Artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to feel like the next seismic technological shift, steadily pouring into every facet of modern life—business, art, education, politics, sports—and the cannabis industry is no exception.
While the technology is still far from being able to perform the job of a human, many of today’s consumer-facing AI tools are becoming especially adept at language processing.
In the case of ChatGPT, the media darling of AI, the software maps words in an effort to understand the relationship between every word in the English language. When you prompt it with a question or task, it can call upon its map of meaning to help you do things like optimize new product description, adjust the tone of your website copy for consistency, and craft more engaging content for your social media posts.
Industry-focused products like Canna GPT already are helping with general consumer education, while FolioGrow is making the world of cannabis cultivation more streamlined by leveraging tools to optimize grows through an array of sensors and manually entered data.
While industry marketers don’t have a wealth of options for cannabis-focused AI tools quite yet, they can take advantage of plenty of general enhancements to boost their reach and help fuel the creative process. In the case of imagery, time spent poring over usable images for engaging campaigns has been significantly cut with Shutterstock’s new AI image generator. Canva’s AI text generator and writer helps marketers come up with sleek, creative copy in just a few seconds. While the legal implications for trademarks and fair use of AI-produced or manipulated content eventually will change the landscape for some of these tools, it’s going to be open season for quite some time while society figures out how to address the complex issues.
Although the technology has the potential to make fundamental changes in the way we work, AI marketing tools already are helping professionals cut down on much of the grunt work related to copywriting and data analysis. When used properly, the tools can free up valuable time to help humans focus on the bigger picture: increasing revenue, making better customer predictions, and improving content and customer service.
“Current AI tools available for marketers are about helping us be more efficient with our daily tasks and workload,” said Keren Shlush, head of marketing at AI platform albert by Zoomd, an automated campaign building and optimization tool. “They’re also great for brainstorming and quickly providing insights.”
Here are nine of the best AI features and tools available for marketers today.
Developed by OpenAI and launched in 2022, ChatGPT is a natural-language processing tool or “generative pre-trained transformer” that facilitates human-like conversations. The interface provides answers to general questions, crafts drafts with concise direction, and responds to just about anything else a user might need help with. Like most other data-driven tools, the quality of ChatGPT’s output is tied closely to the quality of the input.
For cannabis marketers, ChatGPT can be used to identify major recent trends, create outlines for new campaigns, and develop months’ worth of ideas for social posts about a new product.
Google’s mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” is in perfect alignment with AI. The search platform already offers a wide variety of augmented tools for professionals. Labs, for example, is ideal for learning, ideation, and content creation. The next generation of large language modeling, PaLM 2, is designed to assist users with advanced reasoning tasks like coding or mathematics with multilanguage proficiency.
Bard takes Google AI one large step further. Considered an evolutionary branch off the earlier PaLM platforms, Bard is a “creative and helpful collaborator, here to supercharge your imagination, boost your productivity, and bring your ideas to life.”
With functions similar to ChatGPT, Bard can help users make sense of complex code and automate many time-consuming and repetitive tasks. Bard can be a useful assistant to help marketers with keyword research for SEO content, provide actionable insights about a new target audience, and distill complex messages into clear communications for better engagement across a variety of demographics.
Intuit Mailchimp threw its hat into the AI ring with strategic acquisitions, purchasing automated design platform Sawa in 2019 and insight-driven tool Inspector 6 in 2020. Today, Mailchimp has amassed more than 20 AI and data-science features designed to help small business owners and marketers save time, deliver effective marketing communications, and make smarter decisions.
“Marketers and small businesses are spending a lot of time thinking about how they can apply AI without adding something new to their plates or relinquishing creative control,” said Jon Fasoli, chief design and product officer at Mailchimp. “We see generative AI fundamentally changing the landscape of creative work, and we’re here to help our customers apply it to their day-to-day marketing in meaningful ways so they get more done and reach their goals faster. Email Content Generator and our AI-powered features can help them do just that.”
Building a campaign can be incredibly time-consuming, and smaller businesses might not be able to afford the manual legwork it takes to bring one to life properly the old-fashioned way. Mailchimp’s AI generator cuts a significant chunk of that time out of the job with features that can optimize content for readability, skimmability, calls to action, imagery, and tone. It also can identify errors in link formatting and merge tags, and can correct spelling and grammar issues. For multichannel campaigns, the creative assistant tool can auto-generate designs using the appropriate brand colors, fonts, logos, and images to ensure all communications are striking and consistent, allowing brand managers to focus on the perfect messaging to drive revenue in any market.
springbig is one of the first marketing technology companies to launch an AI tool specifically for the cannabis industry with its “Brands Marketplace.” The data-driven solution tracks consumer trends for springbig’s retail clients, measuring time of purchase, types of products purchased, and purchase frequency to identify behavioral patterns and preferences across demographics.
“AI tools help dispensary owners make informed, data-driven decisions about what products to sell in their stores,” said Jeffrey Harris, chief executive officer at springbig. “For example: springbig’s Brand Marketplace Caddie AI tool gathers customer preferences like spending, visit frequency, visit time, online orders, and even age. This prevents cannabis retailers from purchasing brands their customers may not like and being left with product they are unable to sell.”
While the core focus of this set of tools is to help retailers know how to stock their dispensaries efficiently, marketers also can glean direction from the data and use it to tailor campaigns and ensure the desirable products are shown to the ideal audience members at the best time to increase sales opportunities.
Canva is a popular design platform for cannabis creative marketers who don’t have the access or training to master more complex software like Photoshop. Just like Mailchimp, Cava has been acquiring companies over the past few years in its effort to roll out a whole host of AI tools designed to enhance the user experience and streamline a creator’s daily workflow.
Magic Write is an AI text generator and writer Canva launched in March 2023 to help users generate strategy lists, outlines, bios, captions, and content ideas. Canva’s AI Image Generator can transform words and phrases into complementing images, while its Magic Design studio helps users visualize concepts with advanced templates. Simply type an idea in a few words, and the platform will generate an outline, slides, and content to transform the thoughts into compelling visuals.
With thorough direction, the platform ensures marketers stay on brand with consistent imagery and messaging. Adcreative also can generate text and headlines, outlines, and the skeletons of social posts that get better over time as the system learns from marketing successes and failures. According to Adcreative, more than 95 percent of its users see improvement in click-through rates and significantly better conversion rates compared to creative efforts that are not data-backed.
Adcreative also provides marketers with creative insights and analytics to identify which creative performs the best in an ad account, which creative performs the best in a specific sector, and ways in which teams can utilize their data to enhance engagement and results.
Albert is a marketing AI platform designed to solve digital advertising challenges, helping marketers cut down on time-consuming tasks. It covers 90 percent of the biddable advertising universe, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Bing, and TikTok. Albert can help advertisers analyze their audience and tactic data at scale, autonomously allocate budgets, and optimize campaigns across paid search, social, and programmatic channels.
“The main purpose of Albert.ai is to improve the full funnel-campaign-management process,” said Shlush. “The platform helps to reduce the workload of daily optimization, unlocks valuable insights from the brand’s first-party data, and personalizes the campaign’s creatives on search and social.”
With less repetitive work, small businesses and teams can focus their attention on customer experience, maximizing social channel performance and personalizing content for every micro-audience they’re targeting.
“No campaign manager can crunch the same amount of data that Albert does on a daily or weekly basis, while still optimizing and continuing with other tasks,” said Shlush. “So overall, when the campaign’s performance improves, the [return on investment] improves as well—which is the main benefit of Albert.”
Jasper offers marketers “on-brand AI content wherever you create.” The platform promises efficiency with up to an 80-percent reduction in time for first drafts and a 40-percent increase in content downloads. Jasper is designed to learn from your brand to maintain a consistent voice and tone across all communication channels. For small teams managing multiple channels, Jasper can help save time by turning an article into a social post in seconds using your brand’s voice.
Jasper is more than a content tool. With Jasper API, companies can connect their customer relationship management platform and let Jasper identify trending topics, effectively repurpose archived content, and reduce repetitive tasks. Marketers also can use Jasper to generate new art, translate content in more than 30 languages, and perform editorial checks for spelling, grammar, and plagiarism in addition to keyword research and performance ranking.