There has been a lot of chat about ChatGPT, as myself and many of my peers wonder what this means for the world as we know it, and for marketing in particular.
We all know the importance of content, be it blogs, articles, white papers etc. it is one of the key reasons clients use us. We develop a content strategy that will meet the company’s objectives and we write content that will be engaging and deliver value to clients and prospects. We use highly skilled writers and subject specialists at the top of their game. Surely their talent is not so easily replaceable?
When AI was in its infancy, creative roles were predicted to be less under threat than numbers driven roles etc. It would seem, however, that AI knows no boundaries, chatbots are now the norm, cars can be driverless and it looks as though copywriters will be impacted too.
On the upside, what better time to save myself some work and use ChatGPT to create this blog for me? A quick visit to the site leaves me disappointed. A message pops up to tell me that “ChatGPT is at capacity right now”. That’s not a line I use with clients, even if it’s true – so from a self-preservation point of view this is starting positively!
A few hours later and ChatGPT has let me set up an account so I ask it to write what impact it believes it will have on marketing and the answer honestly is good but not rounded. It takes me through the top 5 ways that it will impact (I love a top five in a blog – it’s as if it knows me!).
The five areas are:
All five are very benefit driven, there is lots about personalisation, improving customer satisfaction, retention etc. To be honest it sounds like a marketers dream. However, the question I had asked was, ‘How will ChatGPT impact marketing?’ and the answer only told part of the story. The answer does not include the impact it may have on the industry at large, the people who work in it and the downside of AI generated content. So on one hand the answer is there, but it’s incomplete.
In addition to being incomplete is it balanced? What are the downsides to this?
I type in the question and to be fair up comes another top 5.
Lack of creativity
Over-reliance on automation
Security and privacy concerns
Cost (this one surprises me but it references that it might be too expensive for some organisations to use – possibly in relation to customer service)
The answers are fair and the two lists are equal in number, five negatives against five positives. However, it doesn’t take the argument further and basically tell me whether writing content will still be a role in five years’ time, whether clients will auto generate their content and cut us out.
Perhaps like us, it doesn’t know.
What we do know as marketeers, is that Jo Public are becoming more informed and wise to algorithms, data protection, and yes AI does make all our lives easier in many ways but it can also be deeply frustrating to even the most receptive.
Our clients look for authentic, specific content that plays to their organisation’s strengths. Subject matters are planned to achieve strategic ambitions, and content is written to support it. Thought leadership has to provide insight, perspective, take an idea to a variety of conclusions, and pull on lived experience.
Lack of creativity is cited as one of the limitations, and I would agree. The best brands have a voice, a tone that is reflective of them – a crucial part of the brand personality. How does a tool, however clever, adopt a personality that uses humour or wit for example?
ChatGPT and the likes of Bard AI etc can certainly do some of the work but not all of it. They will inevitably be sharper and more intelligent over time, let’s hope so after Google’s highly anticipated chatbot cost its parent company $100bn (£82.7bn) by providing an incorrect answer in an official advert. We as users will also become increasingly skilled at knowing how to get the best out of chatbots. As a result the end output will inevitably improve.
Times are changing and ChatGPT along with others will definitely play a role in marketing’s future. However, as long as genuine thought leadership and creative content continue to be valued, I think there is still room for us all.