Gillian McCurdy, Head of School of Digital Marketing at Arden University, explores how ChatGPT and AI generally can be used productively by marketers.
You’ve probably heard about AI storming the creative world – from AI art to chatbots, the power of AI has slowly unveiled itself over the past month.
One AI tool that has taken to the headlines over the past few weeks is ChatGPT – a language model developed by OpenAI that uses deep learning to generate human-like text responses based on the input it receives. It is fine-tuned to engage in conversations and answer questions on a wide range of topics.
You can ask it to define quantum physics in simple terms, or ask it to write an essay on cognitive psychology, or to devise a bunch of creative ideas for a ten-year-old’s birthday. To test it out, I asked ChatGPT to write a poem about effective marketing strategies:
Marketing with a strategy that’s sound,
Reaches your audience with a message profound.
It should be unique, creative and bright,
To draw attention, hold and guide insight.
Content that’s valuable, educates and inspires,
Helps build trust, your brand sets fire.
Social media, email campaigns take flight,
With content that’s visually appealing, attention’s in sight.
Be consistent and stay true to your brand,
Your message clear, to win the customers’ hand.
Measure success, adapt and improve,
An effective marketing strategy, your business will groove.
To be honest, as difficult as it is to form a moving poem about marketing, it’s still not bad, considering it took ChatGPT less than 20 seconds to come up with it.
It clearly has masses of benefits and companies are quickly picking up on this. Just in the past few weeks, internet news and entertainment company Buzzfeed announced it laid off 12% of their staff, as they are aiming to use ChatGPT to create content, pushing its company stock up 156%. Moonpig, the online card retailer, is exploring integrating ChatGPT into its systems which will help customers generate a personalised message or even a poem without having to wrack their brains to the right words themselves.
But as more and more people experiment with it, the flaws behind replacing human power with AI are slowly coming to the surface. News outlet CNET, for example, said it had to issue corrections on a number of articles, including some that it described as “substantial”, after using an artificial intelligence-powered tool to help write dozens of stories. The news outlet has since hit pause on using the AI tool to generate stories.
Regardless, with the potential capabilities of AI making headlines, more businesses are looking for novel ways to leverage the tool to their advantage in the near future, as it can automate a wide variety of tasks, freeing up time to focus on more intricate, strategic work. But the actual impact on a company’s profits will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific use case and the quality of the implementation.
So, what are the pros and cons? ChatGPT can generate human-like conversations to engage with customers, increase brand awareness, and gather customer feedback; it can automate repetitive customer service tasks, freeing up time for other marketing initiatives; and it can provide personalised, real-time customer service, improving customer experience.
The cons: AI language models still have limitations in understanding context, sarcasm, and emotions; overreliance on AI may result in a lack of human touch and reduce authenticity in customer interactions; there may be privacy and data security concerns, as AI models process large amounts of customer data.
It is important to remember that ChatGPT is a machine learning model and it does not have the ability to think or understand the context like a human. This means a lot of the text created sounds a little dry. There’s no personality behind it and therefore, if you want it to match your brand’s tone of voice, you will need someone to refine the copy before it goes out live.
There are ways in which ChatGPT can be implanted into a marketing strategy, however, especially when it comes to creating content. But first, let’s look at how the marketing landscape is expected to evolve in the next year and how AI chat fits in.
Firstly, we expect more focus on customer experience. With consumers wanting to be more connected with the brands they spend their money on, businesses will need to put more effort into creating personalised and seamless experiences for their customers. Transparency is key – so business goals need to be clear within marketing strategies. This extends to being aware and sensitive to consumer concerns – from greenwashing to the added cost of living. This also means we are seeing more of an emphasis on storytelling in order to connect with their target audiences and build emotional connections.
There is also growing emphasis on privacy and data security: With privacy concerns becoming increasingly prominent, companies will need to continue prioritising data protection and be transparent about their data collection and usage practices. Using consumer insights and data is also more important now than ever before, as it allows marketers to target specific items that will gain the interest of their consumers – the main difference now is that due to digital advancements, data-led insights are much more valuable and in-depth, revealing what consumers are specifically reacting positively to. This is allowing businesses to be more authentic and personable in their approach toward potential consumers and something which marketing strategies need to reflect.
These are but a few of the listed marketing trends and we can already see a pattern: customers react to personalisation; they want to buy from a brand they connect with and interact with businesses that match their own values and buy from a business that is clear and open with how their company works.
So, how does ChatGPT – a AI chatbot that has a knowingly flaw of sounding more like a robot opposed to human, fit in? Well, ChatGPT can be implemented in the following ways:
Customer Service: ChatGPT can be integrated into a company’s website or mobile app to provide quick, 24/7 customer service. The AI model can handle common customer inquiries and escalate more complex issues to a human representative.
Chatbots: It can be used to create chatbots for social media platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Slack. Similar to the above, these chatbots can engage with customers, provide product information, and handle customer service inquiries.
Content Generation: ChatGPT can generate high-quality content, such as articles, blog posts, and product descriptions. This can save time and resources for companies, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their marketing strategy, but it will need a human checking the tone of voice and overall content. And if you want your brand to be the thought leader in a topic and discuss something novel, you can let ChatGPT form the base of the content, but you will need a human to do most of the leg work to expand on what the AI may not already know.
Data Analysis: It can be used to analyse large amounts of data, such as customer feedback and sales data. This analysis can provide valuable insights into customer preferences and behaviours, allowing you to make further, more informed decisions about your marketing strategy.
For the following to work, you need to make sure you define clear objectives and train the AI model on a large, diverse dataset that represents your target audience and their questions/concerns. It is also best to regularly monitor and evaluate the performance of ChatGPT and make adjustments as necessary to improve its accuracy and effectiveness; take your time and evaluate whether or not the AI is helping or hindering your marketing process. This means it is probably best to consider complementing ChatGPT with human customer service teams to provide a balance of AI-powered and human interaction.
ChatGPT has the potential to greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a company’s marketing strategy. By integrating it into various aspects of their marketing, companies can save time, resources, and money, while also providing better customer experiences. But be wary and ensure you keep the human touch. People with marketing know-how will need to make sure that what any AI model produces, that it fits in line with your brand’s tone of voice and meets quality expectations.