While Artificial Intelligence (AI) in marketing has been around for a while, the topic exploded into the mainstream in December of 2022. The match that ignited the explosion? ChatGPT. After ChatGPT’s release and the subsequent widespread coverage, many businesses began to wonder how their marketing strategy would be affected by AI.
AI marketing refers to marketing processes fully completed by or with the assistance of artificial intelligence tools. The variety of AI marketing tools can include automated text generators such as ChatGPT, recommendation algorithms powered by machine learning, digital ad delivery systems, graphics creation, and more.
To make the appropriate decisions regarding the use of AI in marketing, it’s important to start with the right questions.
How Can AI be Used in Marketing?
There’s a high likelihood you’re already using AI in your marketing efforts. Depending on how they’re built, many everyday marketing tools are powered by AI including chatbots, email automation platforms, CRMs and more.
AI can be used in marketing processes for:
- Content creation
- Customer service engagement
- Data analysis
- Ad personalization
- Task automation
- Graphic creation
- And more
Let’s look at ChatGPT specifically for a moment. While ChatGPT is technically a chatbot, the marketing community and general public quickly recognized its potential as a content-creation tool.
By entering specific queries, ChatGPT provides users with a response that “answers” their question or does what it’s asked.
Of course, the more detail and instruction you provide in your prompt, the more likely you are to receive a close-to-finished product.
Our parent company, LandrumHR, used ChatGPT to name their chatbot. It started with a query of “What should I name my chatbot for a staffing company?” From there, they told ChatGPT they liked a specific name and to offer up more like that one. They landed on Scout Chatterbot.
Is AI Marketing Legal?
In short, using AI in marketing is legal, but there are regulations you need to consider. Depending on the type of tool and AI in question, there are likely federal, state, and local laws that should be considered.
For the sake of this article (and your time), we’ll focus specifically on the legality and use of AI content-creation tools. There are no legal restrictions on using AI-generated content. However, depending on where you plan to distribute AI-generated content, you’ll want to be mindful of any platform-specific rules.
Copy and Paste May Lead to Crash and Burn
While ChatGPT isn’t the first AI content generator, its explosive fame made the topic of AI-generated content more mainstream. Marketers began to ask how content distribution platforms – specifically, search engines like Google – would handle AI-generated content. Google’s answer was complicated and indirect (maybe they should have used ChatGPT?), but some companies already utilizing AI content may have cleared up some of the confusion.
A few weeks after ChatGPT’s debut, CNET, a major online tech news publisher, was discovered to have been publishing AI-generated articles for quite some time. Unfortunately, many readers found glaring errors within the content, despite CNET’s claims that the content was thoroughly reviewed and fact-checked by an expert before publishing.
Meanwhile, a researcher at OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, noted that the company was developing a cryptographic watermark that would aid in detecting whether content was written by ChatGPT.
In short, exercise caution with how you use AI-generated content. The marketing landscape is rapidly evolving in response to ChatGPT, which means the guidelines and rules will likely change. Dip your toe into the ChatGPT pool, before you do a full-on cannonball.
Will AI Replace Marketing Jobs in the Future?
Depending on your role within your organization, this may have been the first question you asked.
While AI has the potential to replace some marketing jobs in the future, it’s more likely that many roles will be altered instead of fully replaced. Organizations may look to hire fewer marketers while using AI tools to supplement a smaller staff. AI tools may also free up team members to get more done or take on additional responsibilities.
Do I Need to Start Using AI-Generated Content in my Marketing Strategy?
If you haven’t started experimenting with AI content yet, you may be wondering if now is the right time.
Association Analytics, the leading data analytics platform for associations, has been experimenting with AI-generated content. Chief Marketing Officer Dave Bornmann decided to try out Jasper AI to draft a blog post. Bornmann noted that he provided a four-sentence prompt to Jasper describing the blog post he wanted written.
“To say I was surprised would be an understatement. The draft generated by Jasper was about 80% complete. Interestingly, it was my Content team who first suggested trying AI. If we only need our writers to finish the last 20%, think about how much more content our team will be able to generate.”
Some key factors should guide your decision on when to start integrating AI-generated content into your marketing and content strategy.
- Gap between the amount of content you’re currently publishing versus the amount you want to publish
- Available resources to generate, edit, and fact-check content
- Necessity to increase efficiency for marketing-related tasks
- Possible consequences regarding your SEO or usability
- Pressure to keep up with competitors within your industry
The last item in the list, keeping up with the competition, is of particular interest as it may push marketing teams to adopt AI-generated content sooner than they’re comfortable with.
So, what to do?
If you know your business, your competition, and your industry well enough, you probably have a good idea of what the right move is. What we will say is measure your results and continually re-evaluate what’s working and what’s not. And as with all marketing initiatives, it’s important to stay up-to-date on what technology and tools are available to optimize your marketing efforts.
Has your organization already started implementing AI content in your marketing programs? Have a success story or cautionary tale to share? Leave a comment below and continue the discussion!
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