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The role of AI in our marketing toolbox

24 May 2024

Artificial intelligence in digital marketing banner with an AI-generated image of a racing car

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been generating regular headlines since 2022. When it isn’t threatening to infringe on copyright with image generation, it’s scaring Glaswegian children by spitting out a horrifying take on the Willy Wonka mythos. While initially touted as being an existential threat to humanity, it seems as though AI is also creating new legal challenges for creatives around the world. 

While some would say it can’t produce art, it can at least spark some element of creation in a human user. 

In the writing field, tools like ChatGPT can help chip away at writer’s block. In the visual art space, tools like Midjourney can create mood boards that help kickstart a project. 

Our team has been using a variety of AI marketing tools in their work for several years now; here we’ll share what we’ve learnt. 

The fear of AI

Naturally, there is a large fear that AI is going to replace jobs. First it was copywriters with ChatGPT, then it was Graphic Designers with MidJourney, and now it’s Videographers with Sora. 

At Refuel, our team always keeps an eye on emerging technologies, so our office has been packed with AI talk since the beginning. Despite talk about AI replacing humans, we never took such conversations seriously as we knew the software so well. 

While AI can speed up a large part of the content creation process, it can’t replace it. Creativity naturally needs a spark, it needs something original. Sure, this can be inspired by other work that’s out there, but it has to bring something different to the table.

Instead of using AI to produce the perfect piece of content, we should leverage AI so that we can speed up our processes.

How do marketers use AI today?

AI is speeding up processes for marketers and creatives around the world. 

Due to the processing speed, AI is able to do things in seconds that would take humans hours. With this in mind, we’re using a variety of AI tools to make our marketing efficiency as slick as it's ever been.

Email marketing

While language tools such as ChatGPT have been making headlines in recent years, we’ve been using AI every day long before ChatGPT started scaring the general public. 

Using an AI tool called Seventh Sense, we were able to deliver emails at optimal times based on customer behaviour in HubSpot, sending when the receiver was most likely to open the email. We have seen customers re-engage with over 20% of their email lists just by sending emails at the right time.


ChatGPT was the canary down the mine in terms of AI chat bots. After its launch in late 2022, we saw a flurry of panicking headlines about the impending AI apocalypse. However, while ChatGPT appears to be smarter than your average bot, it’s far from the Ultron level threat that’s going to wipe out humanity (or even just copywriters). There is a distinct and clear ‘smell’ to an AI generated piece of text that has shades of the uncanny valley to it.

However, while a piece of content 100% generated by AI technology would be a bad piece of writing - it is a good place to start for writers. In addition, due to token limits, you would still struggle to get a fully optimised SEO article from ChatGPT with the touch of a button. If you’re looking to write a blog, and you’re hit with the dreaded writer’s block, then you can ask ChatGPT to build you a blog outline and take it away from there.

On the other hand, if you’ve been writing Google Ads for the same client for several years, and you need a fresh perspective, ChatGPT can help you attack the client from new angles. 

ChatGPT was soon joined, and perhaps even superseded by Gemini (the artist formerly known as Bard). The rise in AI chatbots has led to a new market of prompt generation. It seems as though asking AI language tools to answer a question is becoming too complicated. Prompt generation is now a hot topic and savvy tech businesses such as PromptPerfect are promising to take your prompts and refine them to produce more impactful and precise results. 

Graphic design

H.P. Lovecraft was the father of the ‘cosmic horror genre’. Lovecraft created characters such as Cthulhu and the Deep Ones, but what set Lovecraft apart from some other horror authors was that his horror came from an element of the unseen. A majority of his horror is seen in his human character’s reactions, rather than the actual beasts themselves. More often than not, those monsters are unseen by the reader and undescribed by the author.

Or at least they were. In 2023, Midjourney brought Lovecraftian abominations into the real world with its image generation. 

DALL·E 2024-05-24 11.39.19 - An almost horrifying scene inspired by H.P. Lovecraft_ a dark, eerie coastal landscape under a stormy night sky. Ancient, crumbling ruins with arcane

Much like how text based language AI tools can’t count to save their ‘life’, graphic design bots don’t know how many fingers a human has.


That being said, there is some use to Midjourney in bringing your mind’s ideas to life in a quick and rough sketch form, or for storyboarding your video plan. We also use ChatGPT’s Midjourney equivalent to produce background images and social post graphics. 


In a similar vein to Midjourney, apps like Sora can create videos from written prompts in a flash. Sora especially is showing real promise in the field to produce lifelike, high quality video. 

Some video editing tools, such as Adobe’s Podcast AI, use AI to speed up time consuming and frustrating elements in the video editing process, making the lives of videographers that bit easier.

Sales + marketing strategy

One interesting area where AI has shown to be particularly useful is the sales field. We were able to build our personas into ChatGPT and have conversations with them. This helped us to further narrow down our messaging and test new ways to connect with our personas. 

Rather than imagining how our personas would respond, we can ask AI generated versions of them. We program the chatbot so that it has the same fears, hopes, ambitions as our personas. Then, we can ask the chatbot various questions and, using existing resources online, the chatbot gives us the answers we need.

Where do agencies come in?

If AI is becoming more prevalent, why use a digital marketing agency? On the face of it, why would anyone use a digital marketing agency if AI can generate content for them at a fraction of the cost? 

The reason is that, while AI is going to become more prominent, it still needs to be managed - your AI output is only going to be as good as your AI input. Sure, AI can improve efficiency, but it isn’t going to come close to replacing original human thought, something essential in the branding and marketing space. In many ways, AI is like using a sword without a hilt - it can come back to hurt you if you’re not careful. 

Why Refuel?

At Refuel, we’re always keeping one eye on the horizon so that both our team and our clients have the tools and skills they need to flourish. 

We’ve been using AI in our marketing toolkit for several years now. We aren’t afraid of updating our processes and tools to increase our own efficiency and support our team. We can help you adopt AI in your marketing team. Reach out to us for support and training. 

Sam Hutchinson

Sam’s the resident writer and office DJ at Refuel. With a background in academia, journalism, and marketing, Sam can find the words our clients need to attract, engage, and convert those tricky leads.