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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Richards

Ditch Generic GenAI Output: Level Up With These Key Takeaways

Looking to break free from the ordinary? Kinetic art's energy is contagious.

Two events, one mission: ditch the generic!

Recently, I had the opportunity to share two presentations that covered actionable guidance for those looking to advance their creative use of GenAI tools or to start their AI journey. What follows is a sampling of the key takeaways.

Event One: "AI as Creative Collaborator: 6 Ways to Hack Past the Generic" An AI Certificate Course session from Ragan Communications  
A kinetic mobile
Kinetic art will surprise and delight. Use these same principles in your work with GenAI tools.

In a world of AI-generated sameness, those who boldly embrace their quirks, struggles, and evolving knowledge will create content that resonates.

Try this:

Spar with AI. Challenge the tech's expected responses. Don't settle for the obvious. Force it to justify its logic, blend concepts it wouldn't normally consider, or introduce seemingly contradictory ideas.

Here's an example: Let's capture the essence of mid-century typography's clean lines and bold statements in a flavor profile. A safe AI response might be a classic martini. But what if we ask it to compare mid-century typography to Mexican cuisine? Think about the clean lines and geometric shapes in classic fonts like Helvetica. Those same principles are reflected in a taco's simple, impactful form. This contrast helps us see the typography and the cuisine in a new light.

The word serendipity displayed in Helvetica and a martini glass
We need more serendipity, less generic.

Protect your flow state. That feeling of effortless creation when ideas connect and flow? That's a flow state. Unfortunately, it's easily disrupted. By protecting your flow state, you give yourself the space to think beyond the obvious and spark those unexpected, breakthrough ideas that set your work apart.

Try this:

Understand the 'tool-osophy' to keep your tool usage flexible. Randomly switching between tools interrupts the creative process. Purposely move between tools to maintain focus on your idea, not the tool itself.

Introduce constraints. Sometimes too much freedom can be overwhelming. Force yourself to work with the tools within constraints like a limited color palette or style.

Keep tabs open in the same place in your browser for quick access. When inspiration strikes, avoid wasting precious mental energy on finding your tools.

Maintain a designated chat for random, unconnected prompts—your "junk drawer" for creative bursts. This lets you capture fleeting thoughts and tangents without derailing your current project.

Get away from the screen! Take a break to sketch or exercise to spark new ways of thinking about your problem. Engaging with the physical world can unlock subconscious ideas and reignite your flow.

An illustration of a typical junk drawer with a yellow duck as a surprise in the mix
Your "junk drawer" chat protects your flow.

Embrace the weird. Push beyond the tool's obvious suggestions to find the unexpected and often more intriguing. Generic output comes from following the expected path. To discover unique ideas, you need to be willing to venture off the beaten track.

For example, in my quest for a fingerprint graphic, the AI wouldn't cooperate. Frustrated, I kept pushing and stumbled upon a fantastic graphic finger image. This simple yet unexpected variation on my idea led to even greater creativity, proving that sometimes the most interesting discoveries come from embracing the weird and unexpected.

An illustrative fingernail with glossy aqua nail polish
Pivot to joy! This wasn't the plan, but I love it.
Event two: "Empower Yourself: How to Go from Observer to Doer in the Era of GenAI" The GenAI Summit, Athens, Greece

A written quote "80% of success is just showing up."

This new AI frontier lacks a playbook, leveling the playing field for everyone. Experimentation and learning are key. Test-drive AI tools; remember to give your teams with clear guidelines for responsible use.

AI democratizes opportunity, transforming how we work. Marketers often find themselves stuck with repetitive tasks and limited insights. This will change. Broader access to information and tools will free marketers for greater creative exploration and experimentation, pushing the boundaries.

Try this.

Embrace curiosity, not perfection. Start small, learn from mistakes and unexpected wins, and celebrate your progress. Don't settle for the first 'good enough' output. Push the boundaries.

Master the basics, then dive deep. Master the basics, then experiment fearlessly. Focus on areas aligned with your expertise and interests (a.k.a. build on what you already know and love). Discover the unique ways you can bend the tools to your ideas.

Build a support system. Whether it's a Marketing AI Council in your organization or a group of like-minded colleagues, surround yourself with diverse thinkers who challenge your assumptions, spark surprising combinations of ideas, and push your boundaries.

Focus on real problems with measurable ROI. Identify bottlenecks, repetitive tasks, and unmet customer needs to find use cases that deliver for your organization. Craft solutions that stand out from the crowd of generic AI-powered answers.

How are you pushing past generic outputs?

Please share your experiences, and let's continue to learn from each other. My presentations aimed to inspire us to see AI as a technology collaborator that can help us push past generic, boring outputs. I appreciated all of the generous, thoughtful feedback on these presentations. Thank you!


About me

If you want to bring this creative, strategic thinking to your org or event, I would love to help. As the writer and editor of The Strategist Blog and 'Making GenAI Work for Work,' I'm committed to helping creators leverage their unique human skills for success. I publish on LinkedIn and The Strategist Blog.

About the graphics

I love kinetic art for inspiration; it represents dynamic, ever-evolving thinking. It uses movement and change to create something new.

Referenced events

The GenAI Summit, Athens, Greece, March 2024

AI Certificate Course by Ragan Communications, March 2024

GenAI tools used


Looking to become an AI marketing leader in your org? Check out Impact Eats Status, The ROI of REAL Connection


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