How to Harness the Power of AI for Manufacturing Marketing

Author: Whitney Koch

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way businesses promote their products and services. Manufacturing marketers are experiencing a paradigm shift, and staying ahead of the curve has never been more crucial. 

In a recent #USAMfgHour chat on X (formerly known as Twitter), host Bizzy Web, a growth marketing agency, facilitated a conversation about AI in manufacturing marketing that ranged from tools to challenges and all the way to predictions.

Navigating the Integration Landscape: How Manufacturing Marketers Weave AI into Their Strategies

The chat began with host BizzyWeb asking how participants are currently integrating AI into their marketing strategies.

Ruby Rusine from Social Success Marketing said, “Curious about what others would say.”

“Indirectly for research and analysis of datasets,” said Nigel Packer from Pelatis Online. “Some of the tools I am using have AI incorporated into them. Final output is always 100% human generated.”

Responding to Packer, Dave Meyer from BizzyWeb said, “Smart call to keep final output human Nigel! And yeah, almost every enterprise/biz tool on the market has SOME AI built into it now. It’s an exciting time!”

“It is exciting Dave,” Packer replied. “I will be interested to see what the legal ramifications will be regarding plagiarism and copywrite [sic] infringement. The law will take some time to catch up.”

In a reply to Packer, Rusine wrote, “Human output is a must… we can’t just leave it all to AI, right?” To which Packer said, “Right Ruby. AI is in its infancy, we would not give projects to children to develop and create without parental or teacher supervision.”

Following up with Packer, Rusine asked: “What tool has been the best so far, Nigel?”

“No specific tool so far Ruby,” Packer said.  There is a lot of investment time learning how they work and how much you can trust their output. Everything needs human editing before it is published.”

Agreeing with Packer, Rusine said, “As per practice, we make sure we go over any and every output and tweak it to suit our voice.”

Entrepreneur Pavel Stepanov said, “Quantitative analysis, reports, chatbots, and email marketing are some of the ways how we integrate AI.” [sic]

Anna and Susannah Scheller of Capri Temporary Housing answered, “We’re using AI as a general content creator, particularly with our blogs. Typically we’ll have it generate some posts, post ideas, or a blog outline, and then we’ll go through and double-check accuracy and adjust as needed to make it unique to our marketing.”

“I have not used it in a marketing strategy yet,” said Kati McDermith from Manufacturers’ News, Inc. “Hoping to learn more today about it though!”

Whitney Koch from Keystone Click said, “I use ChatGPT for idea generation – it helps get the creative juices flowing faster.” In a reply to her answer, Koch added, “And here are some other tools that are super helpful: Grammarly, CoSchedule, Quetext, and Verbatim.”

In response to Koch, Meyer said, “I love Grammarly! Although I recommend the pro version (it’s cheap) and some tweaking to match your personal writing style.”

“I still haven’t pulled the trigger and gone pro, but I am sure it’s amazing!” Koch said in response to Meyer.

Host BizzyWeb shared which tools they use themselves, stating, “At BizzyWeb, we’re using AI tools like Bard and ChatGPT to help brainstorm topics. We’ve built out SOPs (standard operating procedures), and we have regular team meetings on best practices/ideas.”

In a reply to this tweet, Meyer said, “[Y]ou can actually get a pretty decent SOP by asking ChatGPT or Bard to help you get started. A great prompt: ‘Help me create operating procedures to make sure my team is using AI correctly, ethically and legally.’”

Unveiling the Arsenal: The Best AI Tools Transforming Manufacturing Marketing

Participants were then asked what AI tools they have found most effective for marketing their manufacturing business. Host BizzyWeb also asked them to name any favorite tools.

Koch said, “I shared in A1 – ChatGPT, Grammarly, CoSchedule, Quetext, and Verbatim. Initially started with Jasper and liked how you can set up brand voice & tone. Was told by someone that Bard is great for analyzing data, though I haven’t tried it yet.”

“There are so many out there, right, Whit?” commented Rusine.

Replying to her initial response, Koch added: “Ooh, and I just added Fathom this week – love how it summarizes Zoom meetings for me and appreciate the ability to bookmark points in the meeting to refer back to.”

“That’s convenient!” Rusine said.

Koch agreed. “It’s super helpful!”

“Love the convenience for sure,” said Rusine.

Joining into the Zoom conversation, Meyer asked Koch: “Have you tried Zoom’s new AI recording features? Soooo handy.”

“No, I haven’t!” Koch said. “Someone else on our team started using Fathom and really liked it. I had tried, but I hit the free version limit really quickly.”

The Schellers responded to Meyer’s inquiry about Zoom’s AI recording features: “They are an absolute life saver in terms of the AI summary! We’ve used them for a few meetings and, although it can be very far off at times, it’s great for freeing us up to really focus on the content of the meeting instead of having to take notes.”

Packer said, “I find that they are good for creating structure and ideas gen.”

In his reply to Packer, Meyer wrote, “ is super fun for brainstorming. It’s completely conversational, and does a great job at talking to you like a friend would when noodling ideas over a beer.”

Meyer’s suggestion drew some comments. “I shall look it up Dave,” said Packer. “Interesting!” added Amy Anderson.

The Schellers’ said, “Gonna watch the answers closely on this one since we’re not super involved in manufacturing.”

Host BizzyWeb named their favorite AI tools for manufacturing marketing. They said, “We use ChatGPT & Bard for content brainstorming, ChatSpot for biz dev/intelligence, Jounce and for conversational chats, and Canva for quick drafts of graphics.”

Koch added, “Love Canva. They’ve been adding some really amazing AI features!”

The Schellers replied, “We haven’t tried any of the AI features yet… Perhaps it’s time to do so!”

“I like the magic adjustment for images,” Koch said.

Replying to Koch, the Schellers said, “Oo, that sounds useful. I’m gonna have to try it!”

About Canva’s auto-adjust feature for photos, Koch added, “It’s nice for brightening and sharpening images…especially for someone like me who doesn’t know which settings to adjust.”

Joining the conversation about Canva, McDermith shared her recent experience. “I just tried Canva’s ai image generator yesterday. I had a few good chuckles!”

Visualizing Success: The Impact of AI-Generated Imagery in Manufacturing Marketing

The chat then responded to BizzyWeb’s question about how they are leveraging AI-generated imagery using tools such as Dall-E, Craiyon, and Canva, to enhance their brand’s visual marketing.

Rusine reposted this tweet from Social Success Marketing that included an AI-generated image. This is what she had to say about the image: “This is an AI image.  Fascinating but the result is just simply not our kind of output that I want. It’s too AI-ish but I had fun playing with it.”

Responding to Rusine, Koch said, “I saw that one. It’s pretty good!”

Continuing, Rusine said, “Seeing what I am seeing online, and having tried it once, I really don’t like it.”

Answering BizzyWeb’s question, Koch wrote, “I will say this is something I haven’t played around with yet. I haven’t had a need yet (I don’t think).”

“I have been using it for fun in Canva, but I know Jennifer at @MfrsNews wrote a blog about AI images and we all chuckled,” McDermith said. She included this link to the blog post she mentioned.

Koch said in response to McDermith, “OMG, these are hilarious! Thanks for sharing, Kati!”

“AI has been great for developing higher quality photos and graphics!” the Schellers wrote. “That said, it has to be closely monitored and we’re seeing a trend where authentic photos of people that are obviously not AI generated are doing super well in marketing too.”

Packer said, “As we have an inhouse creative our corporate images are all human generated.”

Felix Nater from Nater Associates said, “This is a question I would have never recognized to ask.”

To close out this portion of the discussion, host BizzyWeb added the AI tools they use for visual imagery. “BizzyWeb uses ChatSpot to draft imagery, and Canva’s Magic Design to draft in-house blog posts and event promos. We don’t use non-licensed imagery for our client work, but we’ve used Shutterstock’s AI Image Generator to acquire licensed images.”

The mention of Shutterstock’s AI Image Generator drew interest from some chat participants.

Kirsten Austin from DCSC, Inc. said, “I have never seen that, Bookmarking for future evaluation Dave!”

“I didn’t know Shutterstock had an AI!  Very cool!” McDermith added.

Copyright in the Age of AI

Next, host BizzyWeb asked how participants are handling copyright concerns, especially with AI-generated imagery and text in their marketing materials.

“With or without AI and with writers doing research, it is always better to check it via a plagiarism tool,” Rusine said.

Packer said, “[A]s I described in an earlier answer, the law has not caught up yet, it will take some big cases to establish a set of rules. Will people take any notice though?”

“We are working on running checks on everything we use, but our first rule of thumb is to avoid using anything AI generated for major marketing projects and to make important changes to anything we DO use,” the Schellers said. “But it’s a tricky line to balance on because there is so little holding AI in check for theft…” 

Packer called the Scheller’s response a “wise move.”

Koch said, “Ooh, good question! We run our blogs through plagiarism checkers to catch that. Not sure what else…”

Host BizzyWeb enlightened participants with their knowledge of current copyright policies for AI-generated content. They said: “General consensus points to prompt-generated content NOT being copyrightable. ‘Significant editing’ MIGHT be copyrightable, but there’s not any clear, specific direction yet. Artists are pursuing damages from AI tools who have used their works as source material.”

Commenting on BizzyWeb’s answer, Meyer said, “The AI institute recommends at least 7 meaningful changes.”

This prompted Koch to ask, “But how is “meaningful change” defined?”

“That’s the rub: There’s not really a definition… yet,” Meyer said. “I go by ‘gut check’ – changing a word or phrase isn’t meaningful. A complete re-write is way better. Our team uses GPT as brainstorming only – no final content.”

Koch responded, “I figured you were going to say that. Clear as mud!”

“Yikes! Sounds scary! How do you protect yourself?” McDermith wondered.

Overcoming Obstacles: The Realities and Challenges Faced by Manufacturing Marketers in the AI Era

Next, host BizzyWeb asked participants to share any challenges they have faced while using AI in their manufacturing marketing efforts and how they overcame them.

Packer said, “The time investment to learn and training the AI is one of the biggest challenges.”

“Dave, you are hitting homeruns with these questions for my reference library,” Nater tweeted. “The answers are insightful, educational, enlightening and informative. Thank you.”

In response, Meyer said, “Thanks Felix! That’s my goal.”

“Thinking about ChatGPT: My initial challenges were how to incorporate it at all (general lack of knowledge) and then figuring out how to prompt it to get the best results,” Koch said.

In a reply to Koch, Meyer wrote: “There’s a pretty big difference between [ChatGPT] 3.5/free and 4.0/+ in quality. The paid version also uses a more recent dataset. Bard is pretty much up to date, but GPT 3.5 uses data that’s almost 2 years old.”

“Good to know!” Koch said to Meyer. “I subscribe to a newsletter that shares prompt ideas, which have been very helpful!”

The Schellers responded, stating, “One of our biggest challenges has been in figuring out ways to use it that require less oversight (Marketing materials require a lot!). But last week got to hear from an AI specialist who taught us how to utilize it in more research-type ways which was great!”

“I have used it for research,” McDermith said. “I find that it is often limited on its knowledge. You just gotta do the digging then.”

BizzyWeb’s AI challenges have included questions of “copyright/ownership, inaccuracy (hallucinations), plagiarism, and bias.”

Crystal Ball Gazing: Future Trends in AI Set to Shape the Landscape of Manufacturing Marketing

To close out the conversation, host BizzyWeb asked participants to share future AI trends in marketing they feel will significantly impact the manufacturing industry.

Koch answered, “I saw something the other day about AI for 3D models. That would be HUGE! My former employer used SolidWorks for drafting, and outputting 3D models would often take up a lot of time and resources…so in Marketing we had few we could use.”

“That’s interesting!” Rusine said in response to Koch. 

“Yes, I think that would be so powerful for manufacturers, especially those with eCommerce!” Koch replied to Rusine.

Continuing in this conversation thread, Rusine said, “Some AI tools can create a number of fake reviews for those whatever site they want to use it. (The dark side of it).”

Responding to Rusine, Packer said, “There will always be a dark side as people learn to manipulate for gain.”

“Always,” Rusine said. “Like ‘marketers’ publishing 1000 articles with the push of a button without reviewing the output? Yup, there are.”

Packer would like to see “[a]n AI tool that will take your uploaded images and content and create new images from your instructions. You can then be certain that you have not compromised another’s copywrite.”

“Not sure,” said the Schellers. “But we do think that there’s going to be a lot more restrictions imposed on it moving forward as challenges occur with copyrighted source materials. Could be a while before we see many further developments.”

According to BizzyWeb, “[t]his is the ‘wild, wild West’ for AI. The models are getting better by the minute. Change is the only constant. Learning how to spot and verify AI is going to be incredibly important.”


To conclude the chat, host BizzyWeb reminded participants of this important fact: “AI won’t replace marketers, but marketers who use AI probably will! YOU are the expert. When using AI, you’re responsible for content accuracy, copyright and plagiarism.”

Thanking BizzyWeb and Meyer, Packer said, “I have picked up a few alternate AI platforms to look at. Lots of insights as well.”

McDermith said, “Thanks for the excellent info @dave1meyer. I’m looking forward to your in depth lesson on #MNIUniversity in Feb!

“Yes! Can’t wait,” Meyer said. “We’re going deep into AI, and today’s chat was just a teaser!”

After thanking BizzyWeb and Meyer, Koch shared another resource: “For anyone looking to learn more,” she said, “@MktgAi has a great newsletter and podcast!

As a thank you to participants, BizzyWeb offered a content marketing template using AI.

About #USAMfgHour

Anyone who champions U.S. manufacturing can join in on a new conversation each week on Twitter using the hashtag #USAMfgHour. The chat starts at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time/2 p.m. Eastern. Share positive blog posts, helpful articles, news, important information, accomplishments, events, and more with other manufacturers and supporters from throughout the country.

Are you interested in hosting a #USAMfgHour chat? Contact organizers @DCSCinc, @SocialSMktg, and @KeystoneClick.

To learn more about how Keystone Click can help you level up your online presence, contact us.