This post is part of our Spotlight series featuring AI-powered companies and products that marketers can use to drive performance and transform their careers.
Great marketing requires great writing. Marketers must sift through the vast talent pool to find qualified writers to produce engaging content on any given topic. Well, what if there was a way to streamline this process?
Scripted (@getscripted), an online marketplace that uses artificial intelligence to connect businesses with freelance writers, has done just that. It uses machine learning to analyze writing samples and identify the most qualified writers to produce various content formats for businesses. We learned how by talking to the CEO of Scripted, Ryan Buckley (@rbucks).
In a single sentence or statement, describe Scripted.
Scripted connects freelance writers with marketers looking for a scalable source of engaging written content.
How does the company use artificial intelligence (i.e. machine learning, natural language generation, natural language processing, deep learning, etc.)?
Our proprietary SmartMatch technology ensures that every piece of content our customers order is assigned to the most qualified writer. By processing millions of data points (from structured editor feedback, to automated spelling and grammar checks, to self-nominating writing samples), our algorithm machine learns the signals that qualify a writer for any given topic.
Immediately after launching SmartMatch, we saw a statistically significant and sustained lift in both our customer retention and in the rate at which customers responded "Yes" when we surveyed with "Are you happy with the quality of writing?".
What do you see as the limitations of artificial intelligence as it exists today?
There are a number of issues that exist today:
- We're constantly trying to emulate the human mind, instead of being more open-minded (excuse the pun) about how intelligent systems can work.
- We assume that brilliant algorithms will save us, when often stupid, simple heuristics (in combination with thoughtfully sliced datasets) offer a more pragmatic approach.
- As AI has become more and more complex, it's exceeded the limits of human understanding. Even now, nobody can tell you how some recurrent neural networks actually solve their problems on the micro level as they are too obfuscated. This makes it hard to innovate and tune.
What do you see as the future potential of artificial intelligence in marketing?
There is a tremendous opportunity for marketing AI on the brink of the adjacent possible right now. Web-based performance marketers are faced with a challenge that is insurmountable without AI.
For example: given 10 acquisition channels, 15 varieties of CTAs, three broad categories of browsing device, four distinct customer personas, a $20,000 a month program budget, and a goal of sustained 10% month-over-month growth, which subset of marketing campaigns should I fund? In a modern marketing operation, the sheer complexity and variety of signals is way outside the grasp of a human mind. In the next five to 10 years, there will be a machine learning company whose platform sits on top of Google Analytics and derives valuable strategic insight from the underlying data, including directional guidance on which channels to tune, which to divest and which to accelerate.
What makes Scripted different than competing or traditional solutions?
The traditional solutions to producing marketing content are:
- Write it yourself.
- Hire your nephew who just got an English degree.
- Find a marketing agency.
When you write it yourself, you're wasting your time. You're not a writer, and your time is better spent managing your business.
When you hire your nephew, you are relying on an inefficient and unsophisticated market: your nephew loves writing about trucks, but you sell shoes. His college buddy (who was also an English major!) loves writing about shoes, and there's an auto shop that fixes trucks down the street. Scripted's SmartMatch technology assigns the optimal writers to each task.
You could also solve the problem by hiring an agency, but agencies are expensive.
Who are the prototype customers in terms of company size and industries?
SMBs are our main target, with a specific emphasis on small to medium-sized marketing agencies. We also do exceptionally well with startups that are establishing their SEO presence, and in general, our two best industries are software/technology and marketing/advertising. However, the industry distribution of our customers has a very long tail, meaning we have customers across a broad spectrum of verticals. For example, around 6% of our best customers are in human resources, 5% are in financial services, 3% are in e-learning, etc.
What are the primary use cases of Scripted for marketers?
We write blog posts, website copy, social media posts and whitepapers (among other formats).
Any other thoughts on AI in marketing, or advice for marketers who are just starting to explore the possibilities of AI?
The macro productivity increases that economists have been eagerly anticipating could be brought on by the development of a product like the one I mentioned in my fourth answer (What do you see as the future potential of artificial intelligence in marketing?). So let's get started building it!
Company Spotlight: Scripted
Paul Roetzer is founder and CEO of Marketing AI Institute. He is the author of Marketing Artificial Intelligence (Matt Holt Books, 2022) The Marketing Performance Blueprint (Wiley, 2014) and The Marketing Agency Blueprint (Wiley, 2012); and creator of the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON).