How Will ChatGPT Impact Marketing?

How Marketers Can Use Generative A.I.

By this point, you’ve probably seen all the stories about ChatGPT. The artificial intelligence tool is writing essays, passing law exams, and even creating some pretty funny ads. At this point, one question should be on every marketer’s mind: How can a tool like this impact our marketing efforts? 

As with any piece of transformative technology, it can be hard to predict exactly how generative A.I. – the tech tools like ChatGPT are built on – will affect commerce and society. But similar to our prediction for marketing in 2023, we’ll do our best to take a shot:

Idea #1: Generative A.I. Can Be a Source of Content Scale

If you’ve executed a digital marketing campaign, you’re aware of just how much content can be needed to not only get to launch but to sustain that launch for time to come. And yet, many marketers – especially ones with less resources – don’t have the scale to produce the amount of content their business requires.

Generative A.I. can be a source of that scale. The ability to spin up content with a few, simple Google-like prompts represents an enormous opportunity to achieve new levels of efficiency. While the writing will likely lack the voice of the brand, the accuracy, or the insight you need to truly deliver value to your audience, it can at least get you to a strong, solid starting point. Even if the technology’s first draft is only 25% of the way there, that’s 25% of time that marketers can now spend elsewhere. 

Idea #2: Generative A.I. Can Be a Source of Inspiration

Even the most creative of people have been there before: A lack of new ideas. Introducing a friendly piece of A.I. that has billions (if not trillions) of inputs from which to source ideas. While none of the ideas will likely be “breakthrough,” what they can be is a source of stimulus and inspiration – a way to get the wheels turning. If you’re an in-house marketer or a creative agency looking for a few ideas to get the juices flowing, toss a few prompts into generative A.I. and see what the technology spits out.

Why not?

Idea #3: Generative A.I. Can Lay the Foundation for New Visual Approaches

We discussed this in our 2023 marketing predictions – stock photography is already a pretty broken business. You see the same people stuck in the same poses and settings again and again. But with tools like MidJourney, teams can spit out new, completely unique images that are sure to stand out from the crowd and break through “the feed”.

No wonder Getty Images is suing Stable Diffusion.

Importantly: Brand teams would do well to consider how to integrate A.I. generated imagery into their visual identity system going forward. Rigid rules that hinge on posed stock photography are ignoring an entirely new vista of unique imagery that can better engage audiences and make a brand unique.

Idea #4: Generative A.I. Is a Research Tool

We’ve recently been building an in-depth prospect list to boost our marketing efforts within our firm. One of the things we needed to do was figure out how to classify each company’s industry vertical so that we could better segment our list. Rather than taking hours to figure it out themselves, a team member of ours brilliantly decided to toss the list into ChatGPT and ask for its input. 

Was the tool right 100% of the time? No. But give or take 65%? Absolutely. Immense time was saved getting pretty darn accurate, good information so that we could spend less time laying groundwork and more time marketing to our audience and serving our clients.

(Side note: This is exactly why Google is quaking in its boots and Microsoft is looking pretty darn smart with its update to Bing at this point.)

The TLDR: It’s Time to Integrate Generative A.I. Into Your Marketing Function

Teams don’t need to overthink generative A.I. – this is the equivalent to feeling like you needed to “craft a plan for how our team will use Google” when the search engine first launched. Your plan for generative A.I. has a single line item: Start using it, and see how it goes.

There’s one important core principle, though, if you want to start using it effectively: You need to think about it as a complementary helper to your team’s work – as opposed to it doing all the work. If it generates a foundational article to get things started, great. But the next step is for your team to go through that article and refine it 75%. If it does research for you, awesome. But it’s your team’s job to go back through that research and apply their own knowledge and insight to make sure things are accurate.

Search engines didn’t replace the need for education. Generative A.I. won’t replace the need for marketers. But can it make marketers more efficient and effective? Absolutely. 

Time to get started.

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