October 31, 2023

How AI Is Impacting Product and Communities with Daniella Latham

Note: The following post was generated by AI based on the real-life conversation with Daniella Latham above. Daniella is keen to chat with others around this space, particularly with people working for AI startups and companies in non-technical roles.

To contact Daniella, connect with her on LinkedIn. She's more than willing to meet people as fascinated with this field as she is.

And while we encourage you to read the following post, we highly recommend watching the entire video above.

Introduction: AI and Changes in Product Marketing

AI is transforming how companies take products to market. As AI capabilities rapidly advance, product marketers like Daniella are on the frontlines both utilizing these new technologies and figuring out how to position and sell AI-enabled products to customers.

In this piece, we'll explore Daniella’s perspectives on product marketing for AI gained from roles at companies like Atlassian, Canva and Kahoot.

She shares insights into the unique challenges and opportunities of bringing AI innovations to market, especially for those looking to start a career in this emerging space.

While AI promises to reshape marketing in countless ways, Daniella emphasizes that human connection through trusted communities remains integral. We also discuss tactics she uses to stay on top of the breakneck pace of advancement in AI along with advice for aspiring marketers on positioning themselves for success in this field.

Challenges of Marketing AI Products

Marketing new AI products comes with a unique set of challenges since the technology is still so new and rapidly evolving. There is no real playbook or established best practices for bringing AI innovations to market yet.

Companies have to figure things out from scratch - how to structure roles and teams to build AI features, determine how AI fits into their broader product positioning and messaging, and differentiate their AI capabilities in an increasingly crowded market.

With no precedent to follow, marketers have to determine how to position and message these new AI products in a way that builds trust and confidence with B2B customers in particular. Most organizations are still years away from fully integrating AI, so marketers have to be thoughtful about how they present AI features as trusted components of their existing tools.

There's also the challenge of avoiding hype and exaggeration common with early AI products and instead focusing on realistic use cases and applications.

Overall, marketing new AI products requires creativity, strategic thinking, and a tolerance for ambiguity as companies chart new territory with no playbook to follow.

New Opportunities for Companies - Both Large and Small

It's easy to assume that smaller companies can be more nimble when it comes to adopting new technology like AI.

However, the reality is more complex according to Daniella.

While large enterprises may take longer to fully integrate AI, they are actively investing in it now and laying the groundwork for implementation. Smaller companies that quickly jump into AI may struggle to scale their efforts. There's also the risk of tool sprawl if different teams start using AI tools in silos rather than consolidating efforts company-wide.

Cost can become an issue as well.

So while smaller companies can potentially move faster, larger companies are still moving forward steadily. The pace of AI adoption won't necessarily be dictated by company size alone.

The key is finding an approach that focuses on scalability and thoughtful integration across the business.

Transition from Manual to AI-Driven Marketing

The transition from manual marketing processes to AI-driven approaches has enabled much greater speed and efficiency.

AI tools can automate repetitive, manual workflows to allow marketers to work faster. With the ability to quickly analyze large datasets and generate content tailored to specific audiences, AI systems have accelerated go-to-market operations. Rather than spending excessive time planning and producing assets, marketers can now use AI to create customized content at scale in a fraction of the time.

The key difference is moving from a staged, back-end heavy process to being able to deliver targeted actions and campaigns almost instantly based on data insights.

By handing off tedious, time-consuming tasks to AI, marketers can focus their efforts on high-value strategy and creative work.

The Role of Community in Marketing AI

Community building and management plays a key role in marketing AI products. While AI can handle transactional conversations with a fair amount of reliability, community provides authentic human connections that drive adoption in a more meaningful way.

When you have a dedicated user community around a product, you can build personal, authentic relationships.

Community members become champions who are more likely to talk about and recommend your product to others. This helps spread awareness and increases adoption.

Community members also drive new use cases and ways of working that AI requires.

Adopting AI involves a mindset shift, and community helps move people in the right direction. Involving community members early, even in imperfect product stages, is crucial because they provide valuable feedback to overcome hurdles.

Most importantly, community members understand and can crisply communicate your product narrative to the broader public. They feel a close connection to your product team, so their voices come across as authentic and trusted. This level of community advocacy accelerates growth exponentially.

The key is fostering non-transactional, engaged relationships where community members feel heard and know they have real impact. This results in true adoption rather than just surface-level buzz.

Exciting AI Advancements

What Daniella finds most exciting about the evolution of AI technologies is the potential for 'boring AI' - AI that focuses on automating repetitive, manual workflows rather than flashy new capabilities. So much attention goes to groundbreaking new AI applications, but she’s most interested in AI that streamlines processes and eliminates tedious work.

There are so many processes in both our personal and professional lives that are tedious and time-consuming.

AI has the power to take on those dull tasks so we can focus our energy on more engaging and meaningful work. For example, AI tools that can summarize documents, transcribe meetings, or schedule appointments free us from mundane administrative work. Daniella notes that this application of AI isn’t particularly 'sexy' or forward-thinking, but it arguably has the biggest potential to change how we work and live.

Ridding ourselves of mental boredom could have significant impacts on productivity, satisfaction, and innovation in the workplace. Handing off repetitive tasks to AI lets people apply their intellect to more challenging problems that require human nuance, strategy, and creativity.

In an ideal world, AI can act as a behind-the-scenes assistant so we can do our best work. The evolution of these 'boring' AI capabilities will be key for the technology reaching its full transformative potential across industries and roles.

Staying on Top of AI Trends

Staying up to date with the quick pace of AI advancements can be challenging.

Daniella recommends focusing on finding and following a few key individuals you can really trust for AI insights, rather than attempting to cast a wide net across lots of sources.

She highlights Tyler Swartz, a former Reddit product leader, and his newsletter that includes helpful video breakdowns of top AI tools and use cases. Schwartz takes the time to evaluate tools from a product perspective, analyzing real applications rather than just media hype.

Daniella finds this focused approach gives more meaningful AI insights compared to outlets covering AI advancements broadly. By identifying certain voices you find credible and inspired by, you can stay up to date without becoming overwhelmed.

Career Advice for Aspiring AI Marketers

For anyone starting out on a career in AI product marketing, it's important to understand the basics first. Get familiar with key concepts like generative AI, natural language processing, and prompt engineering. There are plenty of resources out there to help you grasp the fundamentals without getting too technical.

The key is understanding how current AI technologies work so you can better apply them.

Once you have that foundation, be very specific when reaching out to leaders or mentors in the field. Don't simply ask "can we chat?"

Take the time to develop thoughtful, targeted questions that show you've done your research on that person's background. For example, ask two or three questions that relate directly to projects or initiatives they've worked on.

This focused approach is much more likely to get a response compared to a generic request. The more effort you put into learning about someone's specific context and tailoring your questions accordingly, the better chance you'll have of connecting.

Lessons from Early Jobs

One early job that Daniella had was working at Buckingham Palace as a warden, where she would show tourists around the gardens. While it sounded prestigious, the reality was long hours standing outside in the rain with tourists asking repetitive questions.

The key lesson from this experience was the importance of endurance and discipline.

Even when the work is not glamorous or mentally engaging, powering through the tedium and maintaining a positive attitude is crucial. Daniella learned to stay focused during the long days and interact helpfully with visitors, no matter the weather or her personal feelings at the time.

This ability to do humble work with grace reflected important values that have stayed with Daniella throughout her career. The early job was character-building in cultivating sheer determination to get through each day.

While every role may not be exciting, maintaining positivity and drive pays off in the long run.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, this conversation with Daniella provided insights into the challenges and opportunities of marketing AI products. A key takeaway is that while smaller companies can be more nimble, larger companies are investing heavily in AI and progressing despite perceived bureaucracy.

The shift from manual marketing processes to AI-driven workflows has sped up repetitive tasks.

However, human connections remain vital - community building retains its importance even in an AI-powered landscape.

Daniella emphasized staying focused on a few trusted sources to keep up with the rapid pace of AI advancements, and offered advice for aspiring AI marketers: know the basics, master prompt engineering, and reach out to leaders with specific questions. Her experiences working unglamorous first jobs provided enduring lessons as well.

Ultimately, marketing AI requires adapting to new ways of thinking and working while ensuring transparency and trustworthiness. With thoughtful implementation, AI promises to augment human intelligence and transform business productivity.

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