AI – just ask the poor actors forced to abandon the 15-page AI script for the Willy Wonka Experience in Glasgow recently – coming up with ideas is another matter.

Check out this recent piece about the ‘Triple R’ prompt framework to get the best advice from ChatGPT. Try asking the AI to “act like a business advisor/ marketing director/ subject matter expert” and see what it comes back with. You can use its ideas as a springboard for your own. Never just copy and paste from ChatGPT – treat it like a first draft, which you can enhance and improve with your own human additions and corrections, adding your own personality and relevant examples. These AI tools can be great for “blank page syndrome” – helping you get words down onto the page, early ideas ready for making better.

4. Visualise concepts

As with AI-generated text, you may or may not want to outsource your public-facing artwork. (I direct you once more to the Willy Wonka fiasco with its AI-generated poster of a magical chocolate-land – reality was never going to live up to that!) However, tools like Midjourney, Adobe Firefly and others can be a fast and accessible way to create vision boards and initial creative concepts.

You could even start with your own images, and use AI “in-painting” to modify parts of the scene, removing unwanted items (like that annoying tree in the background which looks like it’s growing out your head) or adding in some AI enhancements like changing the background for your perfect product shot, or changing the sky from dark clouds to blue skies. Image manipulation has never been easier, or cheaper with many of these tools free to use, or operating a ‘freemium’ model (free to test out and play with, moving to a small affordable monthly subscription once you decide to actually make use of them commercially).


For more help with your digital marketing and how AI can help, get booked onto one of our AI for small business webinars, or talk to our team about our 1-2-1 consultancy and training.

We promise to show up in person, and not just send our AI avatars!

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