How is ChatGPT going to change marketing?
I asked some marketers (and a VC) how they think our world is going to change
There have always been before and after moments in technology and innovation. We remember them, we understand the change. Man on the moon, and after. The motorcar and after, affordable personal computing and after, even the iPhone and after.
When ChatGPT was launched on November 30, it took a day or two for everyone to understand that this was one such moment. There was going to be a before and an after.
Though we in tech already had had a taste of AI assisted writing, search, and modelling, it wasn’t mainstream enough (or simple enough) for the non-tech world to sit up and type questions in. It wasn’t accessible to everyone in this way, and it wasn’t great either. Everyone knew that this could arrive at some point, but things are always arriving, aren’t they?
Well, ChatGPT is different.
Why? Because I could have asked ChatGPT to write the introduction to this edition of the newsletter, and it would have. I could have done research using it, and put together a first draft. It would have taken away a huge chunk of my writing process. None of this was possible in this way before. It’s scary good, and our world has changed forever.
But how? In what ways has our world changed? What is going to happen? What are we going to see?
So I went around the room, asking some of the smartest people I know what they think of this moment in tech marketing history. This newsletter, a special edition, is a compilation.
The right answer to the above, as with most such questions around tech’s impact on a creative field, is that it depends.
Marketing is fundamentally about identifying points of differentiation about your product, and then identifying and acquiring the audience that cares about that differentiation. I do think much of ChatGPT’s biggest impact on marketing will come on the ‘acquiring’ part of the above definition.
Advertising – dramatising the benefit of the points of differentiation – is the route for driving acquisition, and here we can see ChatGPT impacting formats of ‘Small Creativity’ such as Google Adwords, InApp Banners or Messages (with their infinite personalised variants, A/B testing etc) considerably.
In a few years, we will move to fully automated models of copy + ad delivery such that there will be very little human creativity or effort in these areas. We can see Google Adwords et al – small creativity, infinite effort, continuously tested – as the equivalent of radiology in the medicine, on the seafront of the approaching Machine Learning / ChatGPT Tsunami.
‘Big Creativity’ will continue to remain important, and if anything will become even more important as people get better at filtering out attention traps with adblocks, or paying for ad-free versions of products.
Daniel Vassallo perfectly encapsulates my thoughts on ChatGPT and marketing.
What ChatGPT does exceptionally well is it gives marketers a quick look at what average looks like.
Marketing is about unique PoVs, and ChatGPT will force marketers to dig that out for their brands, or get lost in the sea of averages, because now average is easy.
In the short term, ChatGPT replaces 'mid job' interns and 'freshers' who infiltrate sub-par marketing teams with their zeal to "learn SEO and content marketing", but end up dumping their regurgitated content in dark corners of the internet visited by their managers and two more folks from the organisation.
In the long term, it makes real experts even better at their jobs, taking away the time they'd have spent on the menial, the plumbing, and helping them focus on the exponential, rather than the incremental.
70% of all content on Scenes is now written with assistance from GPT3. It allowed 1 writer to work with the efficiency of 5.
With ChatGPT, the realm expands beyond writing to advisory. A problem at hand? Query the bot and get structured blurb-styled responses to anything.
Go ask it yourself: Is SEO dead? Should I invest in Infusionsoft or ActiveCampaign? How do I set up an SMTP server for email marketing?
It eliminates paradox of choice with straight up one response. And not to forget, all use cases of GPT3 still exist (like write an email for me, a follow up sequence, generate headlines) with a better interface. These things that took so much time will get quicker, easier.
But will it 100% replace marketing roles? No, I don’t think so.
Will it cut down redundancy/duplication in roles and tasks? Absolutely, 100%.
As a former content marketer, my first instinct was knee jerk. It’s going to ‘take’ my job because people who don’t appreciate good content and copy will think that ChatGPT can do the work of a thinking, feeling human.
However, ChatGPT might actually be the best thing to happen to a marketer. It can provide a base for us to build on - the first take that you tear apart for your best take. It can proofread and sharpen content - a second pair of eyes.
It can write the copy/content every marketer needs to write but hates - the emails, the LinkedIn posts, the descriptions. It can process long paragraph questions and provide contextual answers - something that will be very helpful next time you have a SEO question.
OpenAI might have just invented the marketer’s best friend.
Marketing has always been about being original, saying things, having an opinion, taking a stand.
ChatGPT will help you write words faster. But the originality and consistency of your brand will be your job.
I am actually very bullish about ChatGPT. I think it will bring the art back to marketing. It will free marketers’ minds to focus on things that have always mattered, as opposed to short term hacks.
And I see that as a good thing.
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All right. You heard them. Now what do you think? I’m opening up the comments on this dispatch because this is an important discussion to have.
And what do I think? Anything that makes it easier for me to write is welcome, but I’m only worried that we might be buried under a landslide of inconsequential, irrelevant, and downright useless SEO and fill-up-space type writing. But as most of the people above seem to think, if this gets us all to level up on our creativity, I can’t complain. There’s enough boring in the world already.