With the rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the B2B space, there are exciting opportunities alongside novel risks. Realizing AI's benefits for businesses while earning public trust requires a thoughtful, ethical approach centered on corporate values. B2B Organizations have a profound responsibility when building and deploying AI systems that impact other businesses and ultimately, people.
Organizational responsibility for AI ethics
It is critical for organizations to be proactive in their understanding of how to be as AI-compliant as possible – including data protection, security, ethics, and overall training. This approach, if taken with a top-down approach, can help those orgs investing in AI to be ahead of the curve. B2B organizations are adopting this mindset, and it starts by having C-Level Exec teams as the Executive Sponsors as well as orchestrators across their functional organizations.
Marketing leaders’ responsibilities for AI ethics
From a Marketing perspective, Marketing leaders (ie: CMOs, VP level) would need to consider a subset of the requirements, ie: privacy laws around customer data (1st, 3rd party), data protection assessments of their Marketing Tech (MarTech) investments, ethics around personalization and hyper-targeting automation.
Adherence to privacy laws
Adhering to privacy laws isn’t a new concept for B2B Marketers, as there have been constant considerations for GDPR & CCPA-type regulations that impose consent and transparency when collecting customer data. This will become even more critical as third-party data becomes more restricted, and Marketing teams will have to rely on first-party data as an essential part of their business strategy to drive revenue and growth. Adopting privacy-enhancing techniques like federated learning and differential privacy can allow relevant personalization while minimizing data exposure.
Reviewing new additions to the techstack
Secondly, when it comes to MarTech, there still is a massive exponential growth of this landscape – with over 11K vendors in the space. Marketing teams have to work closely with their IT counterparts to review data protection assessments to analyze risks like data breaches and customer trust impacts when deploying net-new Marketing technology with AI capabilities.
When it comes specifically to generative AI advancement, Marketers also have to also consider potential risks around impersonation, deepfakes, and copyright with tools that are leveraged for creative marketing.
AI ethics training for teams
Lastly, ethical training for Marketing teams that are overlaying AI while executing daily tactics is definitely a must-have. Ethical use of microtargeting and personalization will come under increasing scrutiny, explainability and avoiding unintended bias is crucial.
Marketing teams that are heavily invested in paid media will need to factor truth in advertising principles when applying to claims around AI-based capabilities and benefits. Marketing AI requires proof and substantiation, so definitely will be integral for the right level of alignment between the Marketing, Product, and Sales teams to ensure there are unified messaging themes.
Proactivity is essential for AI success
Those Marketing teams that are using techniques to adhere to data privacy, making the time to train their teams around data ethics & avoiding unintended bias with AI systems, while implementing best practices for their AI capabilities, will be the ones that will find the least complexity in running their marketing efforts in 2024 and beyond. By taking a proactive, collaborative approach to AI adoption focused on ethics and responsibility, B2B marketers can help lead their organizations into an innovative yet trustworthy future.
AI is one of the biggest marketing topics right now, so it had to be a major component of our CMO Summit on November 8th.
Don't miss Avi and other experts' panel: "AI, friend or foe? Opportunities and challenges for forward-thinking CMOs".
But there are plenty more talks on the biggest issues facing marketing leaders right now.