ChatGPT: What CMOs need to know

13 min read by Charles Craik 11 May 2023


In March 2023, OpenAI released the most recent model of its human language model, ChatGPT, GPT-4. The phenomenon has taken the world by storm, leaving virtually no industry or vertical untouched with its impact, and continues to increase its capacity to deliver long and short form responses to queries.

With its newly generated internet access and growing plugin availability, ChatGPT replicates human language behaviour, and can do anything from crafting an academic dissertation to booking a holiday.

What’s more, GPT-4 can now access and interpret images, with the capability to describe a photo and even explain a meme. It has analytical capabilities too, with the capacity to interpret graphs, charts and visual data.

So how can CMOs leverage ChatGPT – and what are its potential limitations? Could it ever truly replace marketing specialists, and how can marketing teams work with AI to improve their outputs? And how are we currently using it around and about in our agency, and what have we learnt?

ChatGPT is a new wave of resource, and the overwhelming opinion at StrategiQ is that it should be embraced, not feared – but with some caveats. Here’s why.

Benefits of using ChatGPT for content creation – ideation over execution

ChatGPT has the depth and breadth of the internet to source ideas that can match trends, content gaps and keyword requirements, which can surely surpass the boundaries of a human brain. What it does lack, however, is the creativity and flair that a content creator can inject into the execution of content delivery.

On the one hand, its scope for research and ideation is arguably limitless, not requiring the inspiration and chemistry that the human brain so often relies on for those moments of brilliance. It is prescriptive, and devoid of emotion, therefore ruthless in its pursuit of topics and content streams to deliver. Content SEO specialists could argue that the efficiencies gained by using AI to deliver Google-friendly, search-led content far outweighs the negligible risk of sounding ‘a bit samey’.

For flair, finesse and an opinion – leave it to humans

However, we’re writing for humans, with creative minds, and often are trying to nudge them to form or contribute opinion or bias, so can AI truly tap into our values as writers and spin stories with the finesse and experience of a creative copywriter? Probably not, and it’s the injection of flair, opinion and a voice that will transform AI generated copy into original and compelling content.

Leveraging ChatGPT in the digital design studio can free up creativity

Two decades ago, Will Smith as Detective Spooner famously challenged ‘Sonny’ in ‘I Robot’ about whether AI could be creative:

“Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you, you are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?”

Fast forward to today, and CMOs can heed this premonitive moment from Hollywood by recognising the creative limitations of ChatGPT to leverage it in the right places. In our agency, our creative studio is readily and comfortably employing ChatGPT to lay content foundations for the purpose of wireframing and moving the project onto client concept sign-off, without the bottleneck of waiting for a copywriter to get their hands on the initial content.

In place of the traditional ‘lorem ipsum’, creatives can better bring their web concepts to life with placeholder copy that carries industry and sector relevance. This, in turn, ignites the imagination of the client, providing a topic and theme for copywriters to then flex and tune. Graphic designers can use ChatGPT to carry out research, find inspiration for original images for product pages and blogs, and help UX designers test and improve the overall experience.

To find creative edge, you’d have to either have more computing power to get there first, train it on a hand-tuned dataset or get really good at asking AI questions (cue Prompt Strategists in the 2020s). So, training your marketing teams to prompt AI with the right questions is imperative in getting reliable and consistent responses.

Paid Media – let AI supercharge your ad spend

The paid media team at StrategiQ are embracing AI to support ad copy generation and ideas. Like all new tools, they’ve had to work together to identify the right prompts and level of detail to generate an ad framework that’s simple, effective, and capitalises on the opportunities and limitations of the chatbot.

In her feature, Why PPCers should be embracing ChatGPT, not resenting it, our Paid Media Manager, Poppy Court, outlined several ways digital advertisers could, and should, be using the new technology. From providing deep insights into which audiences to target, through to directly penning advertising copy, ChatGPT is proving a useful assistant. Again, recognising its limitations, its generation of ad script (in versions 3 and 3.5) was clunky and unreliable, but as it continues to accelerate in sophistication and its ability to interpret images, GPT-4 could be well on its way to also supporting PPC teams with this feature.

However, if everyone is/was to use ChatGPT in its current form, brands will end up with very similar ads. It would leave users, accounts and businesses with no competitive advantage derived from creative, killer ad copy, which can be the difference between a notable ROI and not.

“It’s the human touch that will make your ads and campaigns unique to your brand, stamping your position in the market and differentiating you from your competitors.”

For all areas of marketing – leave rinse and repeat tasks to ChatGPT

Certain sectors call for large volumes of relatively prescriptive text to help guide customers through a buying journey. Use it wisely to populate website text requirements that do not require that human touch needed for more complex or emotive copy.

Writing swathes of product descriptions or instructive copy is a perfect task for ChatGPT. It frees up your content team to look at more creative delivery, and populates the ecommerce journey in minutes.

ChatGPT is helping developers speed up web development projects, with code to order

ChatGPT isn’t just a resident copywriter or creative assistant. It can be employed to support your development team by helping them generate snippets of code that can accelerate the build process.

Not always the prettiest, but certainly effective, your development team can hand over the generation of HTML code lines to create the structure of a website, add visual elements, forms and other basic but vital components.

Simply ask the chatbot for exactly what you need, for example: ‘write an HTML code for a contact form to include the following fields: name, email address, job title and mobile number.’ In seconds, the code will be ready to implement. Simple, effective and shaving vital development hours off projects.

Benefits of ChatGPT for social media

AI is already a helpful addition to many social media scheduling tools. It can help draft captions for organic social posts across most channels. It’s great at weeding out pretentious language or hesitant phrasing – which is great for making an impact on social media. However, when it comes to creating a brand tone of voice (so imperative on social), it’s likely that AI alone won’t cut it. Good news for experienced marketers, whose secret sauce is stamping their magic touch on copy.

One of the key advantages to ChatGPT is to help social media managers plan out their content.

ChatGPT can automate schedules in seconds, creating a brilliant first draft: which is exactly what it should be considered, a first draft and not a final plan.

CMOs shouldn’t be worried about AI. In fact, marketers on the whole should instead be worried about the content creator or designer that’s using AI. The social media content creators who learn how to accurately and thoroughly brief ChatGPT who will do well from it.

Social media gurus beware – you’ll still need to have an opinion

But could AI spell the death of an original opinion, which is so crucial to creating an impact on social media? There are already a lot of posts cropping up across social channels where people have clearly asked ChatGPT to write them some content – but it’s exactly the same as other people have shared too. A social channel like LinkedIn can already be an amorphous mass of the same opinions, with people banging the drum for 5am starts, cold showers, and flexible working. If the user doesn’t still inject some creativity and share an original opinion, we risk the LinkedIn feed becoming one ChatGPT post after another.

One other key disadvantage is that ChatGPT has limited knowledge of world events after 2021. You can’t ask it to create you a post about the Met Gala yesterday or Taylor Swift’s Eras tour this last month, because it won’t know they even exist.

And so much of social media content needs to be up-to-the-minute, that you miss a huge chunk of cultural knowledge and popular memes by relying on ChatGPT alone for content creation.

In conclusion: why CMOs (and their teams) still need the human touch

The launch of Chat GPT-4 is unlocking new opportunities for marketing teams, including adopting a particular voice, image analysis and the option to analyse visual data. However, what it will always lack is the experience and expertise from your team’s specialists to critically interpret data, behaviour and examine components of every campaign, concept, website or story.

It’s also missing the vital ability to galvanise people around a concept. That’s where CMOs need to continue to deliver inspiration through strategy and experience.

ChatGPT is not wed to your brand, it does not subscribe to your values, it does not eat, sleep or breathe your mantra. As a CMO, leveraging it to complete tasks that free up your team that do embody your brand will make it a valuable mainstay in your marketing activity.

Interested in finding out more about how ChatGPT can be used for optimising your marketing strategy? We’d love to speak to you. Get in touch today.

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