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April 11, 2023


5 min read

Artificial Intelligence has Now Entered the Chat: What ChatGPT Means for Marketing

Spoiler alert: this blog was written with ChatGPT.

Kelly Demel
Artificial Intelligence has Now Entered the Chat: What ChatGPT Means for Marketing

No, we didn’t use ChatGPT or another generative AI tool to write this blog. But would you know if we did?

Chat features such as bots on websites have been around for years, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to provide robotic responses for simple inquiries. But its capabilities have been limited, leaving many users selecting “No, this did not answer my question” at the end of the chat session. And let’s not forget about Siri, the OG of interactive chat and topline research. “Siri, what is the capital of Tanzania?” Like a faithful friend, she can always be depended on to supply us with a quick answer.

Then came November 2022, when OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a truly disruptive technology capable of producing endless written content from social posts to blogs and term papers to break-up texts (yes, some people need help writing those. Don’t judge. At least they’re not ghosting.). Comparing previous AI chat engines to ChatGPT is like comparing a Ford Pinto to a Lamborghini. There really is no comparison. Rather than creating robotic responses, ChatGPT quickly and fluidly generates detailed, human-like language gleaned from its lengthy and comprehensive digital training using data harvested from all corners of the internet.

In essence, ChatGPT is like the really smart and accomplished cousin of the autocomplete features on your iMessage or Google Mail platforms because it only has one job. As James Vincent notes in a recent article in The Verge, “These AI tools are vast autocomplete systems, trained to predict which word follows the next in any given sentence.”  And ChatGPT might not be the big man on campus for long, as Google and Microsoft are quickly working to be worthy competitors with their Bard and Bing AI tools, respectively. 

What does this mean for marketing, a specialty in which execution is largely based on the written word? Gartner estimates that by 2025, 30% of outbound marketing messages from large organizations will be “synthetically generated.” Read that again…SYNTHETICALLY GENERATED. As this technology rapidly advances, it’s important to understand the potential generative AI has to transform marketing, along with its strengths and limitations.

ChatGPT Can Help You Scale Content

Daily social media posts. Email drip campaigns. Blogs. White Papers. Content marketing plays a vital role in every stage of the marketing funnel by providing relevant, educational material to potential buyers. But as the need to scale content grows, so do the challenges associated with producing content at ever-growing volumes.

If content is king, ChatGPT could be thought of as the king’s executive assistant and reliable helper. With just a few keystrokes, this tool can help marketers with some of the behind the scenes work in executing a robust content marketing strategy. While ChatGPT should not be considered turn-key in creating content (more on why below), it does have key features that help significantly accelerate content creation:

  • Lightning speed - With a simple prompt such as “write social media posts for BlueByrd Strategic Sales & Consulting,” the screen before you rapidly populates with content options. ChatGPT can generate six to eight post ideas in under a minute, and an entire blog about itself with just a bit more time. In at least one instance, ChatGPT showed the potential to help with creating an entire brand from scratch. 
  • Growing skill to write in a relatable way  - ChatGPT is constantly evolving through continued machine learning that allows it to improve its knowledge and writing capabilities. The more it trains, the better it will become. If all you did for a living was read and write essays, for example, you would eventually learn what a great essay looks like and what a mediocre essay looks like. The same principle is at work here, but ChatGPT is reading and writing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is continuously honing its skill to produce less robotic content by learning to better incorporate context and human-like language. 
  • Ability to research and create a multitude of options - Writer’s block is real. And with the volume of content being produced by marketing teams, it can be a real risk to producing quality output. ChatGPT is useful for conducting basic research that may inform content, with the understanding that (like everything else on the internet), it must be verified rather than taken at face value. It’s also a great tool for providing content ideas to finesse and further flesh out, like having a little robotic army to do some of the initial brainstorming for you.

For marketers, ChatGPT can be quite intriguing. But it has some serious limitations that should not be ignored.

Artificial Intelligence Still Needs Oversight

When considering adding ChatGPT to your marketing toolkit, it’s important to remember that despite its demonstrated benefits, ChatGPT is still powered by a machine. Like any machine, it needs to be monitored. And since ChatGPT is reliant on information gathered online, inherent quality control issues abound:

  • Questionable accuracy –The content produced by ChatGPT can be biased, and must be fact-checked. It simply pulls information from the internet that answers your queries or commands, but there is no guarantee this information is accurate. It cannot separate true information from false, so your content may end up with both without the proper quality controls. Therefore, use of ChatGPT to influence content should not be considered a copy and paste situation. 
  • Content can lack personality – Though ChatGPT is becoming more adept at writing like a human would, it is still not human and never will be. Depending on your brand’s established tone, content produced by ChatGPT may lack the nuance and lyrical richness that guides your brand voice. Without consistent oversight, you may be pushing out content that flies in the face of brand guidelines and creates an inconsistent experience for your customers.
  • Limited ability to incorporate current events – As noted at the top of every ChatGPT interface, the platform has limited knowledge of world events prior to 2021 since this is when the tool’s machine learning stopped. It is not aware of trends, cultural milestones, or other significant world events that occurred after September 2021, so recent updates to topics you may be writing about will not be incorporated. 

OpenAI’s recent release of GPT-4 may address some of these issues in part, but does not eliminate them. Unlike ChatGPT, which is free, GPT-4 is accessible only by paid subscription to ChatGPT Plus via waitlist acceptance.

The Final Chirp

ChatGPT set the internet on fire when it debuted in November 2022. Use of the technology exploded before society could catch up to potential ethical and humanitarian impacts, leaving tech leaders such as Steve Wozniak and Elon Musk to recently call for a six-month development pause until these concerns could be better understood. 

Technological disruption from the Industrial Revolution to the invention of the personal computer has come with both positive and negative elements. The launch of ChatGPT and development of similar platforms has changed the face of marketing, and content creation may never be the same. Reluctance to accept the potential of ChatGPT and its future iterations may leave some marketers behind, but embracing it also places us in the position of being guides for ethical and legal implications related to its use. 

Chat responsibly.

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