Does it feel like "cheating"? This is an interesting point for reflection and growth, as the arrival of AI in our sector is truly disrupting every aspect of our jobs. If a "robot" can write a lot of our copy, do keyword research, benchmark competitors etc., does that make us feel redundant or liberated? What exactly is the "creative" part of our job, and what would we do more of if we had more time freed up?
We prize innovation. Findings ways to "work smarter not harder" are always welcome, or so it seems to us. What happens to the ego when we find ways for clever hacks to do the heavy lifting in our everyday professional roles?
Already this is getting a bad reputation with all the hype around students using AI to generate essays, but that ship has already sailed and institutions will finally need to update their assessment methods.
But how many of us in marketing have stared at the blank document, ready to write some copy, but just unable to start? We are not suggesting at all that you get ChatGPT to write your copy, but it can start you off.
With a topic or keyword, the chatbot can recommend headlines, opening sentences and even complete paragraphs that you can then adapt, to get rid of that slightly clunky machine prose. How much more could we generate with just a little kick-start sometimes to get us going?
In addition to this simple use, the chatbot can generate ideas for content, from blog articles to social media posts. This is not just the generic stuff that you will find online, but ideas that are tailored to your specific setting and focus.
Oh, and the chatbot is extremely good at explaining complex ideas in a simple way. This is great for those of us writing to non-specialist audiences. For example, type in "explain what an NFT is in very simple terms, and give an analogy that might help a layperson understand the concept." and this is what the chatbot comes up with:
"NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. It's a digital asset that represents ownership of a unique item or piece of content, such as an image, video, or audio recording. Think of it as a digital certificate of authenticity that verifies you own the original version of that digital asset.
One analogy could be to think of an NFT like a one-of-a-kind trading card, such as a rare baseball card. Just like how owning the original, unique card can be valuable to collectors, owning the original version of a digital asset can be valuable to some people."
Getting outside our own framework of understanding something is not always easy, and AI can offer fresh perspectives when we are looking for the best way to communicate an idea. That is super useful for blog content, but also presentations, pitches, proposals, and other stuff beginning with "P" probably.
OpenAI is not connected to the Internet, and though some observers are saying that the chatbot will never completely replace search engines like Google, you can bet that Microsoft's Bing search engine will see a huge boost in users in 2023 and beyond.
The Bing collaboration is still in its infancy, but it is certain that shortly we will be able to do bespoke market research on competitors, trends, statistics etc., all presented to us in a cohesive format. Of course, we have to double-check its accuracy, but this is such a great start.
Even at the moment, in its internet-less state, we can input data we have found on, for example, student recruitment trends. OpenAI can analyze this, to give us a useful summary, or can explain the relationships and insights shown by your data.
Going further, you can then request predictions, forecasts or further recommendations based on your data, and of course get any technical advice you need on specific analysis tasks. How about a visual representation of your data? Just ask OpenAI's Dall-E2 tool to do it for you.
Again, we are not going to suggest outsourcing this important work to a robot, but please don't underestimate how helpful it can be in getting you started. Bram Adams, a marketer and blogger, was involved in the beta testing of ChatGPT. He was astounded at the response when he asked the chatbot to produce marketing strategy for "Creating AR sketch comedy skits. AR memes are surrealistic comedy where AR objects break expectation and introduce digital objects into the real world." The target audience was "People who watch Key and Peele on YouTube, improv fans."
And the response? Adams felt it was really good, easy to implement and creative. The chatbot proposed that he create "playful skits with your friends and attach shadows from your characters onto existing signage. For example a sign for a restaurant could be changed to be your skit or vice versa for posters, graffiti tags and meme posters in the cities"
Can you see the power of this now? Marketing is a creative profession - no doubt about it - and having a tool that can throw so many more ideas into the mix has to be a welcome thing. Especially on a rainy Tuesday where we just feel a bit ugh; we humans cannot be on all the time.
You'll notice two things in all the examples we have given here. Firstly, the AI tool is only as good as the prompts you give it and the way you train it towards real specificity. In fact, we suspect that "prompt engineer" might become one of those "jobs we can't imagine yet".
Secondly, all of these examples are not of AI doing the work for us, but simply doing some heavy lifting. It generates ideas, does things that might now be considered mechanical, like summarizing and collating information. The human intelligence is needed for executive functioning, choosing what to use and what to discard, editing to add the emotive flourishes and creative sparks, tweaking to personalize ideas to an audience that you know better than any machine.
The point is that with the support of AI, you have more time to do the things that only we can do, and more mental energy to do it well. We are excited about this prospect because, to us, both the wellbeing of our colleagues and the innovative capacity of our sector are critically important.
Go on. Give it a try, and tell us how you are using it, and what you are getting out of it. Let's share these insights with each other.
With AI, the idea of what "productivity" is can really start to shift, because the Human Intelligence (HI) required to make it all work optimally, is something we can create a nurtured space for.
Imagine more space for development, collaboration, reflection and actually having more time and space to get out into nature and be with our friends and families. Machines may, in the end, give us all a little more time to be human.