Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I won’t be the first to tell you that generative AI has arrived, and it has big potential for marketers.

However, whilst AI has been a feature in business meetings, analysts’ discussions and industry debates for a while now – and as a tool, has already been making lives easier for both consumers and brands – more recent developments like OpenAI’s ChatGPT have breathed life into the concept. So, now is the time to consider how generative AI can improve the way marketing teams operate, with potential benefits across everything from content development to SEO. 

However, like all transformational forces, its role as a disrupter depends on how it is used and trained. Despite its abilities, it’s important to remember that generative AI will not, and should not, replace marketing teams – and there are many ‘no-go’ areas in which using AI will hinder rather than help. That being said, let’s explore the different ways that AI can be used to help businesses shape their marketing strategies, as well as the key considerations for brands to ensure the technology is utilisedethically and effectively.

1. Creating content with ease and speed

Generative AI has the potential to completely revolutionise how marketing teams function, however, where this technology proves particularly game changing is in content development.

Anyone who has worked in content creation in marketing or social media understands the struggles in keeping content flowingconsistently. Automating parts of the process, whether that’s simply to streamline the review process with applications like Grammarly, or whether it’s to the extent of generating initial copy drafts with ChatGPT, is a godsend to teams who are already stretched to their max capacity and under pressure to deliver high-quality, consistent content on an ongoing basis.

Generative AI, for example, can be used to generate copy and creative assets at scale, such as initial drafts of social copy that incorporate a brand’s tone and its preferred emojis, hashtags or questions. Businesses can also train generative AI to develop meta descriptions, optimise headline copy and summarise product descriptions for their website.  

This is possible because AI marketing technologies work based on available data, rules, and algorithms designed to perform tasks at scale. For example, Open AI’s GPT-3 framework is a state-of-the-art language generation model trained on a massive amount of text data from the internet to generate human-like text based on a given prompt. The programme can then be trained and calibrated with more information to produce copy in your brand’s voice.   

2. Maintaining the ‘human touch’

Despite generative AI’s ground-breaking capabilities, its vital that marketers don’t overlook the importance and value of the human touch. While social media copy generated by AI might be a useful starting point to speed up the drafting process, a human component is essential in ensuring the copy is factually correct and feels authentic. Afterall, AI models are only as accurate as the data they’re built on, which for ChatGPT stops in 2021.  

Similarly, AI-generated content has the potential to negatively impact SEO and brand visibility. Without human oversight the content can be repetitive and lack originality, making it difficult for search engine algorithms to understand the relevance and therefore impacting its ranking. So, while generative AI can go a long way in helping to create a ‘first draft’ of content, marketing teams shouldn’t rely on such technologies to develop content from scratch.   

Given how prevalent this technology is becoming across the sector, it’s expected that fears are rising over AI ‘replacing’ marketers’ jobs. Now, whilst AI can act as a ‘silent business partner’, helping to streamline day to day activities and provide a useful starting point to content creation, without human oversight any content generated by AI becomes worthless, lacking a core component that entices consumers to a brand – authenticity. So, whilst AI can draft content, the human element is still very much needed to make content that resonates with audiences, by being unique, personal and creative. 

3. Balancing efficiency with ethical implementation

AI monitoring can also be used to blend competitive intelligence, market trends and campaign performance at speeds no analyst can. While performance analysis isn’t simple, the more information an organisation has, the better for your brand – even more so if you have marketers with the bandwidth to act upon this intelligence.   

However, we cannot ignore the concerns that have been raised over the security of the datasets that underpin AI models within technologies like ChatGPT. From a marketing point of view, the information inputted into AI systems can be regurgitated back out, which not only poses copyright issues but is also a threat to customer information. To mitigate privacy and copyright concerns, marketing teams need to train their AI models with strict guidelines, feeding them with data that is legally obtained and compliant with GDPR laws.   

What’s next?

When it comes to utilising generative AI for marketing purposes, the call to action is clear – leverage this technology but do so responsibly. It’s easy to get caught up in the capabilities of generative AI, but it’s important to stress that this technology isn’t a people replacer. Instead, it’s a people enhancer. At the same time, AI tools like ChatGPT can’t thrive without being fed reliable and factual data sets from, you guessed it, humans. 

So, for now, I think it’s safe to say a robot takeover is still a fictional fantasy. However, the marketing teams that lean into emerging AI technologies will ultimately reap the most radical benefits. 

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