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The recent explosion of different AI platforms such as ChatGPT is both fascinating and alarm...
The recent explosion of different AI platforms such as ChatGPT is both fascinating and alarming. The sudden emergence of ChatGPT and its subsequent wildfire spread has been providing people with informed responses off the back of basically any prompt; from a request for a simple thank you note to a full blog piece and everything in between.
Despite the myriad of platforms now available I’ll be specifically referencing ChatGPT in this piece due to its popularity. As a free and easily accessible platform it’s the one everyone knows and most of us have tried. I know it’s been around for a while now and people are a bit sick of posts about it but it’s becoming increasingly invasive into the marketing profession, and I wanted to capture some of my own thoughts and unanswered questions around it and similar platforms.
AI will make marketing’s role trickier
It’s the forbidden fruit. Why would a busy individual, say someone in your team, put time and hard work into writing proprietary content vs using a platform that can do it for them in seconds and allow them to put their precious time elsewhere? And how will we as marketers know when they have chosen the latter?
It makes me uncomfortable to be in a position where I can’t ascertain if someone has written a piece themselves or not. Ghost writers have been around for a long long time but this is another level of separation from writer and content. I also already know of marketers who use AI for content creation and to me, it feels like cheating! My current strategy to determine a piece’s origin is to either ask directly, put a similar prompt into ChatGPT and see if something suspiciously close returns or use this tool, also by the same provider, which can try and identify if AI wrote a piece, but it’s not 100% guaranteed.
Confidential, personal and client information and data, (and if you’re in Recruitment Marketing like me) un-anonymised job ads should never be entered into ChatGPT, it’s open source software and once the info is in there it can’t be taken out and is liable to data leaks (as has already occurred) and viewing by human AI trainers who work at the company. You can opt out of the latter, and also attempt to delete your data, but it’s better not to risk your confidential information in the first place and some data controls are only available in certain regions with more robust data protection laws. I’ve heard of some organisations taking the stance of blocking access to platforms such as ChatGPT.
ChatGPT has also been shown to be able to lie as talked about in this piece. So you’re at risk of spreading misinformation if you are getting it to generate content on a topic outside of your knowledge scope without robust fact checking and verification. You also need to bear in mind that it was trained on data up until September 2021 with plugins just coming in now that allow the platform to access the internet for more current ‘information’.
AI will also make marketing’s role easier
ChatGPT is a very powerful tool which in my opinion should be viewed more as an assistant than something that does the heavy lifting. Yes, you can get it to write content but where is the connection and buy in from yourself, where is your voice?
And what happens when no original content is being created for the platform to pull from? Will we eventually be stuck in an AI loop?! – I jest
It’s better to use prompts such as; ‘Please give me 5 blog topic ideas that could be of interest to X’. Or if making a LinkedIn post on an article you’ve found online; ‘Summarise this piece for me’ to help give you the key points to write the post text from, and ‘Provide 5 hashtags for this article’ so you can easily be given relevant and trending hashtags to boost your post.
In connection with LinkedIn posts – LinkedIn are rolling out an AI assistant of their own to help draft a post and make prompt like suggestions. Again, it will be important to add your own personality and stamp on anything it assists you with otherwise we could all end up sounding the same and loose our tone of voice.
With a well thought out and carefully worded prompt ChatGPT could also assist you with putting together your content plan and schedule. And one content creation hack, that I will concede, is when you’ve already done the leg work and recorded either an interview for a Q&A or a podcast, you could use a transcription service and put that text into ChatGPT to format it for you. For those needing further inspiration, there are websites and content creators who have made ‘prompt packs’ such as this.
It’s great at helping fill knowledge gaps and provide inspiration when you’re stuck and in a content rut. I’ve started following an Instagram account ‘chatgptricks’ which shows various fascinating and interesting use cases and possibilities. I’m not a fan of the weekly shop and meal planning and it looks like I can offload this to ChatGPT based on a couple of the posts on that account! There are a lot of funny wider use cases of ChatGPT – it’s got people out of parking tickets by writing a formal appeal letter, a judge used it to check a law for a ruling(!), it can provide step by step instructions to learn a new skill (content creation maybe?! Haha) and even have a go at coaching individuals.
I’ve specifically addressed one platform here and content creation in particular, but I know there are many useful AI driven tools out there that can also aid the marketing profession from; getting to know your customer better and off of that create more effective campaigns and also personalised customer experiences to cutting down time spent on the more mundane tasks and creating professional looking presentations and designing imagery.
You also probably already use AI on other platforms without realising: Canva uses it to suggest layouts, Grammarly for grammar and spelling correction, Hootsuite identifies best posting times and Analytics platforms make use of AI.
Of course, marketing will survive ChatGPT, that was just a click bait title, but how marketing professionals will navigate the emerging challenges is still open to debate. GPT-4 is on the way, which is reported to be even more advanced and intelligent! It would be great to hear your views in return on the above, do connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at email@example.com.
Emily Abbott is the Elliott Scott Group’s Marketing Manager – she leads the function and works across the groups four global boutique recruitment brands including Elliott Scott HR.