Pretty much since the dawn of the internet, there’s been SOMETHING NEW to get excited about in the online sphere every few months. Obviously, over the last few years, the rate of change has snowballed so significantly that marketers are scrambling on the weekly to attempt to keep up.
But NEVER have I seen the industry get its knickers in a knot as it has since the public launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI and all the subsequent technologies and platforms that are using its technology to serve its back end.
So, should we be afraid? With our clients (plus every other Tom, Dick and Sally) having open free access to a platform that will write your content, do market research, generate leads and provide personalised customer service will there be any need for us anymore?
Well, I decided instead of panicking and/or enrolling in a finance degree to ensure job security, I’d do a little digging. Get a little curious. Have a little play. Wrestle with this beast and see who came out on top.
What I discovered, and will now publicly share, is likely going to get me shunned by my industry colleagues. BUT I’m going to tell you anyway because I was raised with honesty being the best policy, regardless of who you piss off.
Here’s what you need to know about AI technology in the marketing world:
It’s actually pretty amazing.
I know! I know! I should be saying it’s terrible but… it’s not. It spat out caption ideas for social media, wrote some well-worded formal emails and even constructed some half-decent blogs. But (come on, you knew there was a but coming) any time it needed to insert personality, it just fell flat.
I even asked it to write this blog post introduction with a funny tone. This is what it came up with:
“Are you a marketer who’s afraid of the rise of AI technology? Do you lie awake at night wondering if robots will soon be taking over your job? Well, fear not my friend! AI is here to help, not to steal your job (or is it?).”
Look, it’s not too bad, is it? But personally, I find it a little… robotic.
The crux of it is this: no matter how much we teach the robots, it’s going to take YEARS before it can replicate nuance and human creativity. If it ever could.
You are 100% going to get those clients that spew things like ‘i d0n’YT kNoW wHy i’M paY!nG yOu, I cOuLd JuST gEt AI tO d0 iT for FREEEEEE’. My response to this is the same as it would be to anyone who tells me they can get someone on Upwork to do what I do for a third of the price… be my guest. As in the aforementioned scenario, these clients often return having learnt their lesson. The lesson being that cheap (nay free) isn’t necessarily the best option for success.
Sidebar: something similar happened in the web development world with the release of technology like Wix and Squarespace allowing people to build their own websites. Is it possible to build your own website? Sure. Does it replace the need for web devs? Absolutely not.
Also, it takes a depth of experience in marketing to understand WHAT questions you should be asking of this technology to get it to work at its most optimal. If you’re a small business owner who has never worked in the marketing sphere, what AI technology can do for you will be limited by your sphere of understanding.
How marketers can use AI technology
So, how do we as online marketers work WITH AI technology instead of against it? The simple answer is, to get it to help you work smarter, not harder.
AI has the potential to automate some tasks performed by marketers, but it is unlikely to completely replace them. While ChatGPT can handle repetitive and simple tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions, it still requires human oversight and interpretation for more complex tasks, such as strategic decision-making and creative problem-solving.
In fact, the use of AI can actually free up time for marketers to focus on higher-level tasks and allow them to be more productive and efficient. Moreover, it can provide valuable insights and data that can be used to inform marketing strategies.
There is no doubt that tools like ChatGPT have revolutionised the way online marketers can interact with customers. And depending on how you connect it for your clients, it could work a few miracles (though not without some hiccups, so tread lightly.) The technology offers a range of benefits that can help marketers reach their goals and improve customer satisfaction.
Here are just a few of the ways AI tools can help you succeed as a marketer:
- Customer Service – it can handle customer inquiries and provide quick, accurate responses, improving the overall customer experience.
- Lead Generation – it can engage with potential customers and gather information to help generate leads.
- Data Collection – it can collect valuable customer data, such as preferences and needs, to inform marketing strategies and target advertising.
- Content Creation – it can generate all kinds of written content, particularly optimised for digital platforms, saving marketers time and effort.
- Chatbot Development – it can be integrated into chatbots to provide personalised and context-aware responses, enhancing the overall customer experience. (This is where I think there’s room for some little miracles.)
- Market Research – it can gather information and insights about market trends and consumer behaviour to inform marketing strategies.
- Generating Text Summaries – it can summarise long articles or documents, providing a concise and easy-to-read overview for the reader.
- Writing Blog Posts – it can generate blog posts on a variety of topics, providing valuable content for websites platforms like LinkedIn.
- Creating Product Descriptions – it can write descriptive and informative product descriptions, helping to improve the customer experience and increase conversions.
- Generating Email Campaigns – it can write personalized and engaging email campaigns to promote products and services to customers.
- Writing Social Media Posts – it can generate creative and attention-grabbing social media posts to engage with followers and improve brand awareness.
- Creating Ad Copy – it can write persuasive and impactful ad copy, helping to drive traffic and increase conversions.
What AI technology can’t do for marketing
These are all examples of what it can do. What it can’t do is make all of those things GREAT. You need human oversight, talent and experience to do that.
Once you’ve played for a while all the answers start to sound a little… repetitive. Now, I’m not saying that out there in the big wide world of marketing people’s content doesn’t all start to look a bit the same. And hey, if your focus is to simply pump out carbon copies of what already exists to the masses… fine.
That’s not the point of GOOD marketing though, is it?