April 11, 2023
5 min read
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.
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:
For marketers, ChatGPT can be quite intriguing. But it has some serious limitations that should not be ignored.
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:
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.
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.
Despite the unpredictability of marketing, there are several things that businesses can do to increase their chances of success. Here are some tips that will help you navigate the uncertainty of marketing.
You should be aware of every place your customers like to hang out and be able to meet them there. Simply put, if you’re not where they are, you’ve already lost. Taking a multi-channel approach allows you to reach more of your potential customers and engage with them more frequently.
Positioning outlines why your product is unique in comparison to market alternatives, and messaging describes to your target segments what you’ll do to deliver on the promises made in your positioning statement. It is a powerful one-two punch, and you need to be able to communicate yours before you start spending money on tactics.
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