A creative co-pilot: Evaluating AI tools for content creation

When generative AI went mainstream in 2023, there was much speculation in the marketing world about its capabilities. Despite this, many of us still find ourselves in a gray area. With a critical mass of AI-based tools at our disposal, how do you know which will deliver actual value?

That’s exactly what this blog series will explore. It’s something we at Quietly have been thinking about, and experimenting with, for a few years now.

Navigating the overwhelming AI landscape

You’ve undoubtedly noticed all of the hot takes on the internet promising “top generative AI tools” for any given purpose. But while they may list “what” the tools are, they don’t take your situation and unique use cases into account.

They also make it sound like the more tools you adopt, the better—but as we explored in our last blog post, in the battle between quality and quantity, quality always wins.

Signing up for these solutions can pose other challenges. If you’re bound by a tight budget, do you have funds available for new tools? And even if you’re able to try the tool for free now, are there implications down the road if pricing changes? Are there organizational guidelines and restrictions that limit which tools can be licensed? And what legal ramifications should be considered before the adoption of a new tool?

Learning, testing, and deeply understanding these tools is a serious investment. It’s possible to optimize your daily work processes with AI, but looking for tools that fit your specific requirements and staying abreast of the latest developments is essentially a full-time job.

Adopting AI: Artificial intelligence needs human intelligence

AI tools need to be viewed as a means to enhance, rather than replace, human knowledge and experience. The critical thinking, judgment, and ingenuity of your people are still indispensable, and AI systems are far from perfect—they can be prone to hallucination, bias, and even potential plagiarism or infringement of IP.

So how can you take that human-centric approach to AI? Before looking for solutions, think carefully about the specific problems you can solve; and before answering questions, take a second to actually ask them:

  • What are your team members responsible for?
  • What tasks are required by their roles?
  • What types of research, administration, and decision-making processes are necessary to accomplish these tasks?

One method to reach an honest, accurate assessment of what tasks AI can help with is through “user stories.” These general, simple explanations of desired outcomes can help determine who needs to do what, and why. It’s an effective way to define needs and opportunities based on statements that confirm its purpose—and in an increasingly dense AI landscape, that kind of clarity is invaluable. 

As with most things, context is key. There’s no point in adopting generative AI simply for the sake of having the latest and greatest solutions; you need to know how a particular application will serve a particular purpose.

The three I’s of deploying AI tools with intention

To this end, engaging with a strategic partner is essential. They provide much-needed expertise on the tools available and how to leverage them, and help identify the gaps that exist so AI can be most effectively employed.

At Quietly, we chart a course through a simple framework:

  1. Identification: It’s vital to have an outside-in perspective to help evaluate solutions based on your team’s actual needs. To this end, we work with clients to do cost/benefit analysis and overall economic impact studies. For example, does this tool improve your gross content output? Does it improve the quality of life for both the reader and the producer?
  2. Integration: Your strategic partner should be an expert in operationalizing these systems to drive effective results, so AI can enhance your daily workflows and processes from the moment the proper foundations have been put in place. Implementation, enablement, and change management are all fundamental here.
  3. Iteration: As technology changes, a good partner can help you stay agile and evolve accordingly. We measure what is and isn’t working, while identifying further insights and recommendations to implement.

Ultimately, our approach at Quietly is to look at our clients’ unique business case for AI adoption—whether it’s optimizing the briefing process, synthesizing and collating multi-stakeholder feedback, adding efficiency to workflows, and more.

A good AI strategy requires a good partner—one that can guide you with an informed opinion so that you can focus on what matters most: developing your team, driving key business objectives, and delivering the world-class marketing initiatives you’ve built your reputation on.

Of course, no streamlined process or heady initiative will land without a thorough understanding of your audience. In our next piece, we’ll take a look at the important role a human-centric approach plays in engaging your customers.

Understand how Quietly can help play a role in your content marketing efforts.

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