What is ChatGPT and how can it be leveraged in marketing?

typing on laptop with Chat GPT graphic

Probably the hottest tech in the world at the moment is ChatGPT, which is currently running as a free service at a cost to the company of $4 million per month.  You can be guaranteed  that a commercial model is on the way, but they have a little runaway with Microsoft, after they announced that they are investing over $10 billion in the company on a multi-year deal on the back of its explosive success.  And explosive it has been.  It’s so hot that most times when you look to access it, you see the following message: “ChatGPT is at capacity right now”, meaning they are taking no more subscribers. But with this new demand and interest, there is a sense of insecurity in the marketing world at the moment with many wondering what exactly ChatGPT is, and what impact it will have on marketing roles in the future. So let’s dive in and take a look.


What is ChatpGPT?

ChatGPT (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer) is an AI chatbot tool that was released by OpenAI in November 2022 and they invited people to publicly start conversing with the tool.  Within days over a million users were leveraging its tech to generate content such as blogs, technical documents, product descriptions, even to write essays in the style of a specific writer.  But to get a clear understanding of what it really is, the best one to ask is ChatGPT itself. 

When asked to ‘explain what you are in a short paragraph’, ChatGPT says:

“I am a large language model trained by OpenAI.  I am designed to assist with a wide range of tasks such as answering questions and providing explanations on a variety of topics.  I do not have a physical form, as I exist solely as a collection of algorithms and data.  My capabilities are limited to the knowledge and training I have received, and I am not able to browse the internet or access any information outside of what I have been trained on.  My primary goal is to provide helpful and accurate information to the best of my ability”

What can ChatGPT do?

Well, pretty much anything that involves language and literature. The possibilities are literally endless.  You can create resumes, original jokes, explain complex topics in a style that children would understand.  For example: “Explain blackholes like I’m a 6 year old”, solve complex math problems step by step, build strategies, write music in almost any genre, explain code,  debug it or even create it and automatically translate blogs into multiple languages or even write blogs on any topic. 

How good is it?

Done right,  the results are astonishing.  You might say “Yeah,Yeah! I use Google Translate but the receiver still knows it is computer generated.”  Yes, that is not the case with ChatpGPT.  Whartons School of Business recently did a test on one of its MBA exams and mixed its results in with real student results for the exam grader to test, and they couldn’t identify which one was not a real student.  Professor Christian Terwiesch wrote a research paper on the experience called  “Would chat GTP3 get a Wharton MBA? A prediction based on its performance in the operations management course”.  It got a B on the exam.  Its parents were so proud!

This has sent the academic world into a tailspin, within days national newspapers around the world were talking about how colleges were brainstorming on how to stop their students from using this technology to generate their submissions.  

Is it ready for Marketers to use?

ChatGPT has literally overnight become a central tenet of any forward thinking organizations content marketing strategy.  Unlike any of its predecessors, it is more in tune with how we converse and it is able to reflect that in its own writings.  It is a lot more reflective of our conversational styles.  Its results do not sound like ‘SkyNet’ but more human, warm and engaging.  This tool is of course in its infancy but it’s a mammoth sized infant at that.  You will still need to oversee the results, but it’s a perfect tool for generating starting points for your content. 

You could now use ChatGPT to write or build the framework for your great American novel. Will publishing houses even need writers in the future?  A scary thought when in the not too distant future you think you could ask it to build character personals in the style of James Patterson or Tom clancy.  Small companies with limited budgets could now start outputting as much blogging content as unicorn companies by simply telling ChatGPT to write articles on the same topics. 

It is a tool of immense power and potential and it will give marketers the ability to increase their content production 10 fold.    

How can we use it?

There are infinite possibilities with AI in marketing and while it is in its infancy the groundwork is astounding. It can be applied to all areas of your business but let’s look at practical ways that it can be used now, today:

  • Content creation – You will be able to dramatically increase the number of articles and blogs that you are outputting daily. White papers, reports, technical documentation which are normally outsourced to specialists can now be done in-house.  Why outsource to pay the large fees when they will be doing exactly the same thing.
  • Knowledge base management and Customer Support will most definitely be automated in the near future.  While I feel you will always need a human to man the ship so to speak, the majority of this work could be carried out by bots. 
  • Create and test multiple marketing and advertising campaigns with detailed projections and forecast modeling. 
  • Build social campaigns by generating chatbot content,  social copy,  twitter threads etc.
  • Generating scripts for videos to achieve the best results.
  • Copy and targeting, for Google Ads,  it will be able to create more highly focused ads

Is it free?

Yes, and most definitely no. It is open at the moment but Microsoft didn’t invest $10 billion ‘just for kicks’. OpenAI is using early adapters like unpaid interns.  Everything that is being entered by the users is teaching the AI to improve and tone its skills so to speak.  Once it reaches that critical point of ‘self confidence’ (I wanted to stay away from using ‘self-aware’ – a very scary term for the ‘skynet-phobias’), where it knows it can create the content without any further training, then it will no longer need those ‘interns’.  It is a for profit company and it is currently spending $4m a month on maintaining the service. When that critical point is reached then the shutters will come down on the ‘not for profit’ line and everyone will be moved over to the ‘For profit’ line and those tickets will be pricey.  Microsoft will be looking for their $10 billion and more back.

Should AI be in our Content Marketing Strategy?

Absolutely!  Such is the explosive impact that ChatGPT has had on the world, Google is actually freaking out about this. I am not convinced that even OpenAI was ready for this trajectory.  Microsoft got in first and it is a concern for Google.  As we have established, Microsoft is not doing this for the good of humanity.  They are doing this to profit and one of the key areas that they see huge potential is ‘Search’ but Microsoft have never really convinced me when it comes to online tech that they know how to nurture the market,  they always put the payment booth up far too early.  

There is no doubt that AI is the new frontier. Last week Google announced that they were laying off 12,000 positions and moving their primary focus to AI with over 20 AI products coming out this year and these will be excellent.  While I still think that Google search AI will come out on top of Microsoft’s Bing integration of chat GTP,  I give Kudos to Microsoft for its fast pivot.  It will be interesting to see how their search algorithms adjust to manage the ranking manipulation that will undoubtedly occur with the widespread adoption of this and similar technologies.  Will the small guy still stand a chance or will the unicorns simply tighten their grip?

Are we going to be replaced?

Chatgpt ai robot answering questions on a laptop, Generative AIMany are concerned about whether it will affect marketing roles.  Many of the copywriting and content creation tasks will become an automated process.  However, it will not be free, and every innovation that closes one door, opens another.  None of the content that is being created by these AI systems are creating original content. It needs to be fed new content in order to create iterations of those topics. For example it is not something that can be used for breaking news or new stories in any category (read the threat of AI on the creative industry for more details).  It’s only when content about that specific event or topic has been fed to the AI system that it can start generating content. But with that said, marketers need to harness AI and do it quickly. In the very near future it will be a mandate of any marketing job specification. Those that know the know-how will be the ones in demand. 

Key Takeaways 

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot which has been trained to provide answers to questions asked on a wide range of topics.  You can write articles, get blog title ideas, get history listens, translate, change text to a different language style or writing. The options are limitless. And for marketers, the chatbot can both be alarming and a wonderful tool. It can be used for content creation, knowledge management, customer support, social campaign creation, video script generation and copy building for ads. It gives the potential to create more content than ever before at a highly efficient speed.

I remember an article a couple of years ago that stated ‘more content has been created in the last 5 years than was ever created in the history of time.’ Well that’s going to be dwarfed by the unleashing of this ChatGPT power to the general masses.  It is scary to think about how much content is going to be created in the near future.  Building loyalty is going to be so important.  Committing your audience to feeds or campaign access is going to be key in order for your snowflake of content to stand out in the impending content avalanche. 

The future is skynet and we need to get assimilated. 

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