Jan 15, 2024

What's in the DMI's AI Short Course?

by Digital Marketing Institute

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On this episode of AI with DMI, Will Francis speaks with Clark Boyd, the lead expert on the exciting new "AI for Digital Marketers" short course from the Digital Marketing Institute.

Here they discuss what the course will cover, who it's aimed at, and the importance of striking the balance between hard and soft skills that all digital marketers need in order to improve and progress their careers. 

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Video Transcript

Will Francis

So you talked about the need to upskill, right? If we're going to realistically get the most out of these things, we need to upskill and you're working on an AI track (short course) at the DMI. Tell me about that. What kind of things you're talking about there and how are you facing the challenge of keeping that current as well?

Clark Boyd

Yeah, we are hard at work on that one at the minute. And it's coming along really well. I would say that, of course, but there's been a lot of, a lot of thoughts has gone into how to structure such a course. And yeah, we've been editing it and trying to improve it.

What we're trying to do, and the question you ask is, is fundamental there, like, how do you create a course for this sort of thing when next month, you know, something comes out, OpenAI has their developers conference completely pull the rug from under us.

So we are trying to balance those things so that in the future you could go in and update the bits that are about specific tools. But it's a bit like I've been saying about the webinars and the boot camps that I've been running recently, what works best is starting with the real fundamentals. I don't think that marketers need to understand lots and lots of detail about AI. It'd be great if they wanted to, but being realistic, people are busy. They've got a lot going on. They need to know what they can put to use. What's going to help them get through these different scenarios that they face?

So we're starting (the course) with very much those fundamentals, but also what it means to use AI in digital marketing. What are the tasks that you can use it for? Where do people excel versus the AI? So trying to give you a categorization that you can use. When a new task comes up, you can think, well:

  • Which AI would be the best fit for this?
  • Where would I need to work alongside it?
  • What other people do I need to get this task done more effectively?

We're using as many examples as possible as well, from great work that we're seeing from people out there. Then we're moving on to specific tools. And I think this is going to be helpful. Even the iterations are so rapid with this, there's always something new happening. But we are going to go through in detail how you get set up.

What does it mean to use OpenAI to create social media ads? It's fine saying that. Sure, just go and use OpenAI, it'll be fine. But I do understand that for a lot of people, there's a bit of a barrier there. You need to get set up, you need your API key, you need to know how to integrate this with your own social media flows as well. So we are going to go into the detail of that, first of all.

And then we're going to talk about specific capabilities. So we're going to pick a couple of tools and look at five different things that you can do with them. Sure. The exact things that I'm doing, the exact images that I create will probably be outdated in no time. But that's a substance, there's a superficial layer that we can change over time, I'm sure.

But we're just going to go through that because I think that's what people are often lacking from these kinds of sessions. We'll talk a little bit about how do you get the best out of it? How do you write a prompt? We're not going to go as much depth as some courses I've seen where it's all about prompt engineering because that's an inefficiency on the tech side. You only need to engineer your prompts because it's not understanding you well enough, and it will pretty soon. But you still need structure. So what information do you include, in what order, and then how do you work with the outputs?

And then finally, we're going to talk about the mindset shift that I think is just so fundamental here. And I'm speaking to a lot of people in ad agencies and in learning and development at big companies. And it's funny because these are the people who often are talking about hard skills. You get a promotion for saying this kind of stuff, right? I want to see the hard skills.

I want to see people learn how to code. I want to see them apply this and get ROI. And that discussion has really shifted where people are, they're not saying soft skills, but they are saying more of these broader concepts, strategic thinking, problem solving, agile thinking. These are going to be critical for the workforce of the future.

Someone at a huge ad agency last week was saying to me, “I'm just concerned that with the way that everyone thinks at the minute, because of how they've been trained by digital marketing, what's coming next is, it's fine. We can invest in the tech for them, but I don't know that without serious training, they're going to be able to use that tech in the way that they need to, to get maximum value from it”.

So that's why we've decided to round off with that. We've got agile thinking, strategic thinking, a bit about collaboration and really how to get the most out of this technology. So those three broad buckets is what it is, how to use it and how to think to get the most out of it. And yeah, looking forward to getting it out there.

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