ChatGPT and AI in Marketing: Overhyped or Value-Adding
If you haven’t heard of generative AI or experimented with ChatGPT at least once, you have probably been living under a rock. As our favourite “marketoonist” Tom Fishburne says, “the Generative AI hype train is full steam ahead”. And apparently, it’s not going to slow down over the next years.
So, are we marketers doomed because the robots are coming? Do ChatGPT and similar AI search engines create just more noise? Or, can they be used to the benefit of marketers – to enhance content creation, elevate your brand message and expand the industry’s horizons?
Intrigued? Before you decide to ignore or, alternatively, jump too enthusiastically on the AI bandwagon, check out our selection of key takeaways on the subject:
- ChatGPT is a brilliant piece of technology. The popular AI-powered chatbot from OpenAI can generate articles, essays, jokes and even poetry in response to prompts. According to a report by Reuters, analysts have said that ChatGPT has reached 100 million users within two months of its release making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history. In comparison, it took TikTok about nine months after its global launch to reach 100 million users and Instagram 2-1/2 years, according to data from Sensor Tower.
As per the in-depth analysis on ChatGPT by INSEAD alumnus Massimo Passamonti, ChatGPT is a brilliant piece of technology that can complement our capabilities by empowering us to do more and to do better. How exactly? The areas suggested by Passamonti as such where it performs well include: false prompts, carrying out highly professional tasks (writing software, emails, resumés, contracts, etc.), understanding context, and giving contextualised answers, too.
- Consider its creative use… One of the definitive strengths of ChatGPT concerning marketers is its writing capability, i.e. the ability to generate text in a wide range of styles and formats. You have surely come across Ryan Reynolds and his experiment with the Mint Mobile Ad written by ChatGPT. The result, as he admitted, was “mildly terrifying… but compelling”: an AI-produced script that sounds exactly like Reynolds. Another strength? ChatGPT is incredibly quick generating content in just a few seconds, thus offering fast access to relevant knowledge. However, a word of caution from Tom Fishburne: the path of least resistance in the AI-generated arms race — using the same tools that everyone else has access to in the same way as everyone else – is already a sea of sameness, written more to appease Google’s search algorithms than actual people.
- … but beware of the potential abuse in advertising. According to a Marketing Dive publication, OpenAI, the software’s developer, has struck partnerships with Snap Inc. and Bain & Company, while other tech platforms are racing to ramp up their AI initiatives in response. Marketers including Coca-Cola, the first company to take advantage of the Bain alliance, see the sector as a potential game-changer. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently issued a warning shot to companies that are getting overzealous with AI claims in their advertising. The FTC outlined four main points for marketers to keep in mind: To not exaggerate AI performance capabilities; to not promise AI is more effective than non-AI products without concrete proof; to be accepting of risks and repercussions, such as the possibility for AI to create biased results; and to ensure that the product itself actually relies on AI in a demonstrable fashion.
- Areas where it fails. Passamonti concludes that ChatGPT’s performance, when testing for human-like reasoning capabilities, is beyond expectation and its potential outweighs by far its drawbacks. He warns, however, that ChatGPT lacks some fairly basic knowledge and suffers from ‘hallucinations’ (i.e. the responses generated are, at times, nonsensical in the context of the data it has been trained on), and it can be easily persuaded that its answers are wrong (the example of 2+2=5 gone viral immediately comes to mind). Also, when given a task that can be completed by using knowledge-transfer reasoning (i.e., exercises where the problem is well defined but the techniques to solve the problem are not known and the rules to solve the problem can be found by ‘borrowing’ the solutions from other domains), ChatGPT’s showed deep weaknesses and therefore its performance was low.
- A tool, not a replacement for strategy. According to Tom Fishburne, the Marketoonist, it’s how we learn to use AI and Web3 to further our strategy that matters, not the hype bandwagon itself, as these tools are ultimately means to an end. He points to the example of the recent ANA Media Conference, when someone asked P&G CMO Marc Pritchard how marketers should think about AI when figuring out “what’s hype and what’s substantive.” Marc Pritchard responded: “Don’t talk about the algorithms. Don’t talk about the technology. Don’t talk about AI. Talk about the outcome you want. What are we trying to achieve?”
- The ultimate creative test: can it write a poem? To further investigate ChatGPT’s creative capabilities, we dived also into this area. In his analysis, Massimo Passamonti shares how he asked ChatGPT to compose a one-sentence poem expressing the fragility of humankind. ChatGPT produced “two very emotional and human-like poems”, which also have not been copied from existing authors, i.e. it somehow composed them from scratch. However, Australian singer-songwriter, actor and novelist Nick Cave, in his newsletter, strongly criticizes namely ChatGPT’s creative capabilities, particularly its ability to produce a song “in the style of Nick Cave”. According to Cave, ChatGPT may be able to write a speech or an essay or a sermon or an obituary but it cannot create a genuine song; it doesn’t have the capacity for a shared transcendent experience, as it has no limitations from which to transcend. He concludes that the algorithm-produced song is “a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human”.
Undoubtedly, the AI-powered chatbot is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, according to Massimo Passamonti: “ChatGPT knows by far more than any human being. Challenging its knowledge is utterly pointless.” Therefore, also as marketers, we should rather focus on those aspects that make ChatGPT unique and incredibly powerful, and not on the cycle of hype or disappointment – or its faults.Novelty Media, via SmartAdd, has developed an innovative mobile media technology framework for video and static content delivery endorsed by Mobile Operators. Our media channel has distinctive in-built AI functionalities by design making it uniquely impactful, but without losing its human face. Our audience consists solely of humans – verified mobile subscribers. With the hype around AI getting progressively louder, we help you break through the clutter, grab your audience’s attention and achieve the desired outcome in an efficient and transparent way, by getting your brand noticed and elevating its message from the surrounding sea of sameness. Reach out and let us explore together how you can benefit from our solution.