Once ChatGPT made its debut, the discussion about what it will do to marketing agencies started almost immediately. There have been tons of articles, videos, and podcasts on this topic. As a result, those in the industry are getting a lot of mixed messages about the impact and use of ChatGPT for marketing purposes.
If you’re feeling confused (and concerned for your business’s future), you’re not alone.
So, let’s talk about it…
How ChatGPT Can Be Used for Marketing
ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot that gives conversational responses to questions and prompts, making it a valuable tool for marketing purposes. Instead of typing a query into Google and reviewing each result, you can head over to ChatGPT and get a single answer. Plus, you can keep the conversation going to dive deeper into the topic or refine the responses.
Here are some common applications of ChatGPT for marketing:
- It can help brainstorm new content ideas.
- It can aid in keyword research for SEO.
- It can generate ad copy.
- It can be used to draft business emails and letters.
- It can provide short descriptions for videos.
- It can produce content for blogs, ebooks, etc.
- It can assist in debugging code errors.
- It can analyze customer data.
- It can offer responses for customer service automation.
As you can see, there’s a lot of potential in applying ChatGPT for various marketing tasks. But that’s part of the problem—at least for some marketers. The fact that this transformative software can do all the above (and more) has left many marketing professionals scared.
Why Some Marketers Are Afraid of ChatGPT
One of the biggest concerns in the whole debate about ChatGPT is that the tool will negatively affect marketers. There’s a fear it will replace specific roles, including writers, programmers, PPC experts, and SEO specialists. But there’s also a fear it will wipe out marketing agencies entirely.
Basically, marketing professionals are worried that ChatGPT will make their jobs obsolete.
Part of this is because the applications of ChatGPT for marketing are growing by the day. As mentioned earlier, it can be used to complete a number of tasks that people usually handle. Its current capabilities are already impressive, and it will only improve with time.
The other part is the idea that ChatGPT might become a substitute for Google and other search engines. After all, it is more convenient to generate one answer than to scroll through multiple results on a SERP. So if more people opt for ChatGPT than Google, it could spell trouble for marketers specializing in SEO and paid advertising.
This isn’t the first time we’ve been threatened by new technology, and it probably won’t be the last. But that’s why it’s worth examining what we, as marketers, can do that ChatGPT can’t.
Where ChatGPT Falls Short
Despite its speed, convenience, and capabilities, ChatGPT has its fair share of limitations. There’s no doubt about that. It’s not quite sophisticated enough to take on some tasks completely. Plus, it has the potential to be…well, wrong.
Here are a few examples:
- The answers aren’t always reliable or available.
If you ask ChatGPT a question, there’s a chance you’ll get an incorrect answer. The tool doesn’t actually know if an answer is accurate or not. Sometimes (about 15-20% of the time), it “hallucinates” and just makes things up.
Additionally, ChatGPT can’t always generate a response to a question. This often happens when you ask about current events. ChatGPT’s training data was cut off in 2021, which means up-to-date knowledge may not be available.
- It can introduce plagiarism issues.
If you use content from ChatGPT as is, you may end up plagiarizing. Tests have shown the tool has a tendency to paraphrase or outright copy text without citing the original source. Remember that every response is based on training data. So, it’s pulling and distilling information into its own language rather than producing it outright.
- It often requires very specific instructions.
When you use ChatGPT for marketing purposes, you still have to be pretty hands on. The tool gets confused by ambiguity, so you need to provide specific instructions. Depending on the scope of work, it may be faster to handle it manually…
Ultimately, ChatGPT’s limitations prevent it from matching us as marketers. And even ChatGPT agrees…
What Experts Are Saying about ChatGPT
As discussed in the beginning, there are a lot of conflicting viewpoints about the use of ChatGPT for marketing and whether it bodes well for us or not. So, here’s what some of the experts are saying…
Karen Hite of Hite Digital
“I think that ChatGPT (currently at least) is as good as the person feeding the prompt to it. Which tells you the tool itself is not ready to make (on its own) an amazing copy right off the bat with just a question… I believe that true marketers will use this tool to make their lives easier AND add to it to make amazing copy that adds value.”
“ChatGPT is just the tip of the iceberg of what the automaton tsunami that’s coming quick, fast and in a hurry… For the smart ones of us who grasp these 4.0 smart technologies and keep our eyes on the horizon for what is next, this is an exciting time because we see what is ahead.”
Mark de Grasse of DigitalMarketer
In a previous article about AI’s impact on marketing careers, DigitalMarketer’s own Mark de Grasse had this to say: “You don’t have be afraid of the coming changes, but you do need to be open and aware of them. Start using AI right now, and really start to think about what makes you special as a person.”
Ann Gynn of Content Marketing Institute
In an article about a content marketing experiment with ChatGPT, Ann Gynn stated, “ChatGPT can be a useful tool, but it’s no replacement for human creativity and judgment.”
Dr. Peter J. Meyers of Moz
Soothing fears about ChatGPT replacing Google, Moz Marketing Scientist Dr. Peter J. Meyers said, “While Google isn’t going anywhere, we can expect the landscape of search to change in unexpected (and occasionally unwanted) ways in the next year.”
As for me, I think ChatGPT is just another tool. It’s something we can use to streamline our efforts and become more efficient. Of course, this is only true if you’re focused on delivering valuable, educational content (and high-quality work overall) for your clients.
How the Use of ChatGPT for Marketing Will Affect Agencies
Ultimately, ChatGPT will prove beneficial for some and harmful for others.
Here’s what I mean…
True marketers and legitimate agencies work hard for their clients. They invest in themselves and their teams, taking every opportunity to improve their skills. And they do all this to ensure they’re equipped to help their clients grow.
Becoming a successful marketing professional—no matter the specialty—takes time, effort, and passion. And despite how great a tool like ChatGPT may seem, it can’t replace years of training and experience. It can’t tackle every task or even deliver the same level of service as marketers.
Because it’s not able to do things such as the following:
- Take brand guidelines into consideration
- Apply principles learned from training
- Double-check the accuracy of information
- Speak to customers’ emotions
- Create great copy right off the bat
What it can do is help great agencies become even better. By leveraging ChatGPT for marketing, teams can work even smarter and faster. The time normally spent on simple or repetitive tasks can be shifted to those that require a personal touch. And on top of all that, there’s also the potential to work more efficiently while keeping pricing the same.
Just to hit the point home, here’s the response from ChatGPT when asked how it will impact marketing agencies:
On to the bad news…
For agencies that do the bare minimum for their clients, ChatGPT could be problematic. But that’s primarily because those types of agencies might rely on it completely. And as we’ve already covered, that’s not the way to go. Doing so will just worsen results, cause job losses, and drive away customers.
You shouldn’t run from ChatGPT and other AI technology, but you also shouldn’t depend on it.
There’s virtually no chance that ChatGPT will wipe out legitimate marketing agencies. If you strive to create high-quality work for your clients, you can rest easy knowing this is just another tool you can use to your advantage. And if applied correctly, it can go a long way toward reducing expenses and streamlining your efforts.