Marketing to Developers AI in DevOps Content Creation: A Balancing Act
September 25, 2023
In the technology industry, Product marketing managers (PMM) face some choices about how to approach content creation for their DevOps audience. It is understandable that using Generative AI (GAI) for this task is tempting. In many ways, it’s prudent because it seems so practical. But, “prudent and practical” don’t necessarily align with a marketing manager’s objectives of “unique and effective.”
You might find this post helpful in understanding the difference between GAI and AI tools in general. (Spoiler alert: GAI is specifically for generating content. AI tools can be helpful in performing a whole host of specific tasks related to the content creation process.)
We are intentionally being brief and keeping focused on DevOps content creation. We’ve included some AI use cases that a PMM can relate to and use for inspiration.
Priorities for Content Creation
Produce lots of content
If you have to produce a certain quota of content, and that quota is sizable, GAI can help. Its most obvious strength is that it is lightning-fast. Once you’ve chosen your AI-powered tool and mastered the skill of composing powerful prompts, you could feasibly compose several blog posts within a few hours.
The contingencies are your ability to: 1) choose an AI tool; and 2) master the skill of composing powerful prompts. We promised to keep it brief, though, and believe that self-discovery is the best method at this point. Search for “generative AI tools for product managers” if you’re still exploring your options for choosing tools and developing the skills to use them.
Create content to engage DevOps practitioners
Here, you’re pitting quantity against quality. And quality is subjective. Only you (and content performance metrics) can identify what kind of developer marketing content your target audience finds engaging. This applies to content whether it’s created by GAI or by humans.
Gauge your ability to recognize quality content. Read through a few AI-generated blog posts (GAI produces them within seconds) and consider the perspective of the DevOps practitioner who represents your target market. Ask yourself if that persona is likely to find the posts valuable. A better option is to have a practitioner on your team or outside your organization provide you with feedback on the posts.
You could also compare analytics of GAI blog posts with those of traditionally written posts that have performed well for you. But if you’re in the early stages of transitioning from traditional DevOps content creation methods, you might not yet have enough reliable data on your GAI blog posts. In that case, set performance goals for your GAI content so you can determine its value a few months from now.
Publish content that outshines your competitors
Generative AI is primarily used for content creation. Because many GAI tools use OpenAI models, a potential downside is that it pulls from information that is available to the general public. In other words, it won’t be unique. Some of that information could even come from your competitors’ websites. If it does, it will carry their essence.
A seasoned marketing manager should be able to detect messaging and claims that come from competitors. Then, the important step of differentiating your innovations from theirs can and should be done during your review and editing process.
Processes that Support DevOps Content Creation
There are AI-driven tools for a multitude of processes that range from business development and sales, to crafting messaging, to proposing and tracking budgets. Each of those initiatives can impact content creation.
As more AI tools become available and adopted, your organization may test and prescribe the ones they approve. If you haven’t already checked with corporate recommendations, that could be a good place to start when exploring your options.
Processes PMMs coordinate
The PMM may contribute to, coordinate, or control a part of any number of processes that lead up to content creation. For example, the PMM’s role typically includes contributing to the go-to-market strategy and budget, coordinating the design and implementation of campaigns, and controlling the editorial calendar.
The PMM’s proximity to developers and engineers provides insights and access to a unique knowledge base. Additionally, a good understanding of the competitive landscape and access to the appropriate resources greatly empowers the PMM. This cadre of competence is made even more formidable when augmented by AI.
Processes AI can implement
PMMs are often responsible for some aspect of market research. The good news is that AI-powered tools like ChatGPT make research incredibly efficient, including competitor research.
By selectively using AI tools, the PMM can gain efficiencies along the continuum from content curation to publication. Prompting AI with descriptions of new products can elicit ideas for blog post titles, storyboards and social messages, for example.
Repetitive tasks are also one of AI’s strengths; such as maintaining schedules and monitoring deadlines and due dates. You can create content calendars by using ChatGPT. It can also suggest content types (e.g., blog posts, tutorials, video) that are optimal for the topics you prompt.
The greatest advantage of using AI is the time you’ll save getting thoughts written down and organized. You’ll likely have to apply your own expertise and strategic thinking to refine the AI’s output. Combining various AI-powered tools to write outlines and even draft the content will move you along pretty quickly, though, in the DevOps content creation process.
AI’s assistance stops short, however, of producing content in a finished form. You will still want to edit and enhance that content to ensure accuracy and reflect unique ideas and technical expertise.
AI isn’t necessarily the end-all and be-all for technical and DevOps content creation. There are AI tools that could assist you with about 85% of the tasks involved in planning and writing content. This is not to be confused, however, with saving 85% of your time performing those tasks. The AI tools themselves require planning and oversight.
The remaining 15% of the tasks related to content creation are where you’ll have the opportunity to differentiate from the competition and focus on your organization’s innovations.