No Brainer - An AI Podcast for Marketers

Geoff Livingston and Greg Verdino

AI is changing everything, including how marketing leaders approach building their brands and creating demand. In this bi-weekly podcast, Greg Verdino and Geoff Livingston share the big news, trends, and lessons learned from AI evolutions as they impact business sales and marketing. From ChatGPT to marketing intelligence analytics and everything in between, get the latest information you need to succeed. read less
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Episodes

NB 31: Striking the Balance Between Creativity, Relationships, and AI
08-05-2024
NB 31: Striking the Balance Between Creativity, Relationships, and AI
Knownwell CMO Courtney Baker joins Greg and Geoff to discuss the role of AI in marketing and professional services.  The three discuss the importance of leveraging AI to enhance professional services companies' capabilities and relationships. Courtney emphasizes the value of relationship data in professional services and how AI can help organizations gain actionable intelligence to proactively engage with clients and prevent churn.  The discussion also touches on the evolving business models of agencies in the age of AI, with Courtney, Geoff, and Greg agreeing that the traditional hourly billing model is outdated and that agencies must focus on delivering (and getting paid for) value to remain competitive.  Courtney, Greg, and Geoff explore the potential impact of AI on creativity, emphasizing the importance of human judgment and strategic decision-making in determining when and how to effectively use AI tools.  Ultimately, the episode highlights the significance of embracing AI as a thought partner and collaborative tool to enhance work and spark ideas, while still recognizing the unique value of human creativity and relationships in marketing and professional services.   Segments Include: 00:00 Start 03:50 The importance of humanity: What makes the human marketer valuable in the age of AI? 15:03 Data is gold, yet it is scarce. Why data is so important to all types of professional services firms, even their communications with clients. 18:55 How to change relational data into meaningful insights to reduce churn and strengthen operations. 22:33 Deciphering deep data to democratize analytics for all businesses. 26:02 Creative Agencies have to change to meet AI, but how does their business model and client relationships evolve? 36:31 Why Sam Altman is wrong about AI replacing agencies. 43:09 How AI helps us to level up creativity and our humanity.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
NB29 - On the Front Line of AI Implementation
10-04-2024
NB29 - On the Front Line of AI Implementation
On today’s episode of No Brainer, Geoff Livingston and Greg Verdino chat with Steven Freidkin, Founder and CEO of Ntiva. Ntiva offers a full range of IT managed services to growing businesses. It’s no surprise that they’re implementing AI internally and fielding plenty of calls from clients about everything from Microsoft Copilot to more sophisticated AI business use cases driven by proprietary data. In today’s conversation, we cover everything from why even 15 minutes of AI per day will put individual performers ahead of the pack to whether it’s worth paying attention to the hype around artificial general intelligence (AGI.) And we discuss it all through the lens of a tech pro who has rolled up his sleeves and done the work. Chapters 00:00 Start 02:50 Introducing Steven Freidkin, CEO, Ntiva 04:10 How Ntiva uses AI internally and with clients 10:10 AI hype vs real world action 13:20 Is AI-driven productivity a double-edged sword? 15:45 Why Steven challenges everyone on his team to use ChatGPT 15 minutes every day 17:00 What about businesses that aren’t adopting AI yet? 19:25 Dispelling the myth that AI is “easy” and “cheap” 23:00 Is Microsoft Copilot an AI gateway drug? 27:00 Is AI the product or just a feature? 33:00 The importance of AI guardrails 37:00 What does the AI sector need to do better to drive real business adoption? 43:45 Is AGI real, hype, or somewhere in between? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
NB27 - Marketing, AI & Ethics
13-03-2024
NB27 - Marketing, AI & Ethics
On this episode of No Brainer, we're joined by Paul Chaney. Paul is the editor of the AI Marketing Ethics digest -- a newsletter that explores the intersection between marketing and (you guessed it) ethical AI. Paul is a digital marketing veteran who was drawn to the subject of responsible and ethical AI when he saw how how few of the marketers who are racing to adopt generative AI tools are having serious conversations about key ethical issues like bias, fairness, human rights, and even environmental impact. He launched his newsletter to close this gap, and has been engaged the conversation ever since. Paul, Geoff, and Greg discuss the definition of AI ethics, why they matter for marketing, what it will take to get more marketers to take ethics seriously, and how brands can determine what's "right." Along the way, they explore how the choices we make today aren't so different from the choices marketers made (or didn't make) in the early days of the internet, email, and (especially) social media. And they land on a fundamental truth: AI ethics aren't about technology but humanity. Here's what to listen for in today's episode: 00:00 Introduction 01:30 What is AI ethics and why does it matter for marketing? 10:33 Are marketers thinking and doing enough about AI ethics? 14:36 What needs to happen to put responsible AI on the front burner? 25:49 Are generative AI companies inherently unethical? 31:00 Marketing history repeats: the internet, email, social media, and AI 38:05 How can marketers figure out what’s “right?” 46:00 The Ethical Implications of AI and Job Loss 52:15 The Future of AI Ethics in Marketing Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
NB26 - AI Hype is Dead. Long Live AI!
27-02-2024
NB26 - AI Hype is Dead. Long Live AI!
Yahoo! Finance found that executives are only half as likely to mention AI on their earnings calls. Research from BCG found that enterprises aren't as enthusiastic as they used to be about generative AI. Even Sequoia Capital -- a major investor in AI startups --- has argued that the majority of AI tech companies are struggling to nail their value proposition. And all of this is happening as researchers find that OpenAI's ChatGPT plagiarizes its training data 70% of the time and Google's latest releases amount to a series of self-inflicted wounds. AI -- and generative AI in particular -- sure seems like it has teetered from the peak of hype and fallen into the trough of disillusionment. Greg and Geoff discuss why this might be the case. And why this is a good thing for any company serious about AI. What to Watch/Listen For: 00:00 Introduction 02:44 AI Hype is Dead 10:32 Challenges of Implementing AI 15:41 Generative AI and its Limitations 31:58 The Hype Around OpenAI 33:27 OpenAI's Success and Merit 34:54 The Importance of Basic Marketing 36:18 Salesforce's Focus on Trust 37:45 The Success of Companies like Nvidia and Amazon 40:00 AI as a Baked-in Technology 42:06 Diminished Hype and the Importance of Trust 43:03 The Potential Consolidation and Failures in the AI Space 48:16 Differentiation and the Need for Viable Products 53:54 The End of Hype and the Importance of Getting Serious As always, you can visit NoBrainerPodcast.com for complete show notes, including links to the articles referenced during this show. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
NB22 - 2024 AI Predictions with special guest Jeremiah Owyang
13-12-2023
NB22 - 2024 AI Predictions with special guest Jeremiah Owyang
It's our big year-end blow-out! For this episode, we're joined by AI expert extraordinaire, Jeremiah Owyang, as we each make three bold predictions for AI in 2024. Anyone who knows Jeremiah knows that he's made a career out of being a step or two ahead of just about everyone else when it comes to making sense of the intersection between business and technology. For anyone who doesn't know him, Jeremiah is a long-time industry analyst turned entrepreneur and venture capitalist whose Llama Lounge events have become must-attend soirees in Silicon Valley's AI startup scene. Geoff and Greg first met Jeremiah back in the early days of social media. So, what happens when you get three veteran martech monsters together to share their takes on what lies ahead for artificial intelligence? Fireworks! 00:00 Start of Show 03:40 Prediction #1 (Jeremiah) -- AI agents in your email 09:10 Prediction #2 (Greg) -- AI startup bloodbath (bye-bye, GPT wrappers) 15:21 Prediction #3 (Geoff) -- The race toward multimodal AI sparks an acquisition frenzy 20:36 Prediction #4 (Jeremiah) -- Google loses search market share to generative AI tools 24:36 Prediction #5 (Geoff) -- OpenAI feels more fallout from its recent drama 30:30 Prediction #6 (Greg) -- The rise of small or "specialized" language models 35:56 Prediction #7 (Greg) The end of aimless experimentation as marketers get strategic with AI 39:32 Prediction #8 (Geoff) D.C., the presidential election, and the rising rhetoric about regulation (and more) will make us "hate" AI. 43:05 Prediction #9 (Jeremiah) Hyper-personalized content gets real Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
NB21 - The AI Year in Review (2023)
29-11-2023
NB21 - The AI Year in Review (2023)
A year! That's right -- it's been a full year since ChatGPT came onto the scene and sent the world into a tizzy over generative AI. To celebrate the occasion and because 2023 is winding down, Greg Verdino and Geoff Livingston taking a look back at the "Year of AI." What trends, tech, big news, and boo-boos caught and kept our attention during a year that was (shall we say) eventful? Listen or watch this pipin' hot episode of No Brainer to find out. As a bonus, you'll also find out why Geoff regrets buying a fancy new webcam! What to Watch For 00:00 Start 05:50 Geoff's Trend 1: AI Euphoria – Business communities were abound with excitement during the first half of the year. 07:10 Greg's Trend 1: AI Hype Cycle — From Euphoria to existential risk, and everything in between. 15:05 Greg's Trend 2: The Generative AI Horse Race — Open AI has opened the door, and it is a dynamic market with many competitors, including Claude and Google. 18:40 Geoff's Trend 2: Fake AI — From shrink-wrapped GPT solutions masquerading as new solutions to bolt-ons, we saw a lot of masquerades. 24:20 Geoff's Trend 3: The Struggle for Ethical AI — From data sourcing and public figures to government regulation and Open AI’s board scrap, ethical AI is a constant discussion point. 31:20 Greg's #3: Coca-Cola's Bain and OpenAI Partnership — Coke has paved the way for corporate marketing AI innovation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
NB18 - Picture This! The State of AI Image Generators
01-11-2023
NB18 - Picture This! The State of AI Image Generators
This one's for the photographers, the artists, the agency creative directors, the designers, and anyone who likes to dabble with visual creativity. We go deep into the rapidly evolving world of AI image generation. What might have seemed like a two-horse race between Midjourney and Stable Diffusion is now a four-horse (or more!) race in which major players like Adobe and OpenAI are betting on easy access and massive distribution to compete against quality.  Listen (or watch) as we run down some of the latest news and developments in AI image generation, and discuss (even debate) what all of this means for marketers and the creative people that work in marketing. If that's not enough for ya, we take a look at what artists are doing to protect their work from being incorporated into Big AI's training data without permission or compensation. It's a battle for the soul of the artist -- and it's just getting started. What to Listen For (Time stamps are approximate.) 0:00:00 Intro 0:08:29 - Midjourney and Stable Diffusion are AI image generators to beat   0:15:21 - Adobe and OpenAI make some big moves with Firefly (better quality, now available in all Adobe Creative Cloud apps) and Dall-E 3 (integrated into a more powerful, multimodal ChatGPT for Plus and Enterprise customers), but are the moves big enough to catch up or leap ahead?  0:34:30 - Amazon launches an AI image-maker for Marketplace advertisers in a smart vertical play. What does this mean for Amazon advertisers and the agencies that service them? 0:54:00 - A new tool called Nightshade offers artists a 'poison pill' that can infect generative AI models that scrape their work without permission, but how likely is it to do the trick? 0:64:03: Brainer and No Brainer image generator takeaways for marketers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
NB16 - Fact or Fiction? Making Sense of the AI Hype Machine
04-10-2023
NB16 - Fact or Fiction? Making Sense of the AI Hype Machine
Every week offers a whirlwind of AI announcements fueling the hype wave. And last week was no different: from ChatGPT's multimodal features to Amazon's billion-dollar bet on Anthropic and everything in between. But let's pump the brakes for a second. In today's No Brainer, Greg Verdino and Geoff Livingston digest some of last week's big announcements -- and warn marketers (and AI enthusiasts in general), let's not forget to question the narrative. How much of what Big AI announces is real innovation, and how much is just hype amplified by media and influencers? It's like a flashback to the dot-com era, where every press release was treated like the gospel. And here's the kicker: We're in uncharted waters. Journalism has taken a hit, and influencers are filling the void with quick takes and retweets that only amplify press releases. The result? A public that's easier to sway and a hype cycle that's even wilder than before. This podcast analyzes this trend using the bigger stories from last week to explore the line between noise and signal in the AI hype cycle. What to Listen For 00:00 Intro 08:45 On the AI Hype Cycle 27:16 OpenAI says ChatGPT can now "see, hear, and speak," but can it? 41:03 Seed round superstar Mistral AI releases its first open model 47:29 Amazon’s strategic "not $4B" investment in Anthropic. 54:28 Meta drafts AI for play, not productivity, with GenAI social chatbots For complete show notes, including links to the stories discussed in this episode, visit https://nobrainerpodcast.com/ai-fact-fiction Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
NB15 - Mr. AI Goes to Washington
18-09-2023
NB15 - Mr. AI Goes to Washington
Episode 15 looks at the U.S. government’s efforts to regulate the AI industry. Marketing professionals may want to closely monitor the rapidly evolving landscape of AI regulation. Greg and Geoff begin by discussing last week’s U.S. Senate hearings that garnered plenty of media attention but resulted in no concrete action. Despite the White House's anticipated executive order on AI and voluntary commitments from 15 companies to uphold safety and security standards, there is a general perception that legislative efforts are lagging due to concerns over stifling AI development. Meanwhile, the European Union has made substantial strides in AI regulation with the Digital Services Act and the forthcoming Digital Markets Act, which impose stringent requirements on data usage and platform behavior. Various government agencies, such as the SEC and IRS, are already utilizing AI for tasks like fraud detection, indicating that the impact of these technologies is immediate and wide-ranging. For marketers, the implications are clear: Regulatory environments are fluid and could either restrict or facilitate AI-driven initiatives. If enacted, it does appear regulations will favor larger companies like the Big Tech incumbents. And if enacted, marketers will need to ensure that their own decisions about building, buying, and deploying AI follow the new rules. What to Listen For 00:00 Start 06:00 Big AI players come to Washington and meet with the Senate 15:15 What does regulation look like? Geoff’s crystal ball. 34:10 Individual government agencies adopt AI 53:30 Brainer and No Brainer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
NB14 - 10 Barriers to Marketing AI Success
06-09-2023
NB14 - 10 Barriers to Marketing AI Success
In this hard-hitting episode of No Brainer, Greg Verdino and Geoff Livingston talk about 10 common barriers to marketing AI adoption. They analyze why these issues crop up, their causes, and how they become big problems. Where possible, the two offer their thoughts on possible actions marketing leaders can take to overcome these obstacles and find success with AI. What to Listen For: the 10 Barriers 00:00:00 Start 00:06:00 #1 Tactical Thinking - A lack of strategy and/or failing to tie AI to that core marketing or business strategy to achieve enterprise goals hurts adoption. 00:08:30 #2 Leadership Deficit - Lack of leadership vision, commitment, and support to implement AI internally – from responsibility hand-offs to a failure to sponsor AI as a necessary technological evolution at all levels – stymies adoption. 00:11:30 #3 Employee Resistance - Well-discussed fears of widespread job loss have had their impact, with internal mid-level managers openly and passively resisting adoption. 00:22:40 #4 General Market Confusion - Marketing leaders are confused by nonstop vendor hype and false promises, with some advocating for all-encompassing point solutions while others emphasize intelligent integration within the martech stack. 00:32:35 #5 The Data Problem - Marketing organizations struggle with data quality, quantity, access, etc. and often balk at the cost of getting their data house in order. 00:39:00 #6 The High Cost of AI - The high cost to deploy and maintain enterprise-grade solutions/use cases shocks many inexperienced marketing organizations who see the low cost of consumer point solutions as the accurate cost of AI. 00:46:50 #7 Quality Vendors/Tech Partners - The AI landscape is complex, making it challenging to differentiate genuine capabilities and select the right solution among numerous alternatives, including point solutions versus existing cloud services. 00:57:40 #8 Lack of Governance and Workflows - Marketing leaders often overlook the need to control AI systems and manage AI usage in their organizations, neglecting implications for risks. As a result, their departments lack end user guidelines and fail to consider how AI affects workflows. 01:02:18 #9 Talent Deficit - There's a significant talent deficit in AI, with organizations struggling to hire and afford data scientists. Left to develop talent internally, leaders often neglect investing in the necessary training for their teams to use AI tools effectively and creatively. 01:10:50 #10 Lack of Named Case Studies - The AI industry lacks named case studies that provide tangible, measurable results (beyond the PR hit). Even if you acknowledge that it's still early days (and that innovators may not want to share their secrets), this absence of results raises concerns about transparency and credibility. As always, you can find the full show notes, including links to articles mentioned and other helpful resources at https://nobrainerpodcast.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
NB13 - AI and its Impact on Content Marketing
24-08-2023
NB13 - AI and its Impact on Content Marketing
Before we dive in, we’re thrilled to announce that No Brainer has landed in the #6 spot on Feedspot’s list of the Top 15 AI Marketing Podcasts. Thanks to everyone for your support! On to lucky Episode 13. This one’s for the Content Crusaders. Generative AI continues to impact the content marketing profession at all levels. This week’s episode looks at two larger dynamic trends: 1) How OpenAI’s recent web crawling move and plugin marketplace speak to the value of content; and 2) Content Marketing Institute’s recent state of the industry survey which reveals how marketers are or aren't adopting AI. In the first half of the show, Geoff and Greg discuss Open AI’s GPTbot, a web crawler that collects public site data to train its algorithms. This move is significant for content providers, as it represents a shift in how content is valued as data, but what does it mean for marketers? Then Greg and Geoff discuss ChatGPT plugins, which offer a way for brands to integrate their content and even e-commerce platforms directly into the chatbox, enhancing the user experience and putting your brand (and its valuable content) at consumers’ fingertips. Finally, Greg and Geoff talk through a recent state-of-the-industry study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) that highlights the growing influence of Gen AI on content marketing. The report reveals that a significant number of content marketers are using AI tools for brainstorming, keyword research, and even content creation. However, there's also a palpable concern among these professionals about AI's impact on their careers. What to Listen For 00:00:00 Start 00:03:40 What’s up with OpenAI’s GPTbot? 00:15:45 The good: Some brands may see GPTbot training as an opportunity 00:21:50 The bad: GPTbot steals content and kills content business models 00:30:50 The ugly: GPT further muddying internet content 00:34:00 ChatGPT plugins: Are you missing out on a key content opportunity? 00:41:45 Digging into Content Marketing Institute’s 2024 Career & Salary Outlook 00:48:45 Content marketers wrestle with AI’s impact 01:00:30 Brainer and No Brainer episode takeaways Visit https://nobrainerpodcast.com for complete show notes, including links to the stories and resources we discuss in this episode. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices