At the AUPresses Annual Meeting in Montreal earlier this month, I moderated a panel of thought leaders bringing a variety of perspectives (author, university press, technology provider). The group discussed how AI is changing the landscape of content marketing, creative ways to embrace these new tools, and the ethical, copyright, and brand implications of this technology as it plays into marketing.

To set the scene, I first shared some use cases of AI in marketing that I’ve found compelling. Many polls & articles have listed marketing as one of the areas most likely to be transformed by AI, so it’s important that marketers get their hands dirty and become literate in AI use cases, models, and tradeoffs. Sam Altman of OpenAI notably said in an interview, “[AGI] will mean that 95% of what marketers use agencies, strategists, and creative professionals for today will easily, nearly instantly and at almost no cost be handled by the AI.”

Is it there yet? No. But there’s a few things it can do for marketers now.


Research screenshots

Case in point, I used AI in preparing for the AUPresses session itself! In my session proposal, I had promised a variety of perspectives, including an author. Did I know any authors in Montreal? I did not. So I turned to ChatGPT, searched for Montreal-based authors who have published in scholarly outlets, and found Fenwick McKelvey – a perfect fit for the session (we discussed the privacy implications of this later in the panel).



brainstorming screenshots

We were trying to rebrand a feature on our platform, so I tried going to ChatGPT as a shortcut. Luckily, we marketers do still have some job security, as the name suggestions it returned were truly terrible. However, when I used it more broadly as a brainstorming tool, asking for related words and concepts, it did actually help to think about new ways to frame something and ended up saving some time.


Audience Creation & Targeting

audience targeting pop up

Since we are strong believers in ethical marketing (nevermind privacy and GDPR), all of Silverchair’s marketing is very consent-based, which has the positive side effect of making it more effective and more relevant. In doing so, this does limit us to the forms of outreach that users have explicitly opted into.

Fortunately, we use a tool (Hum) that not only collates data across marketing platforms but also offers widgets that work on our website, so we can target users who have accepted cookies with distinct content based on their interests and behavior.

In the example I shared, I wanted to create an audience and campaign to promote our webinar series on AI. I created an audience targeting both users who might be interested in the topic of AI as well as those potentially interested in the webinar series specifically by adding the webinar description to their AI-powered profile filter, which then extracted key terms and concepts to surface additional users based on their browsing history and inferred interests. This audience was then delivered a targeted pop-up advertising the webinar when they visited our website.


Repurposing for Context & Personas

recording screenshot and published article

Finally, I’ve also found AI tools to be useful in repurposing content to get even more mileage out of it. One example is content from events. After our Platform Strategies meeting last Fall, I uploaded the recordings and got transcripts. I then downloaded the transcript of the opening keynote from our CTO Stuart Leitch and trimmed it down. However, there were still a lot of clear vestiges from the fact that this was originally spoken aloud to an audience, rather than written, since we use different language and phrasing when speaking as opposed to writing.

So I ran the edited transcript through a GenAI tool with the prompt: “Revise the transcript below to read more smoothly in written form as an article for a scholarly publishing audience. Tighten up phrasing where possible without altering too much of the language or content.” I used that as a starting point for my final edits, which I then published as an article on the Scholarly Kitchen.


So what else can it do for us? What should it do for us, and what are the remaining concerns and needed guardrails to explore AI safely and effectively? That’s what the panel discussed in the rest of the session, which you can watch a recording of here (videos will be posted in July). Notably, when we asked the attendees what areas of marketing they think are most likely to be transformed by AI, then standout answer was copywriting, followed by social media content creation and keyword identification / optimization.

We ended the session asking the panel what marketers can do now to help set them up for AI’s influence in marketing in the future. Here are their recommendations:

  • Get your hands dirty and start playing around with tools and use cases. We all need to be conversant enough in AI tools and use cases to make informed decisions moving forward.
  • Get your data in order—know where it is and what format it's in, and clean it up as much as you can.
  • Get familiar with the policies and best practices of your organization and read the terms of use for any AI tool you explore, to ensure you stay in compliance.
  • Talk to your users & customers about AI and what uses resonate with them. This will help inform how you prioritize your options.

With huge thanks to Cameron Ludwick (Associate Director of Books Marketing and Sales at Duke University Press), Fenwick McKelvey (Concordia University, Associate Professor in Information and Communication Technology Policy), and Niall Little (Hum, CTO) for the incredible discussion and collaboration!


Further reading:

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