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The Future of Marketing in an AI World with Shay Howe of ActiveCampaign

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Join Ryan as he interviews Shay Howe, CMO of ActiveCampaign to talk about all things AI in growth and marketing. Shay shares what he would focus on if creating a start-up now: identifying market demand, building owned channels, and leveraging AI for content generation and research. With uncertainty around algorithms and paid media, he emphasizes product-led growth and referrals as key strategies.

Shay provides examples of how ActiveCampaign uses AI for attribution insights and highlights the importance of verticalized, practical content. He predicts storytelling and thought leadership will evolve to cut through AI-generated content.

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  • Look for existing market demand when starting a company, don’t try to convince people they need something new. Find where a solution is missing.
  • With changing algorithms and paid media, build owned channels like email and communities vs. relying solely on external platforms.
  • Leverage AI for content generation but avoid jeopardizing SEO. Use it for ad copy, headlines, chatbots, and translations.
  • AI excels at research and brainstorming. Use it to analyze competitors, explore verticals and generate ideas.
  • Feed survey data into AI to get summarized insights on trends and themes.
  • As AI democratizes content, focus on original, verticalized, practical information. Teach and help implement rather than just sharing ideas.
  • Storytelling and thought leadership will be key to cutting through AI-generated content. Build authority through genuine value!


"I would look for where is their demand already, it's fishing in a stock pond, right? Like we don't have to go out and try and find the fish. It's already there."

"I think thought leadership is going to actually really start to evolve and folks going to have to find ways to build true authority and market."

"I think the trick is going to be where, where can that AI side, what opportunities will it open that we have not yet seen that the first mover is going to have strong advantages in, right?"

Ryan Staley

Founder and CEO

Whale Boss 

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