ChatGPT and the Marketing Landscape
In any industry, it is important to understand tools and adopt new technologies and resources.
By Alyce Eyster and Sarah Snyder-Castañeda
News of ChatGPT dropped in late 2022, and the Internet has been abuzz with commentary ever since. To be sure, plenty of questions have arisen — Will freelance writers go the way of the landline? Will schoolchildren learn to write essays anymore? What about concerning biases found within the tool? How do we address misuses? How accurate are outputs?
But first, what is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT (Generative Pre-training Transformer) is a language-based tool that responds to human inputs. Trained on Internet data through 2021, think customer service chatbots but more robust and arguably more human than ever.
In recent months, headlines abound with preliminary cautionary tales. It can pass a Wharton MBA exam. Cybercriminals are using it to create malware. Schools are blocking it. Twitter was ablaze with fun, nonsensical applications. A DIY coder made himself a wife.
Beyond those extreme examples are plenty of practical applications, too — get help with your resume and cover letter, write a joke, have a complex topic explained to you.
OpenAI is the company that developed ChatGPT. It has several language models including some that are better at analyzing text and developing long-form content. The company has a visual model called DALL-E used to create images, and its text model can also write code.
While AI fear exists, it’s actually been a part of our every day for years now. Siri (2011) and Alexa (2014) are examples of what’s known as conversational AI. Google Search is a form of AI called predictive analytics. Maps, navigation, text editors, and autocorrect features are all powered by AI.
ChatGPT is an Impressive Resource…with Limitations
Marketers’ LinkedIn feeds are now chock-full of tips on how to use ChatGPT to get things done. Content writers can use it for research, outlines, and writing. Digital advertising managers can use it to generate multiple headline and ad copy variations for testing.
All of this and more is now possible through the help of ChatGPT … with some caveats.
As much as marketers would like it to write a perfect SEO-ready blog post or solution-filled white paper, there are drawbacks. ChatGPT and similar technologies still require a human to edit, provide analysis and add brand nuance.
Skilled human editors are typically adept human writers. Additionally, adept writers and journalists possess skills such as interviewing and deep research that cannot be achieved via conversational AI.
That said, OpenAI’s playground allows for experimentation with different generative text models to suit your needs. Rarely are returns final-draft ready; often, they repeat text or output copy completely unrelated to the prompt.
Additionally, ChatGPT is only as good as its human-created prompt. To effectively use the tool requires practice and mastery of prompts and inputs that are specific. For longer form pieces it requires time spent drilling down with questions to return more detail.
Initial experiments met with success include using the tool to write social media post drafts complete with hashtags, inserting keywords into text, kicking off a brainstorm, and developing a draft when writer’s block has set in.
How Does it Fit Within the Digital Marketing Landscape?
GPT models are great at repeatable tasks. What they lack in terms of marketing is strategy and an understanding of the big picture. In addition to strategy limitations, there are limitations in understanding audience, customers and brand.
One thing is for sure – the genie’s out of the bottle with generative AI. The tech giants are embracing it as Microsoft, an early investor in OpenAI, will soon be adding it as a super robust search engine on Bing in an attempt to gain market share from Google. Google recently launched their generative language model (with a few hiccups). Even Alibaba is getting into the mix. News and developments are coming fast and furiously.
In any industry, it is important to understand tools and adopt new technologies and resources. GPT is an incredible development with great potential. It will alter job functions to be sure. Absolutely it is important to learn to use it as a tool and innovate, but always with human oversight.
Savage Marketing has been utilizing AI in our marketing toolbox for years now. That and our human touch is what drives successful strategies for our clients.
Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash
As Senior Manager, Content Strategy at Savage, Alyce is focused on message creation and the planning, development and management of content based first – on program requirements, and second – on the client’s business objectives and needs. She has created these messaging platforms for digital, marketing and general applications for clients in industry, healthcare, tech, fashion and publishing. Specifically, she has had the good fortune of working with clients like Champion Fiberglass, BoyarMiller, Elaine Turner and Xenex.