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Elevate Your Marketing: Considerations When Choosing Generative AI Tools to Boost Marketing Effectiveness without Increasing Risks

3 Mins read

Generative AI has evolved significantly in the past year, particularly with content creation and visuals. In a time when there’s constant pressure to create personalized marketing materials, generative AI tools can be a powerful addition to many small businesses and their marketing strategies to balance scale, creativity, and cost-efficiency. In fact, twenty-five percent of small businesses in the US and Canada are already utilizing or testing generative AI tools while others express the intent to adopt within the next 12 months.

Despite this, advancements are juxtaposed with consumer skepticism and mistrust of AI-generated content. According to iStock’s VisualGPS data, 98% of consumers consider ‘authentic’ images and videos crucial in establishing trust. It’s critical to carefully evaluate how chosen AI tools meet this consumer expectation and ensure a healthy amount of human input to maximize engagement. Generative AI cannot be the end-all for creating effective visual content and must be balanced with authentic, real-world content.

As businesses look to harness the potential of AI in their marketing operations, here are four considerations when evaluating and selecting generative AI tools to ensure you strengthen your current marketing initiatives without compromising your brand reputation.

1. Protect Yourself from Legal and Privacy Concerns

When choosing AI tools, it is crucial to assess the rights granted and the legal protections in place. Many AI tools permit the use of generated visuals for commercial purposes, but the responsibility often falls on the customer, exposing them to potential risks. Understanding the commercial safety of the AI-generated outputs and whether the license provides legal indemnification is essential in mitigating legal risks.

Controversies have arisen over the past year regarding AI tools’ training models without explicit consent from rights holders, leading to potential legal risks for businesses. Choose AI platforms that have adequately addressed copyright infringement issues. For example, Generative AI by iStock is trained on fully licensed creative content from Getty Images’ library, protecting against intellectual property rights violations.

Furthermore, seek AI tools that offer legal indemnification for the visuals they produce, allowing exploration, experimentation and production use, without risking legal consequences. Given increasing concerns surrounding consumer data privacy and security, ensure AI tools prioritize safeguarding proprietary and sensitive information during image generation.

2. Look for Options that Enable Varied, Genuine Storytelling

Depicting a rich tapestry of your target audiences’ varied experiences at an individual level has become increasingly difficult at scale, particularly in marketing content. Generative AI tools offer significant potential in exploring imaginative visuals that reach beyond what can be easily captured with traditional means.

However, not all AI tools are created equal. Evaluate how the AI tools are trained to avoid biases and prevent the inadvertent generation of insensitive or discriminatory content. Building trust with consumers wary of AI-generated content is paramount, and a single misstep could jeopardize that trust.

Consider if AI is the right tool for your specific project. Services that offer both AI Generation tools and authentic pre-shot library, will allow you to use both so that you are sourcing the right visuals depending on your objectives.

3. Evaluate the Creative Capabilities Available

Generative AI tools should offer ample opportunities to explore new ideas and perspectives, serving as a creative aid for innovative and experimental marketing strategies. Ideal tools should deliver multiple interpretations of concepts, providing businesses with a unique range of choices to realize their marketing goals.

Ensure AI tools do not automatically add AI-generated content to their library of images, including the ones created by you. If so, those images can then be licensed by others and therefore will no longer be unique to the original business. Consider whether the creative potential of generative AI tools aligns with your brand identity and core values. While arresting visuals can intrigue consumers, the emotional response they evoke is crucial. Assess whether the tools can generate content that resonates with different consumer preferences, considering factors such as generational behaviors.

4. Amplify Human Creativity with Responsible AI

While AI can enhance marketing efforts significantly, it should be viewed as an amplifier of human creativity. When used appropriately, AI becomes a valuable asset for supercharging your marketing, creating campaigns that resonate with customers in innovative ways.

As the AI landscape continues to evolve, the range of creative options available will expand; creative and responsible use of new AI tools will play a significant role in determining long-term marketing strategies and success.

As Chief Product Officer, Grant Farhall is responsible for Getty Images’ and iStock’s overall product strategy and vision. In his role, Grant oversees the company’s e‑commerce platform and websites, user experiences, customer research and SEO strategy, with the aim of making it easier for Getty Images’ customers to discover, license and share powerful content to connect with their audiences, and ultimately drive impact for the business.

Generative AI stock image by SomYuZu/Shutterstock

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