Increasingly, community-driven companies like GitLab, Strava and Vimeo are finding more opportunities with artificial intelligence to drive revenue growth, according to CMOs at the Activate Summit in San Francisco this week, hosted by...
Increasingly, community-driven companies like GitLab, Strava and Vimeo are finding more opportunities with artificial intelligence to drive revenue growth, according to CMOs at the Activate Summit in San Francisco this week, hosted by cross-channel marketing platform Iterable.
“Companies that leverage AI the fastest will see revenue growth,” said GitLab’s chief marketing officer Ashley Kramer in an interview with Adweek. “And companies that are building it into their products are going to be the products that win in the end.”
While AI is touching multiple tiers of companies’ businesses, from content generation to customer modeling and customizing user journeys, making workflows more efficient and saving time and costs, there remain concerns around data privacy and content ownership.
For development operations companies like GitLab, whose clients include Airbus, Nasdaq, UBS and Goldman Sachs, AI models are built into its marketing tech stack and sales data to enhance productivity and save time, according to Kramer.
For instance, AI models helped GitLab segment customers into cohorts like small to medium-sized businesses and enterprise companies.
For a long time, it’s been hard for us to determine what’s really driving the most efficient and effective pipe for SMBs,” said Kramer. “By building these AI models we were able to see the best leads that are coming in and what’s converting fastest, what needs the littlest amount of sales touch.”
GitLab’s current AI tools also help developers write their code faster, give them code suggestions, review code and automate quality checks.
The amount of time AI models have saved GitLab is “immeasurable,” said Kramer. With that valuable time, staffers direct more energy to enterprise customers who need more human interaction.
“It’s for productivity gains, which then translates into dollars for our customers and leads to internal revenue growth.”
Down the road, GitLab has plans to use AI to push people to reach a purchasing decision faster. Kramer did not say how much the company has invested in AI.
For video-sharing platform Vimeo, AI is used to predict the next best action for its customers.
The company is currently in talks with all types of AI developers to gauge who has the most sophisticated understanding of using generative AI for video, according to Vimeo chief marketing officer Lynn Girotto. Vimeo will make a partnership announcement in the coming months.
The company plans to incorporate generative AI into its existing AI tools to help the platform deliver automated suggestions such as color correction, stabilization and other edits when users upload pictures and videos.
Similar to GitLab, Vimeo is trying to leverage AI to segment its audience, like differentiating a regular user who creates videos daily from a company that uses Vimeo for big events, and providing them with the right content and tools suggestions.
“With the data we have, we want to filter and be smarter about predicting what the next best action is,” said Girotto. “For example, maybe you’re a free user and you’re starting to do a lot of actions that would drive you to a new feature or capability in a paid offer.”
Privacy, ownership and cost challenges
However, recent headlines over generative AI’s inability to guardrail sensitive data, such as Samsung engineers feeding sensitive data to ChatGPT, are leading brands to question the technology’s privacy competency.
Strava reports on more than 98 million athletes based on their physical exercises via GPS tracking, a trove of data that Strava works hard to keep private.
“There’s a lot of privacy concerns about aggregating that data and the identity it’s associated with,” said its chief marketing officer Zipporah Allen at the Activate Summit. “You can get to a really scary place.”
GitLab stores important code for some of the world’s biggest organizations. The company told Adweek it will not use open-source models like OpenAI to enhance its AI capabilities. Instead, it’s building its own AI model that will be able to guardrail all the data and train the models used by its partners to keep it safe and secure.
Now that AI is becoming more widely adopted to create content, who owns that content is going to be a foreseeable challenge, said Girotto.
And AI investments are not small. Global telecom giant Samsung has invested more than $22 billion in AI. Microsoft reported an investment of $10 billion in ChatGPT’s maker OpenAI.
The billion-dollar question, according to Kramer, is whether companies do a cost model around these investments.
“Everybody has wildly underestimated the cost of what this is going to mean,” she said.