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Diverse Perspectives from Female Leaders  

Navigating the Generative AI Revolution in B2B Marketing 

Author: Sophia Lu | Vice President, Tola Capital 

Tola Capital recently hosted an insightful panel discussion in collaboration with Women in AI Club, featuring accomplished leaders and innovators, Kira Makagon (Chief Innovation Officer at RingCentral), Joanna Schloss (Chief Marketing Officer at Adeptia), and Elaine Zelby (Co-Founder and CEO at Tofu). The panelists delved into the challenges and opportunities presented by generative AI in the realm of B2B marketing. 

Balancing Automation and Authenticity emerged as a central theme during the discussion. Joanna Schloss emphasized the importance of human oversight, stating, “At the end of the day, we realized we would always need that human in the loop.” She advised marketing teams to leverage AI as a tool while maintaining authenticity and creative control. Elaine Zelby added, “Garbage in equals garbage out,” stressing the need for human-generated anchor content to ensure quality outputs from AI systems. 

“At the end of the day, we realized we would always need that human in the loop.” 

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation was another key takeaway. Kira Makagon shared RingCentral’s approach of fostering experimentation through hackathons and encouraging employees to allocate cycles for exploring new technologies. She noted, “You just have to give people the time and encouragement and ability to fail fast.” This bottom-up approach allows companies to identify impactful AI solutions that enhance products and streamline processes. 

Ethical Considerations surrounding AI adoption were also addressed. Elaine Zelby highlighted the varying levels of concern among companies, emphasizing the need for responsible AI development and transparency. She advised companies to align with their buyers on the pain points they aim to solve and implement solutions that deliver measurable value while adhering to ethical standards. 

When discussing the potential for megacaps, late-stage tech companies, and startups to collectively drive innovation in AI, the central theme that emerged was focus. The advice the panelists shared with founders and practitioners in the audience was to start with bottom-up experimentation, identify a unique problem or area where they can excel, align with their buyers, and maintain a laser focus across the team. As Elaine Zelby aptly put it, make your one thing the thing.

“Make your one thing, THE THING.” 

Looking ahead, the panelists expressed excitement about AI’s potential to transform industries like healthcare and education. Kira Makagon envisioned AI-powered medical booths providing accessible care, while Joanna Schloss pondered AI’s role in personalized learning experiences. As AI continues to evolve, striking the right balance between innovation and regulation will be key to unlocking its full potential while mitigating risks. 

Navigating the generative AI landscape in B2B marketing requires a thoughtful approach, balancing automation with human expertise, fostering a culture of innovation, and prioritizing ethical considerations. By embracing these principles, companies can harness the power of AI to enhance customer experiences, streamline processes, and drive meaningful business outcomes. 

*Recap created with the help of Tofu.