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Episode 54

Unleashing the Power of AI in Creative Marketing

Michael Francello
Director of Innovation at Shutterstock

In this episode, we explore the ways in which artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the creative side of marketing. From AI-generated content to automated creative optimization, we delve into the latest technologies and strategies for harnessing the power of AI to enhance the effectiveness of your creative campaigns. Join us as we speak with industry expert, Michael Francello, and discover how you can leverage AI to take your marketing to the next level.

This episode of the Leader Generation Podcast is hosted by Tessa Burg, Chief Technology Officer at Mod Op and co-hosted by Ray Singer, Executive Vice President of Technology at Mod Op.

“AI tools help creatives spend less time searching, more time creating, create with confidence and also be confident that it’s being done in a way that is respectful to the artists, the contributors and the photographers that are the bedrock and the foundation of our company.”

– Michael Francello


Watch the Live Recording

Full Episode Transcripts

Tessa Burg: Hello and welcome to another episode of Leader Generation, brought to you by Mod Op. Today I am joined by Michael Francello. He is the director of Innovation at Shutterstock, and I’m also bringing along Ray Singer, our executive VP of User Experience and Technology at Mod Op. He’s going to help co-host today’s episode.

Tessa Burg: We’re really excited to dive into the trends and what is driving AI and creative in 2023 and beyond. So, thank you Michael, so much for coming to join us today on this very big and broad topic.

Michael Francello: Yeah, my pleasure, happy to be here. A little nervous because I’ve never done one of these before, but I think it’ll go well.

Tessa Burg: Yeah, it will definitely go well. For some background, we did our test call. It was like a conversation that really felt like it was never going to end because I think there are a lot of predictions around where AI would sort of take off first. And what we’re seeing heading into 2023 is that most of the trends are heading in that creative direction. How do we give creators and creative minded people and designers superpowers in the years to come?

Michael Francello: Yeah.

Tessa Burg: So to start, let’s hear a little bit about your background, Michael, and what does your role as Director of Innovation entail at Shutterstock?

Michael Francello: Yeah, totally. So, once again, I am Michael Francello, Director of Innovation at Shutterstock. Most people call me Francello. So you can, and all listeners can moving forward, easier to remember. Lots of Mikes and Michaels in the room.

Michael Francello: Shutterstock, in case anyone is unaware, is we’re a leading global content and creative platform. The foundation of our company is offering hundreds of millions of photographs, videos, audio files, vectors, illustrations. We have the world’s largest 3D model library through our acquisition of a company called Turbo Squid, as well as an offering called Shutterstock Studios, which creates everything from custom photographs, videos, both short, short and long form commercials, documentaries, short films, bespoke NFTs, metaverse environments, et cetera.

Michael Francello: I joined the company from Live Ramp and before that, I spent most of my career at Nielsen. What I do in my role is I collaborate internally and externally to understand how Shutterstock.ai, that’s a subsidiary of our company. I’m sure we’ll get into power tools and applications can help clients navigate an uncertain future and ultimately create with confidence in a world that is because of the advent of AI is rapidly changing.

Michael Francello: On a personal note, I live in Brooklyn. I live with my lovely wife Rebecca and our Wild Beast Cat Torch. I love movies, love film, love vinyl records, love comics, and I really love my job. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine a better existence than the one I’m living. Thank you, nice to be here.

Tessa Burg: Yeah, that’s awesome. And Ray, since this is your first time on the Leader Generation podcast, can you tell us a little bit about your background and role at Mod Op?

Ray Singer: Sure, absolutely. It’s going to be a little bit lighter than Michael’s, but I’ll give a little bit of background. I oversee user experience, including prototyping, rapid prototyping, design and technology at Mod Op. My background is as a creative, so I started with Fundamental Design and then got into various related areas like game development and eventually, heavily focused on website user experience and application development, thinking through user journey friction points, and just really trying to enhance experience for the audience.

Ray Singer: Again, since my background is heavily on the creative side, as we’ve seen the advent of AI, it’s been very interesting for me to see all the different applications within advertising, creative and marketing, both in terms of generative asset development and image side, and also development of AI-driven content in terms of copy. So very exciting field. Something that I’ve been really absorbing since it really emerged in the last year. And looking forward to discussing a bit more today.

Tessa Burg: Yeah, so this is a deep topic and I like the way Michael, you said Shutterstock.ai is building tools to help creatives navigate an uncertain world. That word uncertain sort of gives us a lens that there’s some hesitation, there’s some tension between what’s possible with AI and the role of the creative. Can you give us an idea of what are some of those tools and what are the benefits that they’re bringing to creators and creatives?

Michael Francello: Yeah, I absolutely, it’s a great question. So, as I mentioned, I work within the subsidiary called Shutterstock.ai, the foundation that I framed before, what Shutterstock’s core, the photographs, the videos, the music files, the 3D models, Shutterstock.ai is kind of, if you want to think about it, it’s the water going through the pipes or the power that’s permeating the larger structure.

Michael Francello: So, the tools I’m working on, back to that point of giving people the ability to create with confidence. A big part of our vision for 2023 is about powering the future of creativity, but doing it responsibly. I think responsibility is a core theme both for Shutterstock as well as for me personally in 2023 with the advent of these new technologies, as I said, kind of helping our clients create with confidence, but not only create with confidence, but doing it in a way that’s ethical. And most importantly, because of the foundation of our company, a very artist centric way.

Michael Francello: Some of the Shutterstock AI tools and applications we’ve been working on are helping people source and find assets quicker with AI-powered search, spend less time searching, more time creating. Returning or surmounting zero search results. You come to a stock marketplace someplace like Shutterstock or a similar service, you type in a prompt or a set of keywords for an image or a video file you’re looking for. You’re getting zero search results because it might be very specific, it might be specific to your vision or the project you’re working on. Generative AI, which turns text into images by way of our partnership with the Open AI’s DALL·E 2 application and a new tool called Generate that we’re beta testing right now, gives people the ability to type in those prompts and get completely new generated images that come from the hundreds of millions of images that are available within the Shutterstock Library to fill in some of those creative gaps and really gaps in imagination and concepting. And the last piece is starting to look at how we can utilize AI, machine learning, computer vision to help people choose assets or even organize assets or organized pieces of creative by things like predictive performance and creative intelligence.

Michael Francello: And what I mean by predictive performance is, for instance, I’m trying to drive conversions on a social media campaign based on my past results, my past performance, what is predicted to perform both Shutterstock and non-Shutterstock assets, what is predicted to perform based on my goals and what is the creative intelligence behind that? Is it a certain hex code color? Is it somebody making eye contact or looking off to the side? Is it a single individual? Is it two people, three people, a family, a kitchen in the background, a car, a truck, a hybrid vehicle, a dog, a cat?

Michael Francello: I think you can kind of get what I’m coming to here. How do we help people once again, less time searching, more time creating, create with confidence and also be confident that it’s being done in a way that is respectful to the artists, the contributors, the photographers that are the bedrock and the foundation of our company. How we’re respectful of that, how we compensate those people and how we approach this quickly evolving world in a way that’s once again ethical and in that very art centric way that I just laid out.

Tessa Burg: I like these areas because, so I’m not a designer. I mean Ray you see my PowerPoints, it’s terrible.

Michael Francello: Oh, mine are disgusting. I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I envy people who have that gene.

Tessa Burg: I know, I just, I think that great graphic design, great UX is such a powerful skill and the areas you named off don’t replace that skill. Like in fact, before you even get to Shutterstock to make the most of that tooling, to find things faster, to get the benefits, a better organization, to even have know what assets are going in to see the predictive performance, there’s still, if I’m thinking about it from a strategic standpoint, seems to be a lot of need for the creative to still think through what’s the right assets and message that match my client’s brand. It’s not like you’re just going blind. Ray, are there other things that you think creatives still own or still have to be involved in the process in order to make the most of the types of tools that Michael just described?

Ray Singer: Sure, so I’ll say a couple of things. One is that I loved hearing about the ethical approach to being able to recognize artists’ contributions as the seed for these generative assets. I think that that is a huge thing because I know right now there is quite a bit of tension on the creative side of are they being recognized for their contributions? If their work is one or 5% of an asset, they’re contributing. They’re providing part of that, visual inspiration, but are they going to be recognized? And the fact that you’re thinking through how you can contribute artists and recognize is tremendous. So, it really is a pleasure to hear that that’s a part of the thinking.

Ray Singer: What I would say is as you were talking, one of the most interesting things for me and what I thought about is how the direction that this is going as far as generating the assets can be fed into other ad platforms. So how will Shutterstock be able to tie it together in the future with something like an ad serving unit or a landing page that dynamically displays an asset? Because I think that exactly what you said, being able to tailor an asset to the audience and then continuously to go through a process of iterating through refining what’s most successful is one of the most powerful aspects of this platform. So, it’s very exciting, right from the front, but then looking at how that will further integrate with what is being served to the audience, I think is just a huge potential in the technology.

Michael Francello: And I think it loops back, right? That’s a great point, Ray. I think the, what it loops back around to is once again, being responsible and being ethical in an approach. I think that a lot of things have changed. Even if you forget about things like AI, generative AI over the past couple years in the industry, things like GDPR, the European Union’s privacy compliance regulations, CCPA here in the states, which is probably what I would imagine most other large state and national legislation is going to be built off of. Consumers are becoming very conscious of privacy, what it means to grant access to their information and to their cookies and really what the cost of free is or the cost of convenience. And that’s really why I joined the team here at Shutterstock is because I saw this really unique opportunity to hone in on the visuals that are driving performance or that get people to engage with the piece of content. There are those freaky stats out there that say the average consumer sees five to 10,000 pieces of content a day. IBM has a stat and Amazon just released a stat a couple weeks ago that I believe it’s 80% of the world’s data is going to be collected in the next six months.

Ray Singer: My lord.

Michael Francello: Yeah. Nielsen, everyone from Nielsen to Google to Facebook to Amazon has stats or research that points to how much visuals really drive somebody’s engagement with a piece of content or performance with the marketing material or a piece of creative upwards of 65%. So when you have all this data, you have all this noise, right? You have people engaging, utilizing smart technologies like they never have before. It was happening before COVID, but it certainly accelerated it. What about your piece of content, your marketing material, your ad, your message, your email blast, internal, external, whatever it is, what actually gets them to engage with it when they’re seeing so much? And I believe, we believe that it comes down to the visual you’re being presented with.

Michael Francello: So really, what we’re talking about and what we’re working on here is a whole new way of looking at not only marketing or remarketing, but understanding what drives people from a visual standpoint. You can re target somebody 30 times, but if they have an aversion to the color blue and that’s primarily in your ad, you’re burning a cycle, right? So, I think it’s about understanding what works and what doesn’t work from a visual standpoint. That’s really what I’m most excited about this year.

Ray Singer: Yeah, and Tessa to your question about what is the role of a creative with the advent of the second technology, I do think that there is a curatorial aspect to it. So the creative is still the one leading the search, defining the terms and texts that will generate the images doing these searches. So, there is still going to be a creative at the helm that is in control of the process and ultimately we’re going to get to that point where we’re optimizing and refining based on audience interaction. But it’s led by a creative and I don’t think that that’s something that we’re going to see changing.

Tessa Burg: Yeah and I think creatives will really thrive off the results, of the tooling that we’re talking about, seeing what visuals really resonate. Because that’s the purpose of what we create in marketing and sales, is we want to create visuals, we want to create experiences that connect.

Ray Singer: Yeah.

Tessa Burg: And if you can get that data upfront, I feel like that has to feel like so fulfilling, like, oh, I didn’t like you get those aha moments, like, oh my gosh, I didn’t realize that. Or here’s something that I could try next time. And I feel like it almost fuels the creative strategy engine, not take away from it.

Ray Singer: Yeah, absolutely. And what I’ve seen is that when creatives actually get hands-on with the technology, so for example, like a DALL-E or Mid journey, they realize that it actually supercharges their creativity because they’re opening up so many possibilities that they may not have focused on before and become the seed of inspiration for a new direction. So, it really just, it enhances the process.

Michael Francello: Yeah. We can’t overstate the human element and how important it is to these processes. I personally look at, and this is my perspective as somebody who’s not a creative, by the way, you should see a stick drawing that I do. It’s terrible. Or as somebody who doesn’t, who has never really worked in that field. I look at generative AI and what we’re doing with AI as just another tool in the toolbox or the arsenal, right? You can be, creativity take so many different forms, but you can be an artist, you could do great work with a pencil. You don’t have to use that though. You could use a pen, you could use a marker, you could use a piece of chalk, you could scratch on the wall with your long fingernails, whatever you want to do.

Michael Francello: So generative AI is just, it goes back to that point I was making about creating with confidence. And you do that by giving people the data to either back up their creative decisions that they’re making or to push back maybe against conventional wisdom.

Michael Francello: For instance, my brand is this is what we do, this is our brand image. Well, it’s like, that’s not what’s actually helping you move product. And it’s not what getting people, what’s getting people into the store, it’s not what driving people to, it’s not what’s driving people to your social and your e-commerce websites.

Michael Francello: So, it’s about giving people as much information as possible. We have all this data out there, we have all this information, let’s give creatives the ability to use it for what they do in their daily lives. Just like everyone who works in ad tech and MarTech has the ability to use this data to run better programmatic campaigns or run better remarketing campaigns, et cetera. It’s really just opening up a field that so many other industries have taken advantage of and putting it in the hands of the creators.

Tessa Burg: Yeah, so the first time I saw the tools presented from Shutterstock.ai, there were some case studies about what the end result was the increase in click through rate, the increase in engagement on a page. Can you give us some, what could be some expected results? If I’m a marketer listening to this and saying, hey, should I introduce shutterstock.ai tooling to my creative team? What’s the benefit at the end result and once that creative’s out in the open?

Michael Francello: Yeah, it’s a good question. You know, it really varies depending on the use cases obviously, and how people utilize it. A lot of people are looking into utilizing these technologies to surmount what’s known as the Cold Start problem. We’re running a new campaign in a new area, something we’re not very familiar or confident with. So we want some nudging along for which assets are going to perform the best based on past performance industry performance, our own performance. A lot of use cases are around mitigating AB testing. You have 200 different versions of a creative, you wanna know which 10 to go into market with, but understand the creative intelligence behind that. These ones have this hex code purple. If you use this hex code purple, people are actually going to react to it better based on how they’ve reacted in the past.

Michael Francello: So once again, it’s always on a case-by-case basis and we’ll never make any guarantees. But some things you can see are higher clickthrough rates, higher conversion rates, higher engagement rates, view throughs, clicking on an email and signing up or visiting a micro site or signing up to get updates about maybe a vehicle that’s going to be available in your area that isn’t currently available, things like that, it ultimately comes down to the goals, what you’re trying to achieve and how we work is we like to work with our clients to understand those because performance and goals, they mean so many different things to different people. Really working with them to understand what that is. What is your end goal, what is that top line on the creative brief? And then let’s talk about how we can get you there in a number of different ways. But it’s really just increased performance overall. But once again, performance means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Could be content engagement, could be views on TikTok, et cetera.

Tessa Burg: Yeah and I think when you talk about giving confidence, going into an area you’ve never done, throwing out just A/B testing a few and taking a bunch of iterations of maybe different looks of creative and saying which one’s most likely to succeed? Another benefit we’ve experienced ourselves, when you can get that creative process more efficient, you can feed into other machine learning AI powered platforms. So, we’re using machine learning to also optimize our audiences and our campaigns across many channels. And it stinking eats the creative.

Tessa Burg: And so, if we think about, now we’re getting really efficient at finding the right message and the right combination of assets or a specific more niche audience, well now our audiences are getting more diverse, which means we need more versions. And I feel like when you pair tooling like Shutterstock ai, you’re able to get more versions that you now know are going to be highly impactful into market faster. Where before we would’ve had to restart that whole cycle again, like get more client approvals and I feel like we’re a little lucky that we don’t have clients who feel like they need to approve every single version. But is that something you’ve run into where people aren’t positive on what they’re seeing or maybe they just don’t believe the data? Maybe it feels like a little too far, like you said, it sometimes get people a different way of thinking, but-

Michael Francello: Sure.

Tessa Burg: Have you seen people like just kind of question, well, I’m not sure about this Brazil , I’m not sure about the state and I think I’m gonna need to tinker more before I commit.

Michael Francello: Absolutely and I think that’s a healthy approach to anything that’s new or any emerging technology is being skeptical. Cynicism isn’t good, skepticism is great. Looking at something and saying, “This is new data, I don’t really get it, I don’t know how to approach this.” Do some more tests, test it out, go with your instinct. Go into market with your instinct, go into market with what you’re being told. From a data perspective, as we all know, data isn’t always accurate. It doesn’t always tell the full story. There are external factors that affect how people react to a piece of creative that has nothing to do with the creator, the brand, me, Gandolph the gray, or anyone who’s in the room when they see it. And I think people, while these technologies are really fun and exciting and groundbreaking, there’s still a long way to go. And I feel like there isn’t a right or a wrong way necessarily to utilize them from a marketing or from an advertising, from a creative perspective. You have to kind of, get in where you fit in and experiment and see what works for you, what works with the process, works with the brand, works with the shop that you’re working with.

Michael Francello: But I do always want to encourage people to consider utilizing the data, to consider utilizing something like generative, to try a different path because doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the very definition of we all know what, so I want to encourage people to do that.

Michael Francello: And I read a quote the other day that really I found super profound. So I follow this guy named Santiago Valderrama, sorry for the pronunciation, I can’t roll my rs, probably attached to my lack of creativity. I can’t whistle either. He works for this company called Ventas, which does, they automate industrial inspections. I follow him on LinkedIn and he runs their machine learning practice over there.

Michael Francello: The quote that really stuck with me was, AI will not replace you, a human utilizing AI will. And I really, really thought about that.

Michael Francello: And I’ve also seen some really interesting pieces and videos on LinkedIn from Nick Thompson from the Atlantic talking about, he sees this as the same thing as teaching a child, teaching a creative teaching anybody how to use Google, how to organize a spreadsheet, how to do anything that you do on the internet, how to create more engaging posts, et cetera, et cetera. It’s all part of the same thing. And that goes back to the point of it’s a tool in the arsenal that you can use. And I encourage people to use it and understand what it can and can’t do and how it plays into their specific lines of business and what they’re trying to do. And if people decide, “I don’t want to use this, I can do better,” great, go for it, but try to prove it out. Try to compare and contrast. You never really know where an efficiency can be created until you experiment with it.

Tessa Burg: Yep. Ray, what are your thoughts and feedback on where these tools really benefit us, especially as marketers and marketers using more machine learning AI powered platforms?

Ray Singer: So, it’s pretty much going to be what I mentioned before is that as we get better and tighter integration between generative and asset platforms, ad serving units, the ACRM distribution website, pages that are driven by these assets, it’s going to allow them to perform better.

Ray Singer: And as you said, we know that machine learning just consumes assets. So to be able to have a platform that will generate enough volume that can support and sustain machine learning is, it just seems like it’s a necessary part of where things are going. So, I would say that that is probably my favorite part and where I think that agencies are going to see the most benefit is driving those progressively more intelligent platforms.

Ray Singer: But I also think that this as a solve for the client allows us to be much more powerful as far as the way that we’re using client budgets as well. There would not be a budget to say sustain 10,000 assets among, and it couldn’t be done with a typical size creative team, but you now have the ability to create those iterations that will drive machine learning driven results. So that I would say that that’s kind of where I see things going and where the benefits are. I think that over the last month of looking at AI, we’ve started to see the emergence of startups that are driven based on AI-driven video content.

Ray Singer: So, the fact that Michael mentioned TurboSquid and knowing where things are going and that we will see at some point, probably in the very near future, that you have generative video content that is based on 3D models that are from this tremendous repository that you now have access to feeding into social posts and YouTube content is just another brightening enhancement. So that I know we’re going to see in really near future. I wasn’t aware of the TurboSquid acquisition. I’ve used TurboSquid for 20 plus years since I’ve worked on Rhino 3D modeling and Cinema 4D, there couldn’t be a better repository of 3D model-based assets to build on.

Michael Francello: Yeah, thank you for that. They’re a wonderful group and the people who work on that team are super smart, they’re great collaborators.

Michael Francello: But that goes back to the point I was making before, you know, I see AI as what we’re doing with Shutterstock ai, some of these new tools, I don’t see it as any different as when we started offering 3D models through Turbo Squid. When we started offering videos, when we started offering audio files, vectors and illustrations, Shutterstock is a content and creative platform and we want to give our user base, our clients, the tools they need to succeed in a world that’s rapidly changing. And once again, they don’t have to utilize these tools. They’re just there for their usage, if they would like to.

Tessa Burg: There are a lot of AI podcast hosts who are putting out the message, though, if you don’t use these tools, you’ll be very behind in 2023. And the pace of adoption is really picking up. One of the things that I’ve noticed that businesses that are bringing AI to the market are doing a much better job in communicating and making the tools accessible to non-tech people.

Tessa Burg: For a long time, even when there was a tool you could use, it’s still required some understanding of data science or some understanding machine learning to get it to work right. What I’m seeing now is anyone can use a tool that helps with writing and making the most of a natural language processing algorithm. Any creative can jump into Shutterstock today and start and with their own knowledge and own skillset, start finding images more efficiently. And I think that is such a huge and monumental shift.

Tessa Burg: But I’m wondering, with all of these things coming out and gaining traction so much faster, what are you most excited about, Michael, to see in 2023?

Michael Francello: It’s a great question. I’m really excited to see how, kind of pursuing to your point, how we can start to educate people better, both in the industry and not in the industry about how these tools are utilized, what goes into them. And I think that goes back to my point about consumer privacy and people becoming more aware of that. I think we have such a huge educational opportunity right now that I think society really needs to understand how these technologies actually work.

Michael Francello: People spend so much time on their phones, spend so much time scrolling, spend so much time engaging with content. A lot of the time they don’t really understand what is going on behind the scenes or how these things impact them personally. I think there’s the educational opportunity.

Michael Francello: I’m most excited about where we’re going with generative and how the model improves over time and how you get different results, you get better results. For instance, I have a prompt that I run once a week, which is Godzilla eating popcorn in a movie theater. And it gets better and better and funnier every single time.

Michael Francello: And I think I’m most excited about the possibility of going back to that other thing we’re working on predictive, how we find a way to ingrain that in generative. So, you want a, I don’t know, I always prompt animals, I need to get better at this, it’s just fun to me. You want a picture of a penguin playing guitar with a huge stadium in the background on the moon, right?

Michael Francello: But what if there was a way to generate that based on what you’re trying to accomplish conversions on social media, based on a brand kit, based on certain color schemes that we’ve approved as a company. Can I upload my logo, which you Shutterstock do not have ownership and access to as part of your library, but we own that image. If we upload that, can we do different creative things with our own logo? Can people do different creative things with their own likenesses? Things like that. That’s what I’m most interested in, is how these tools start to almost morph into each other and create efficiencies within their selves as opposed to just kind of being, oh, you can generate this. This is AI powered search, this is predictive. I’m interested in the, to use a very outdated, kind of nauseating word in our industry synergy between all these tools and how we, how the tools start to evolve by way of just combining them. I guess that’s really what I’m most excited about this year.

Tessa Burg: Yeah, no, I love that. Especially the part, helping creatives think differently and get that external perspective. I feel like the creative team we work with craves that, like here’s the objective, what are all the different ways we can get there? And what AI is bringing forward is not just the different ways it’s saying, but here’s the most effective ways, here are the ways that your audience is going to care about. And that just brings so much, I think, firepower even to when you’re presenting it to a client to have that evidence and that data behind it. Ray, what are you most excited about in 2023?

Ray Singer: I mean, I think we’ve covered it and Michael said it so well, it really is a lot of those same points. I’m really excited to see how more creatives use these platforms as they come to embrace them, as they become more familiar with the process. I’m looking forward to seeing also how these platforms can understand the user themselves. So, we’re not just an anonymous creative who’s using ai, but you’re a specific designer with specific aesthetic choices that are behind their decision making. So, what I would like to see in the future is, as the platforms, learn the user as well, they’re not just serving AI, but they’re using serving AI to a specific designer who has specific tendencies. So, I think that we’re going to see both a lot of intelligent and growth and refinement from the platforms. As Michael said, they’re just getting better every day and opening AI is releasing a paid version of their text-based platform, I think right now. And we’re going to just see another generational shift there as far as the results, but also seeing how creatives work with the platforms and how they can produce work that’s more themselves, but more creatively powerful based on the power of these platforms is what’s most exciting. And I can’t wait to see the TurboSquid contribution and what that ends up driving as far as 3D model driven motion.

Michael Francello: Yeah, that’s going to be really exciting. We don’t even, we’re still so far away from that that we really don’t know what that looks like yet, but it’s going to be really exciting to see that take shape.

Michael Francello: One other point, I’m also really excited about seeing companies compensate the artists, the photographers, the illustrators, the creatives compensate them for their work and their intellectual property that goes into powering these models. And that is really the bedrock and the foundation of what happens in the creative process in general. Like I said, I mentioned, I think a few times before I say this a lot, the foundation of Shutterstock are those artists, those photographers, those illustrators, those creatives. And I love our approach and how we’re doing this and I really want to see more companies go out there and compensate and take a stand and really do the right thing when it comes to giving artists credit and compensating them for their contributions. I think it’s such an important part to this, and I think that’s a big part of public perception and also education as well.

Tessa Burg: Yes, I agree. So that’s all the time we have. This was a very powerful and dense conversation. I’m going to bring it back to the very beginning when you said shutterstock.ai are tools for navigating an uncertain world.

Tessa Burg: So, if you are a marketer, if you are a creative or a creator who is not sure about what’s coming next, I hope this conversation is giving you the confidence to just test and be open-minded. Take a look at your workflow and see where these tools can help you be more efficient in discovery, where they can help you be more efficient in thinking differently about what’s in front of you and getting closer to what customers expect, want, and will really engage with out in the open marketplace.

Tessa Burg: Thank you both for being our guests. If you’re listening, you wanna hear more podcasts, you can visit us, visit us at the Leader Generation showcase page on LinkedIn. Just search Leader Generation podcast. Or you can find it at modop.com, m-o-d-o-p.com. Before we leave, Michael, if people want to talk to you more, where can they find you?

Michael Francello: They can find me on LinkedIn or at [email protected]. Those are the two best places to get ahold of me. Or if you’re a current client of Shutterstock, reach out to your dedicated rep, your account manager, anyone you work with, they’ll know how to get ahold of me. Just tell ’em Francello sent you and they’ll pick me.

Tessa Burg: I love it. And Ray, people have questions for you and wanna talk a little bit more about creative AI in UX and tech. How can they find you?

Ray Singer: Same, contact me on LinkedIn or [email protected], m-o-d-o-p.com.

Tessa Burg: Excellent, all right, well that concludes our episode. Thank you guys again.

Ray Singer: Yeah, thanks so much.

Michael Francello: Thanks so much.

Michael Francello

Director of Innovation at Shutterstock

Michael Francello is Director of Innovation at Shutterstock, a leading global content and creative platform. He spends his time collaborating both internally and externally to understand how Shutterstock.AI-powered tools and applications can help clients navigate an uncertain future and ultimately create with confidence.