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I was sitting in a brainstorm with a client when we started discussing best practices for creating a certain kind of campaign. We knew we’d have to document them.
I considered this a good occasion to multitask, firing up Google Docs and testing out a new Google Labs feature that lets you give it a prompt to generate content. It created a solid outline, and then I clicked each step, tapped “elaborate,” and suddenly we had a concise handbook that touched on most of the best practices the team came up with.
I’d share it here, but one of these pesky goals I have with clients is to retain them, and it’s usually a bad idea to share confidential materials in a newsletter.
It seemed like a good topic to delve into, but when I started doing so, everything seemed to break. That makes this experiment even more useful (I think), so you can see some of the hits and misses below, including links to the sample docs I had it create. Many involve cats.
The journey starts with going to Google Docs and (if you’ve opted into the Labs experiment) clicking “help me write” with a magic wand.
So I asked it to help me. Here was my direction: “Write a guide for creating the most epic birthday cake ever. Note that it should involve cats. Avoid nuts and fruit.”
It gave me six steps, starting with choosing “a cat-themed cake pan,” then giving a mix of obvious and creative tips, and then telling me to serve a cake with chocolate and licorice to a cat. You can find the final version of this cat cake doc here.
This wasn’t quite right. So I selected some text, and the AI menu allowed me to request Google to adjust the tone, summarize content, bulletize it, elaborate on the text, or shorten it — or I could enter a custom prompt.
I was unsettled by how Google’s elaborating on the instructions led to it including a step to “sprinkle the cake with catnip.” But it also added, for humans, an option to use edible glitter or sprinkles. Google was very confused as to whether this cake was for cats or humans, and if there’s anything I’ve learned as a cat owner, it’s that we usually shouldn’t eat each other’s food.
I also asked the AI to come up with a recipe for the cake. There were steps for creating it, but no recipe. Google declined. But clicking “elaborate” on one of the steps gave me a recipe in paragraph form, one that looks passable enough.
Google also said not to feed the cats caffeine or alcohol. Google is no fun.
I was getting frustrated though. I selected a ton of text and wrote: “Remove any parts at all about this being for cats! This is a cake featuring a cat, for humans to eat and enjoy and it must be the best cake ever. Cats will never eat this!”
Google didn’t care. Suddenly I was up to 14 steps and counting.
And I gave up. Enough cat cakes. Could this tool more directly help marketers?
I told the AI prompt in a new doc, “Write a handbook for ethical considerations marketers should take into account while using AI.”
It came up with an impressive list, and you can see the final version of the ethics guide. It included: Transparency, Fairness, Privacy, Accountability, Ethical design, Human oversight, Regulatory compliance, and Continuous improvement, with one-line descriptors for each
I selected all and made the tone “formal” (instead of “casual”).
Then I clicked each one and selected “Elaborate.” That worked very well for Transparency, giving me way more detail.
I tried to get to do the same for “Fairness.” It wouldn’t. No matter how hard I tried. It told me, “We’re still learning, and can’t help with that. Please try another request.”
It was a mixed bag as to when it would elaborate. At worst, you could get most of the way there and let ChatGPT, Claude, or another do the rest. I’d also wager these are bugs that will get sorted out quickly.
What about other kinds of documents?
I started a blank document and said, “Write a resume for the LinkedIn profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/dberkowitz.” It invented a profile for Daniel Berkowitz of Anytown, CA with a resume that neither mirrors mine nor my father’s whose name it used. Here’s the resume, which seems a bit bland, but it also sounds like the fictional Daniel has no problem with steady employment.
What about Google Slides?
The AI integration offered to create visuals for the first slide. I asked for “the most epic cat cake ever for a kid’s birthday party.” It told me it couldn’t do that, so I asked for “a cat-themed birthday cake.” Beyond the fact that the last one looks like a trash panda, a few of these could probably save me a visit to Midjourney while creating a deck.
Finally, I went to Sheets. A prompt window appeared, asking me to have it create a template for me. I asked for “all the marketing materials needed for a new startup IRL launch event.” It said it couldn’t do that. A shame, as I can use help with the 9/12 event.
Then I asked for “a checklist for a social media marketing campaign.” That was pretty damn good. It included prioritization, statuses, and owners for each task. This is the first draft of that spreadsheet, unedited.
I also asked for “a project plan for a cat-themed birthday party at a cat cafe.” It could use a bit more detail, but the plan is a decent start, and you can probably engineer a better prompt.
What we’re left with is probably a set of tools that will make a great or awful first impression. When I saw what Docs + AI could do for my client, I was hooked, so I’ll keep trying it. If you instead have your first experience trying to get Docs + AI to plan your kid’s birthday party, you’ll probably just give up and take them all to Build-a-Bear (prediction: your kid will pick Grogu, which is not a bear).
Keep me posted on the kinds of tools you’re using and how they’re working for you. And of course, join AI Marketers Guild too so you can connect with hundreds of others trying to figure all this out.
Lastly, if you’ve seen some changes in our format, I’m trying out Beehiiv now for this newsletter and enjoying it so far. Let me know what you think.
We’ll skip next week’s issue ahead of Labor Day weekend. Have a wonderful late-August stretch, and see you in September.
PS: One favor to ask: I’m working with a stealth startup coming to the US and looking to speak to anyone buying media who can give feedback on their AI-powered tech that promises to give 10x ROI in 1/10th the time. Want to get an early look? It’d be so helpful to request a quick demo here. Thanks!
Last week, we asked, “How concerned are you about voice cloning?”
“I do not get the benefits very much and feel like it’s more of an identity risk despite any benefits we may know about. ” – Malini Ratnam
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 😱 Very
🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 😐 Somewhat
🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 🤗 Hardly
Now, take this week’s poll!
Are you using Google Labs?
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Thanks to James Gardner, Cary Munk, Dan LaFontaine, Andre Archimbaud, Devin Brown, Justin Dank, Pauline Echols, Paul Robinson, James A. Gardner, Seth Girksy, and Michael Winter for spreading the word about the newsletter recently.
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“Content Marketing World 2023, the largest gathering of content marketers in the world, is in an all-new location, Washington D.C., September 26-29. Produced by the Content Marketing Institute, #CMWorld is jam-packed with keynotes, sessions, workshops, and masterclasses, covering all aspects of content marketing. No matter your level of expertise, you can customize your experience at #CMWorld 2023. Come learn, network, and have fun making meaningful connections with fellow attendees and speakers before, during, and after the event. BONUS: Use the code SERIAL100 to save an extra $100 on your registration.”
PROPELIFY INNOVATION FESTIVAL
October 5, Hoboken, NJ
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AI FOR MARKETERS SUMMIT
November 14-16, Virtual
“Why AI for Marketers Summit needs to be your conference of the year. Here’s what you’ll experience at our marketing AI event. Hear from senior executives from cross-industry brands share how they’re investing in AI and how it’s transforming their marketing strategies. Gain practical knowledge and skills immediately applicable to your work, and get expert feedback to help refine your strategies. Determine how and when to capitalize on AI through hands-on workshops that identify real problems and potential use cases for AI in your work… etc”
Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. You can also see our full list of job resources here. Here are some great opportunities shared in these places or sent to me directly.
ELEVATION TEN THOUSAND
Digital Marketing Strategist
Full Time – Hybrid Role
“Elevation Ten Thousand is seeking a talented Digital Marketing Strategist to join its team of performance-driven digital marketers with an interest and knowledge of paid search, display, video, and social advertising strategies across multiple brands, as well as the will to never stop learning and improving their skillset. The Digital Marketing Strategist must demonstrate a clear ability to develop tactics and campaigns that drive business goals. Responsibilities will include being assigned projects that require an elevated level of detail-oriented, highly organized, strategic work and will be required to maintain relationships with external and internal teams.”
Social Media & Content Manager
New York or Washington D.C.
“We’re looking for a Social Media + Content Manager to join our growing team and use your social media expertise to help elevate and amplify the OOH industry. In this creatively-based editorial, tactical, and operational role, you’ll collaborate with a small but mighty team of marketers dedicated to building up the OOH industry, “the most Instagrammable medium.” The Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) is the premier trade association for the US out of home (OOH) advertising industry. Our members are the top media companies spanning print, digital, and video, as well as technology, suppliers, and buyers…”
Digital & Marketing Automation Specialist
New York or Washington D.C.
“We’re seeking a Digital & Marketing Automation Specialist to join our growing team. This is a highly tactical and operational role that works alongside a small but mighty team of marketers. We want you to take your digital and marketing technology expertise to help elevate and amplify the OOH industry. The Digital & Marketing Automation Specialist should holster experience in a wide range of digital specialty areas, including a variety of digital tools and systems, marketing automation, data analysis, measurement and analytics, email marketing, and other digital tools.”
Director of Marketing and Communications
San Francisco, CA
“In this role, you will be responsible for leading our marketing and communications efforts across all channels, including digital, print, and social media. You will also be responsible for building and managing our marketing team, and for developing and executing our marketing strategy and brand voice. We are looking for someone who is passionate about our mission of making home ownership intuitive, easy, and flexible, while also providing best-in-class service and tooling for our clients. We are obsessive about simplifying the homeownership journey. We are looking for a team member who can help us continue our path to becoming thought leaders in the field by generating content for trade publications, social media, and conferences.”
Also, check out the Serial Marketers job board
Other job resources (see a full list here):
Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
Braintrust: A freelance platform where you are the owner and where freelance talent keeps 100% of the bill rate.
Candidate: Featured marketing and sales jobs
ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”
Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.
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