Unveiling the dichotomy: Generative AI vs. human interaction in B2B marketing

Holly Addison, Jamie Dalton 31 Aug 2023

Leathwaite recently co-hosted an event in partnership with Google Cloud and was joined by marketing executives from leading technology companies. 

The event commenced with an introduction to the rising popularity of AI, to generate content and personalized recommendations, delving into the potential of AI-powered solutions in automating various aspects of B2B marketing, from lead generation to content creation and customer engagement. Attendees exchanged experiences and knowledge around the use of Gen AI, creativity in B2B marketing and driving growth in an increasingly volatile economic environment.  

As the discussions progressed, an intriguing dichotomy emerged between the benefits of generative AI and the enduring importance of human interaction in B2B marketing. Participants highlighted that while AI technologies excel in scalability, efficiency, and data-driven decision-making, they often lack the human touch required for building trust, establishing relationships, and interpreting complex nuances. 

They emphasized the necessity of striking a delicate balance between AI-driven automation and the human element in B2B marketing, stressing the significance of using AI as a tool to augment human efforts rather than replacing them entirely. Successful B2B marketing strategies, it was generally agreed, should combine the power of generative AI for data analysis and process optimization with genuine human engagement for empathy, creativity, and relationship-building. 

Real-life case studies were shared to showcase the effective integration of generative AI and human interaction, both in legacy organizations where the result of growth through acquisition had created a ‘spaghetti-like’ complexity in the Martech stack – as well as in startup, where the ‘born digital’ landscape often made innovation easier to embed from the ground up.  

It was noted that the role of the CMO has had to evolve radically in recent years and that a powerful new relationship between the CMO and the CTO is emerging as an increasingly vital pairing for high-growth leadership teams. 

The event concluded with a call for continuous innovation and adaptation in the B2B marketing landscape, as well as recognition of the power of such events to share progress and learnings.  

While generative AI presents immense opportunities for efficiency and scalability, human interaction remains an irreplaceable aspect of B2B relationships. The goal should be to embrace the potential of AI while actively nurturing the skills, emotional intelligence, and authenticity that only humans can provide.

Holly addision

Holly Addison

Holly co-leads our global product, sales and marketing practice and also our Board, CEO and general management practice. Specialising in CEO and C-level talent that drives growth, with a focus on digital transformation, leadership succession and value creation, Holly is best…

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Image of Leathwaite employee Jamie Dalton

Jamie Dalton

Jamie is a Consultant in the Commercial & Digital practice in London. He executes on global leadership searches, primarily in the UK, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and North America. His primary areas of focus include Chief Revenue/Marketing/Product Officers as well…

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