Artificial intelligence tools, like ChatGPT, Claude, and Midjourney, are undoubtedly transforming the way marketers and organizations operate. In a little over a year, these generative AI tools have fundamentally shifted workplace dynamics, boosting efficiency and productivity – ultimately raising the bar on what’s expected of marketing professionals. 

As strategic contributors that sit at the intersection of many departments, product marketers are feeling these growing expectations acutely. According to our latest State of Product Marketing Report, the majority of product marketers (51.7%) say the advent of generative AI in the workplace has increased the pressure and demands on product marketing teams. 

Graph showing that half of PMMs say AI has led to increased demand on product marketing teams

While AI unlocks exciting opportunities for product marketers to enhance the volume and quality of their work, it's clear these new technologies can also create unrealistic expectations on the part of key stakeholders.

In an effort to understand this important and evolving phenomenon, we'll explore why PMMs in particular are experiencing mounting demands in the AI age. We'll also provide tips for harnessing the upsides of AI while managing the expectations and pressures that come with it.

Why are PMMs feeling the heat in the AI era? 

To understand why PMMs are feeling added pressure, let's dig a little deeper into the State of Product Marketing 2023 report findings.

54% of PMMs surveyed said they had begun using AI tools to enhance their product marketing strategies, and just over half agreed that the advent of generative AI had increased expectations and pressures on their function.

Graph showing that 54% of PMMs are using AI tools in their product marketing strategies

We spoke to a number of PMMs and product marketing leaders in order to understand the factors that are driving these mounting demands. Three key causes were identified by our respondents.

1. Leaders expect faster output and turnaround

Now that advanced AI can rapidly generate marketing copy, emails, and other materials, executives expect accelerated delivery from their teams. But although ChatGPT might be capable of producing impressive outputs in a matter of seconds, the content it generates is still generic and subject to biases and errors.

A thoughtful PMM may still take days to customize, and build from, the output generated by a large language model (LLM). Leaders need to be aware of this mismatch and set realistic timelines.

2. Competitors' use of AI has raised the stakes

When rival brands begin utilizing cutting-edge AI for things like hyper-personalized customer interactions, it invariably raises the standard for others in the industry. Product marketers may feel pressure to integrate new tech just to keep pace.

3. Customers want more personalized, dynamic content

Today's buyers expect truly tailored interactions. They want content and offers shaped specifically for their needs and context. While AI holds promise for increasing personalization, PMMs require wider business support in order to turn this ambition into a reality. Incorporating increased personalization is by no means a quick fix, and business leaders ought to be aware of this reality.

How is AI being used by PMMs?  

When asked how PMMs are using AI, one use case came up more than any other: Content creation. Our respondents highlighted the capacity of ChatGPT to support blog writing, messaging development, outreach email creation, and even Search Engine Optimization.

We also found that some PMMs are going further, using generative AI to assist with competitive intelligence, persona development, and the creation of go-to-market strategies.

When asked to summarize the ways in which AI can be leveraged by product marketers, Holly Watson, Senior Product Marketing Manager at AWS, put it like this:

There are many projects that require tactical execution and project management. Generative AI can help here so product marketing teams are able to spend more time writing, researching customer needs and behaviors, and developing strategic marketing plans for their product and organization.

Are there risks involved in using AI for product marketing tasks?

Our report identified a number of risks that PMMs ought to be aware of when incorporating generative AI tools into their martech stacks.

One key area of potential risk is data privacy – and the prospect of inadvertently sharing confidential proprietary data with third parties. Amit Alagh, Senior Product Marketing Manager at LexisNexis, noted that:

If the wider marketing teams are feeding [internal proprietary information] into tools like ChatGPT, they're effectively providing training material, which could be putting valuable insights into the hands of competitors and other bad actors.

To counter this risk, organizations must implement rigorous data governance procedures when implementing generative AI tools into their marketing workflows.

Another potential drawback of generative AI is the fact that LLMs are notoriously prone to biases and errors. Tools like ChatGPT have been shown to perpetuate harmful stereotypes, and, as a result, can generate inappropriate content. While AI may lead to greater efficiency (particularly in the sphere of content creation), it's important for PMMs to carefully vet any artificially generated output.

Will AI lead to job losses in product marketing?

Our report found that product marketers are broadly skeptical of the idea that generative AI will replace PMMs. When asked to rank the likelihood of AI leading to job losses in product marketing on a scale of 1-10, respondents gave an encouraging average score of 3.2, suggesting very few are fearful of job displacement.

I was initially skeptical of generative AI, mostly because I was concerned about the implications for writers and creators and the potential for tools like ChatGPT to “take jobs away”.

I can only speak for text-based chatbots, but I can tell you that most of what it spits out is half-baked, which is frankly ideal for product marketers. So many of us have a “blinking cursor problem”, where we get stuck at the start of a project.

By prompting it to come up with something that’s OK and requires some editing, ChatGPT can give you a head start. Then, you can jump in and finish the job, rounding off the corners or providing additional prompts to get the deliverable you need.

Erik Mansur, Head of Product Marketing at Ziflow

How to manage expectations around AI

Here are some recommendations for product marketers to balance tapping into AI's power while setting reasonable limits:

  • Clearly communicate realistic timeframes for AI deliverables with executives and stakeholders. Make them aware that AI won't instantly reduce traditional workloads.
  • Establish guardrails for what work AI should and shouldn't be applied to. Set guidelines to maintain quality control and ethics.
  • Focus on using AI to augment existing skills rather than replace your expertise and strategic thinking. Maintain unique value.

While AI brings game-changing possibilities, it also puts new pressures on PMMs. With a deliberate effort to align leaders on appropriate applications and timelines, product marketers can thrive in our tech-enhanced future.