Third & GroveThird & Grove
Jan 12, 2024 - Tara Arnold

Rethinking AI for Your 2024 Marketing Strategy

fist bump: human and robot

AI is all around us. It's an undeniable part of our personal and professional lives. Isn't it time we put it to work for us? 

That’s exactly what our "AI in Action" panel session at Acquia Engage was set to explore. Every organization will implement AI in their own way, but the outcome is the same: empowering marketers and developers.

We were having a blast at the TAG booth, so no panel pic, but check out the Engage main stage. (Photo credit:

Acquia partner Third and Grove sponsors Engage conference in Boston

About the panelists

Moderated by Matthew Gonnering, GM Content Cloud at Acquia, the expert panel featured:

Presentation highlights

A few key points that stood out from the presentation include:

Bring your own data, build your own model

One of the biggest use cases of AI is to improve internal sales and marketing processes. Recent feature releases from Open AI are making this possible. Justin Emond commented, “we're getting closer to finding good, easy ways for organizations to spin up custom versions of ChatGPT with internal data.” He predicted, “that's where we're going to start to see interesting value.” 

This is already a reality in Eric Williamson’s world. Every marketer knows all too well the pain of a long email thread requesting links to sales content. Eric shared how his team uses ChatGPT to tackle this challenge. They built a help bot for sales, taking the sting out of Seismic document searches. 

A CMO’s take on scaling content with AI

Eric also highlighted how generative AI can revolutionize content production, an often resource-intensive area. "I oversee the CallMiner marketing team. We're utilizing generative AI in sort of a test mode. Our content team has doubled their volume, using it as a starter kit for first drafts," said Eric. 

Creating engaging content at scale can be a daunting task. By using AI for routine content creation, marketing teams can focus their efforts on strategy and creative direction, ensuring that every piece of content serves a purpose and drives engagement.

Watch your competition 

“Don't worry about AI. Worry about what your competitors are doing with AI.”

Moderator Matthew Gonnering shared the above quote, sparking conversation about how AI can help marketers rise above the competition. 

Eric offered an insightful analogy on what it takes to win: “I think of artificial intelligence like an ingredient, he said. “It’s ubiquitous. What makes the difference between McDonald's and a five-star restaurant is how those ingredients are used. The guardrails you put around it, the data that you have ChatGPT tapping into and the workflows that you put into it – that's what's going to build to beat the competition.”

…but don’t overestimate AI’s competitive edge

“I think of AI as the next spreadsheet,” said Justin. “The first spreadsheet, VisiCalc, was introduced in 1979. Until then, no one in human history was analyzing more than a hundred rows of data. Think about that. They built and ran the Roman Empire and they couldn't analyze more than a hundred rows of data until 1979.” 

And now? There are even more accountants today than there were in 1979. “It’s not a strategic advantage if everybody has it,” Justin remarked.

Learn fast and leave things better than you found them

Keep exploring and learning, but choose your sources wisely. Justin shrugged off predictive reports: "If it’s from McKinsey or Accenture, I skip those. They’re great at predicting futures that never happen,” he said.

To fully capitalize on AI’s potential, marketing leaders must foster a culture of innovation within their teams. Deanna Ballew encouraged experimentation with AI tools: "Issue a challenge for your team. Put out a quarterly OKR to go find five applications on how you're going to do this. Go try it out and start bringing back ideas." 

The panel also addressed AI ethics, including the White House's recent Executive Order on AI. Deanna urged marketers to prepare for the future. She advised, "At this point, as a marketer, you are accountable to executive action. Start thinking about that now. Have your guidelines now. Because when that day comes, and maybe you'll have it in Europe, the United States, you're going to have to be considerate."  

Where to next?

We hope that the key highlights of the "AI in Action" panel will provide marketers with valuable insights to help them decide whether or not to integrate AI into their upcoming work priorities.

Planning for the coming year involves more than just marveling at AI’s magic—it’s about using it wisely. As Justin reflected, “We’re getting lost in how magical AI seems…but it’s just a bit of interesting tech.” So, it’s time to get practical. It’s about making AI work for you strategically—nailing data use, refining workflows, and keeping things ethical. 

A special thanks to Deanna, Eric, and Matthew for sharing their time and expertise.