By now you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence developed by OpenAI that creates human-like copy based on questions or prompts. It’s been all over the news in the last few weeks, as well as making its rounds in B2B, retail, and marketing circles. In fact, OpenAI predicts that they will be able to generate $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2024.
These recent developments raise the question: How useful is ChatGPT and ultimately AI for marketers? With the promise of accurate copy and minimal human effort, it sounds like every marketer’s dream. We investigated whether ChatGPT is a revolutionary tool or if it’ll fall short of expectations.
Everyone's talking about ChatGPT.
But 90% of you are missing out on the AI revolution.
Here are 16 other AI tools you NEED to know about
— Gaurav (@agarwal__gaurav) January 12, 2023
Why use AI in marketing?
Business Horizons suggests that there are two main ways marketers can use AI. The first way marketers can use AI is by assisting them in understanding markets, including the macroeconomic or geopolitical factors at large. The second is to understand the customers you’re selling to and the markets your business operates within. However, more recent developments like ChatGPT make it evident that AI can involve itself in the creative aspect of marketing too.
We spoke to Abran Maldonado, the co-founder of Create Labs, about bias in AI, how marketers can leverage AI as a tool, and his AI called CLAIRA, the first Afro-Latina artificial intelligence in history.
Maldonado explains, “[CLAIRA] didn’t take our jobs; she didn’t replace us. AI is here to make us human again. It’s here to automate all the tedious work that we never intended to do in the beginning. It’s here to let us go back to being critical thinkers, spending more time with family, and being creative.”
Source: Individuality Unleashed, S1 E9. To view the whole interview, click here.
The benefits of AI in marketing
The fact of the matter is that AI increases efficiency and saves time. Here’s how:
- Automating processes: AI and machine learning can work for marketers by automating many otherwise manual processes, such as predictive analytics, email automation, market insights, and tracking campaign performance. According to PwC, AI will increase labor productivity and optimize business efficiency by 67%.
- Generating ideas: AI is a great way for marketers to generate ideas across different formats:
- AI such as ContextMinds can brainstorm concepts and add suggestions to mind maps to assist the creative process.
- Written text AI like ChatGPT allows marketers to quickly create blogs, emails, or copy based on a prompt.
- There are many image-based AIs available, such as DeepAI or DALL.E, which can take prompts and turn them into computer-generated images. This is a useful application for creating concept art and evoking inspiration for visuals accompanying a campaign.
- Assessing the market: AI has the ability to collect complex information from across the web to present marketers with data. Qualtrics research suggests 93% of market researchers see AI as an industry opportunity, suggesting it could hugely assist the research process.
- Customer experience: AI can help build brand loyalty by creating unique and helpful customer experiences. Maldonado suggests, “You could have a conversation with a brand-based AI, like CLAIRA, that’ll present to you on a homepage. It’s like having a personal shopper in a store, but online, through eCommerce. It could personalize suggestions for your shopping experience, but with none of your data or cookies collected beforehand.” CLAIRA opens opportunities for brands to address customers in a completely new way, without infringing on personal data or privacy.
The limitations of AI in marketing
It’s not all automation and simple brainstorming though, as there are some drawbacks to AI, particularly in its early stages.
Many fear that AI-written content will produce similar, if not identical, blogs, images, and concepts for marketers across different companies, meaning content can be produced faster, but risks getting penalized by Google for being duplicated.
AI-generated content could impact organic visibility and rankings as Google Search Central has commented: “We have many algorithms to go after such behaviors and demote site scraping content from other sites.”
Google management has since issued a ‘code red’ over the launch of ChatGPT, amidst concerns surrounding plagiarism and content production. The bot is capable of generating text full of errors, with some claiming it creates sexist or racist content too. Google has yet to respond fully to the threat that AI poses.
Although the AI can produce stylized and complex content, its limited knowledge base disallows it from making more unique, in-depth pieces. High quality marketing assets require creative content, multimedia elements, brand voice, and quotes or insights from subject matter experts. Marketers should be wary of AI-generated writing—it may provide a springboard for a piece, but it shouldn’t be treated as a final product.
Lacking the human touch
People know what good content looks like and sounds like. Research may be lacking or without context when created by AI, while writing risks sounding robotic. Freelance creative director, David Wecal, shared his thoughts on testing ChatGPT on his LinkedIn. He says the software, “doesn’t bring any style or humanity or a unique perspective.” Marketers still need to add heart and personality to their writing in order to capture consumer interest and build brand loyalty.
Potential for error
As it says on ChatGPT’s opening screen, there are a few self-confessed limitations to the AI, producing the potential for error. Under limitations it lists, “may occasionally generate incorrect information,” “may occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content,” and “limited knowledge of the world and events after 2021.”
What’s next for the future of AI in marketing?
Will marketers walk hand in hand with AI into the future, or is there more work to be done to create a lasting bond? Jason Hall, Forbes Councils Member suggests, “While much of the digital marketing world is still dependent on human ingenuity, an AI program might be able to generate a report using nothing but data. However, to truly connect with your customers, you’ll still need the human touch.”
AI is a powerful tool for generating market research and brainstorming content, and undoubtedly brands will need to leverage tools like ChatGPT to stay ahead of the competition. But ultimately, it’s that unmistakably human touch that will make brands memorable in the hearts and minds of their audience. Harness AI to assist with the early stages of content development, but ultimately drive revenue through personalized, one-to-one marketing messages that stand out in a “copy and paste” market.