The world of digital marketing as we know it has seen some pretty sizable shifts as the result of technological innovations. I personally have been through a few in the last 20 years. Algorithm updates, ads platforms, tracking and analytics, compliance… the list goes on, but I think Open AI’s chat GPT is the giant under the shadow of which all other digital marketing tech innovations cower. And my friends, my gut is saying that things just won’t ever be the same again.
Things are moving quickly but I wanted to provide my initial thoughts on the impact Chat GPT will make to digital marketing services and the agencies delivering them.
What is Chat GPT?
GPT (short for "Generative Pre-trained Transformer") is a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence model that is capable of generating human-like text. It was developed by OpenAI and has achieved impressive results on a variety of natural language processing tasks, including language translation, text summarization, and question answering. GPT uses a transformer architecture and is pre-trained on a massive dataset of web-based text, allowing it to generate highly coherent and contextually appropriate text when given a prompt. It has been used in a variety of applications, including chatbots, content generation, and language translation.
Chat GPT feels new, but it isn’t
GPT was first introduced in 2018 and has undergone several updates since then. The original version, GPT (now known as GPT-1), was trained on a dataset of web-based text and was able to generate human-like text when given a prompt. It was followed by GPT-2 in 2019, which was trained on an even larger dataset and showed even more impressive language generation capabilities.
AI and digital marketing isn’t new either
Chat GPT feels like a step-change, and it is, but AI has been baked into digital marketing tools and processes for a while. Whether you’re looking at Natural Language Processing, analysing content with MarketMuse or utilising SEMRush’s topic cluster functionality; AI is making this all possible. Helpful right?
Why the underlying feeling of trepidation
When I think about AI, there’s rightly or wrongly an element of unease. We know that there are classic stages to adoption (Diffusion of Innovation Theory) and with Chat GPT I’m likely sitting in the “Early Adopters” camp. I also know that there’s always some level of resistance with innovation.
I asked Chat GPT to suggest why users might be a little wary. Chat GPT’s response resonates:
- Misuse or overuse: Chat GPT is a powerful tool, but like any tool, it can be misused or overused. If it is relied upon too heavily, it could result in the creation of low-quality or unoriginal content.
- Dependency: If digital marketers and agencies become too dependent on Chat GPT, they may struggle to adapt if the technology changes or becomes unavailable.
- Ethical concerns: Some people may have ethical concerns about the use of AI in general, and may be hesitant to use Chat GPT as a result.
- Misconceptions: There may be misconceptions about Chat GPT and what it is capable of, which could lead to unrealistic expectations or concerns.
I think these risks to users also translate specifically to agencies and their clients. For example, an overreliance on GPT 3’s output and the associated increased production of low-quality machine generated content is likely to be flagged by Google’s quality algorithm.
What chat GPT means for digital marketing agencies
Chat GPT provides a potential step change to the digital marketing industry. However, the power of Chat GPT needs to be harnessed through strategy and processes. GPT3 isn’t a silver bullet, and agencies that treat it as such will be doing themselves and their customers a disservice.
Digital Marketing agencies live and die by their people and their strengths in problem solving, a particular discipline and their ability to connect with other people. It’s these people and their approach to innovation that will shape how impactful Chat GPT is on their services.
I can see Chat GPT supporting with a number of our existing services and processes (albeit always with human intervention of varying levels), a handful being:
Content creation: Help with generating high-quality, human-like text, which can be used to create blog posts, articles, product descriptions, and other types of content. The key word here is ‘help’, as whilst GPT3 is efficient, the tests that I have completed whilst impressive, required iterative optimisation or were better used as writers prompts.
Chatbots: building chatbots that can engage with customers in real-time, answering their questions and providing information about a company's products or services.
Product naming: assist with generating product names that are catchy, memorable, and highly relevant to a product’s features and target market. I think this sort of task (where inputs are more defined and where the need for immediate data creativity is required) is where Chat GPT becomes interesting. Chat GPT is I think effective at generating examples, or helping in creating a spark which could then be explored more qualitatively.
Ad copywriting: writing initial conceptual ad copy or creating alternative versions of formulaic text ads for various channels like social media or paid search.
Email marketing: generating personalised email content that is more likely to generate demand.
Social media management: assisting in crafting social media post and identifying trends to target the specific audience.
SEO optimisation: writing meta descriptions, title tags, and other types of on-page SEO elements that can improve a website's ranking in search results. As mentioned above; yes, there is a potential time save here, but an over-dependence and lack of editing could result in penalties.
Landing page optimisation: generating text for landing pages that are optimised for conversion and can drive more leads.
Voice assistants: creating highly accurate and natural-sounding voice assistants, which can be used in a variety of applications, such as customer service or product demonstrations.
Research and analysis: assisting in researching and analysing customer data, to identify patterns, customer needs and also to understand customer preferences and behaviours.
What Chat GPT will mean for our clients
You would expect a digital marketing agency to be using innovative tools to support processes and the delivery of tasks. Chat GPT is no different. Agencies shouldn’t shy away from detailing their use of Chat GPT, its effective use after all, as highlighted above, requires skill, processes, and analytical thinking to harness. Some agencies will of course cut corners and treat Chat GPT to solely gain efficiencies, which Chat GPT warns us about.
It's important to note that these uses of GPT are not standalone solutions but rather an addition to the existing marketing and customer engagement strategies, to augment and streamline processes, making them more efficient and effective.
The human element here is key. At 7DOTS we’re dedicating R&D time specifically to its integration into existing processes and thinking into the opportunities it can unlock.
In recent times I can’t think of a more powerful technological innovation for digital marketers than Chat GPT. It has the potential to create a wholesale change in how the industry approaches a large proportion of internal tasks and as a result will likely impact current roles and responsibilities and how agencies hire in the future.
We’re used to change though, and the vast majority of us working in the digital marketing space live and breathe for the kind of opportunity that a tool like Chat GPT brings.
Chat GPT can support existing processes and result in the work we deliver being more effective? With the right amount of human interaction, I think it can.
We’d recommend you start thinking about how Chat GPT can make your agency and the work you deliver more impactful. We are.
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