69: How marketers can stay informed and become AI fluent

What’s up folks. This is part 2 of our deep dive into AI impacts on marketing jobs.

In our last episode we introduced the topic and covered how fast AI could replace marketing jobs and what the transition might look like. It’s not like our jobs are gonna vanish overnight, but the shift is happening faster than many of us realize. AI’s no longer just a loosely backed buzzword; it’s doing things today that we used to think were impossible. So, as marketers, we’ve gotta take this tech seriously.

Next up:

  1. Staying informed and keeping up with changes (today)
  2. Practical ways marketers can adapt for the AI-driven economy
  3. Find the top AI marketing tools and filter out the noise


Here are some of the topics for this second episode:

  • Staying informed, who to follow,
  • Courses to check out
  • In person events and networking
  • Exploring new sources of income

Here’s today’s main takeaway: 

The impact of AI on the job market is difficult to predict in 5 years let alone 10. The only way to future proof your career and position yourself to thrive in an increasingly AI-driven economy is by staying informed and developing new skills. 

We’re going to double down on some of these in today’s episode.

Shiny object syndrome vs being an early adopter

  • As a marketer, it’s our job to stay modern – it’s true of any job, but marketing is on the next level
  • We self propel change and create our own reasons to change things up. 
  • We suffer a bit from herd mentality as well – I think we tend to rush the new trend, be it TikTok or ChatGPT and choose saturation instead of consideration
  • I don’t think the value of being an early adopter is being “first;” rather, it’s giving yourself time to immerse yourself and begin to master the topic
  • To learn a topic, you simply can’t read 5 blog posts and master it; I firmly believe you need to get hands-on experience

Shiny object – Try to make a buck, dispose of poor performer, invest in top performers; easily distracted by next object

Early adopter – thoughtful approach to seeing new technology as part of wider trend; has playbook or process for learning and evaluating new tech, 

How marketers can stay informed and become AI fluent

Staying up-to-date on the latest developments in AI and AGI is probably the top thing you can do as a marketer. Understanding capabilities as they are released or even pre-released. This allows you to get a leg up on others and see the potential impact on your company, industry and even job market as a whole. 

My goals would be to understand how AI works, its potential, and limitations. Most marketers don’t have a great grasp on this at all. Invest in learning about AI, ML, deep learning, and related tech. Ultimately try to arm yourself with knowledge to position yourself as a marketing expert in leveraging AI tools to drive revenue.

I think you and are very similar in our approach to this: learn from smart people, and then jump in and experiment and get hands-on experience. Phil, your research process is always fire: who are the smart people you’re learning from? 

People and blogs to follow

There’s waaay smarter people that are tracking this stuff. Not all of these have a marketing lens but they often cover marketing aspects. These are my favorite folks to follow.

We’ll have links to all of their twitter accounts and their newsletters or podcasts in our show notes. 

Elad Gil

Elad is an awesome follow on Twitter, he’s an investor and advisor in some of the most well known tech companies like Airbnb, Coinbase, Instacart, OpenDoor, Pinterest, Square, Stripe and others. He worked at Google and Twitter after his company Mixer Labs was acquired. Aside from AI he’s highly in touch with everything tech and startups. He doesn’t post super often but he has a solid blog and he’s the co-host of No Priors podcast that features long form chats with the leading engineers, researchers and founders in AI. 

Ben Tossell

Ben’s the Founder and CEO of Makerpad, one of the top sites to learn and work on no-code tools. He currently works at Zapier, focusing on AI after they acquired Makerpad last year. Before that he led Community at Product Hunt and later AngelList when they acquired Product Hunt in 2016. He runs one of the most popular AI newsletters called Ben’s Bites, it’s easily been my favorite daily way to stay up-to-date with the latest AI happenings. 

Sarah Guo

Sarah’s a startup investor and the founder of Conviction, an early-stage VC firm specialized in AI startups. She made waves in SF during her time at Greylock, a top VC firm in the Valley, where she became their youngest general partner. She’s the other co-host of No Priors podcast alongside Ed Gil. She has an extensive network, and her close association with Andrew Ng, the co-founder and leader of Google Brain, persuaded her that a “deep learning revolution was coming”.

Natasha Mascarenhas

Natasha is a senior tech reporter at TechCrunch covering startups and AI and is the co-host of the Equity podcast. She wrote a super interesting article that summarized the discussions that took place during the Cerebral Valley Summit earlier this month. 

Ben Parr

Ben Parr is a seasoned tech industry analyst, he’s a journalist, author, investor, founder, and operator. Known for being Editor at Mashable and journalist at CNET, he’s also the co-founder of Octane AI, developing AI products for ecommerce.

His long time column The Social Analyst covers the intersection of technology, particularly AI, and its effect on society. He’s highly entertaining on Twitter and doesn’t shy away from predictions and hot takes like recently when he pleaded that people stop saying GPT-4 can’t replace their jobs, he says “Yes, it can. It’s only a matter of time”. So obviously on the AI enthusiast train. 

Shawn @swyx Wang

Swyx is one of my favorite twitter follows on AI, he’s always on top of new releases with solid commentary and his newsletter Latent Space offers a fascinating thought provoking perspective on generative AI and capitalism. 

Melanie Mitchell

Melanie is an author and Professor at Santa Fe Institute and works in the fields of AI, cognitive science, and complex systems. She’s a bit different from others on the list in that she’s way closer to the science and is a lot more down to Earth when it comes to the fear mongering and doomer arguments about AI. Her newsletter AI: A Guide for Thinking Humans covers AI developments and she gives commentary on popular headlines. In her article Thoughts on a crazy week in AI, she argues that to address concerns and potential risks, there’s a need for better AI literacy, transparency, and independent evaluation.

Dan Shipper

Dan’s the CEO and founder of Every, a newsletter on business, AI, and personal development. The publication is widely read by almost 100,000 founders, operators, and investors. He’s got a couple banger articles but even better AI commentary on Twitter. He recently wrote a fantastic article explaining how AI models, like GPT-4, are more focused on reasoning capabilities than knowledge databases. 

Britney Muller

I first discovered Britney during one of her talks on the stage at Mozcon in Seattle when she was a Senior SEO Scientist at Moz. At the time she was already doing amazing work at the intersection of SEO, ML and Data science. Since then, she’s gone on to work at Hugging Face, one of the biggest AI builder communities. She’s currently building Data Science 101, a fun & accessible data science resource. Her twitter feed is filled with practical insights on NLP and ML with a bunch of marketing applications. 

Kieran Flanagan

Kieran’s someone I’ve followed for several years, he’s a former VP at Hubspot and is now CMO at Zapier. He runs a new podcast called Marketing Against the Grain and they’ve been on an AI binge for a few months now. He’s worth highlighting here because he has a really good lens about how we can translate AI advancements and apply them to marketing. 

Rachel Woods

Last but not least, Rachel is a founder and a former Research Data Scientist at Facebook who worked to bring cutting edge ML/AI to life in Instagram’s ads products. If you run ads you’ve probably seen some things she’s shipped. She spends most of her time these days decoding what’s happening in AI with her awesome newsletter called The AI Exchange. It’ll not only keep you up to date with the latest headlines in AI but provide you with practical discussion and trends to help you use AI. She’s more active on TikTok than twitter if that’s your thing.

Okay damn that was a lot of people… let us know who we missed!

AI Courses

1. AI in digital marketing, https://mygreatlearning.com/academy/learn-for-free/courses/ai-in-digital-marketing 

2. Diploma in machine learning, https://uniathena.com/lms/student-dashboard/view-as-learner/303/8266 

3. Intro to Artificial Intelligence, https://learn.udacity.com/courses/cs271 

4. AI for Social Good, https://ai.google/education/ 

5. Find 2,500+ courses,https://classcentral.com/search?q=ai 

6. Marketing AI Certificate Program at Cornell https://ecornell.cornell.edu/certificates/marketing/marketing-ai/ 

Alright so that’s a ton of reading to keep you busy and informed, what else can you be doing?

Network and collaborate 

Millions of people work remotely and obviously during COVID in person events took a huge hit. But they could become more important than ever. 

Peep Laja (Pep Laya), CEO of Wynter, founder of CXL, said it best: the level of noise coming is massive. Human connection and real relationships are going to go up in value. Attend more in-person events. 

Checkout Meetup.com for local events in your city. 

Ask your boss to increase the budget on conference attendance this year and give him a few AI + marketing recommendations. 

Conferences to check out:

Explore entrepreneurship

This one is risky if you’re thinking of building a startup today on top of GPT because of the risk GPT might replace you with their next update… but finding an additional source of income is a great option if you’re feeling uncertain about the future and it’s the best way to learn. 

Yeah another route is just side hustles or starting to freelance.

Diversifying your income is something you should always be thinking about, especially in the age of layoffs we’re seeing these days. Take on side projects, invest in real estate, think about passive income… Consider mentoring. 

Growth Mentor plug: https://www.growthmentor.com/ 

Experiment and Play

  • I think we need to talk about experimenting with AI
  • I could ask you a ton of questions about the AI art generating you do on Midjourney – like it’s so interesting to me and it’s fucking dope – it’d be a good bookend on this episode

Non-AI skills required

  • I also think we should cover this a tiny but here but definitely in a future episode
  • Like future-proofed for AI world I’d argue you need to be:
    • Master strategist
    • Understanding of the underlying tech
    • I think technical skills will be a bonus


The impact of AI on the job market is difficult to predict in 5 years let alone 10. The only way to future proof your career and position yourself to thrive in an increasingly AI-driven economy is by staying informed and developing new skills. 

Next up:

3. Practical ways marketers can adapt for the AI-driven economy

4. Find the top AI marketing tools and filter out the noise


Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
Cover art created with Midjourney

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