The next person who suggests you save money by using AI to write your marketing ‘stuff’? Fire their ass on the spot
This is what we DID not do to write this article:
Enter ‘Create a blog post about why it is bad marketing for your tech brand using a Shakespearean conceit for your intro’ into the suddenly ubiquitous ChatGPT.
Instead, we relied on our own modest wordsmithing skills to type, ‘We have come to bury ChatGPT, not to praise it’.
With the full expectation that you, as a human reader, will ‘get’ both the reference and its ironic direction to us to actually expect the opposite—as Mark Antony soon so expertly accomplishes.
Look—since this chatbot was launched by the AI specialist firm OpenAI on the last day of November last year, millions of pixels have been spawned discussing the damn thing.
Some content people see it as the end of their careers (I’m a copywriter. I’m pretty sure artificial intelligence is going to take my job) (“it took ChatGPT 30 seconds to create, for free, an article that would take me hours to write”).
That’s probably because other commentators are already recommending it for creating B2B opinion pieces (Better Blogging with ChatGPT) (“I can easily imagine a team dedicated to affiliate marketing or some other transactional business creating a very profitable (almost fully automated) workflow and process for the creation of well-SEO’d content marketing pages”).
American universities, we are further told, are already so terrified their students will get the robot to write their undergrad essays, they’re looking to completely change the way they assess students, and are gearing up for stamping out possible ChatGPT plagiarism wherever they can find it.
Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods? Is it anyone who writes comms material for you?
The real point of ChatGPT
The dust’s starting to settle a bit on all this now—for one thing, we lived with calculators, and something like a watermark system could be easily dropped into such ‘generative AI’ to make it much more transparent as the source of that look at normative ethics you found too hard to do yourself. And for sure, from us all being amazed/terrified at its achievements, there’s a lot more realism in the discussions of what this attempt at Artificial Intelligence really offers us.
But at the risk of being perhaps massively self-serving, let’s share why thinking you could do all your marketing content just via ChatGPT would be a very, very bad idea.
Yes—you could type in, ‘Write me a 1000-word blog post in the style of Gartner Group on the future of the telco cloud.’ And you’d get something back straight away that would be well structured, reasonable, informed.
But it’s what everyone else has already said. This is a great piece of software that’s just a generator based on what’s already been written. It can’t provide original insight or new thoughts; it can’t make new predictions or reveal news. It can only look at what’s already been written and rewrite it in a new way. By definition, it’s old news.
But not only is it old news, it’s everyone’s news. Imagine filling your corporate blog with 50 blog posts in an hour. Amazing! Well done you--look at all that content you created… except now all your competitors have the same content, because they have the same tools using the same keywords and the same source data—which now includes what you just put up.
What about your site is differentiating you to customers, now? Your content looks just as bland and predictable as everyone else’s. So, it’s AI, but it’s AI that doesn’t think. That means it doesn’t know if the content it’s pulling together will be biased, inaccurate, or potentially offensive. Yikes.
But perhaps the biggest reason not to ever do this for your live, customer-facing site is that Google is not a fan of auto-generated content. It’s investing millions on smarter algorithms that can sniff out AI content and demote it in search results, whether that be text, video, or images. And since 99% of online content is written to attract the attention of the Google search engine, automated SEO copy is unlikely to score highly once Google starts to see how poorly AI content performs in terms of actual humans sticking around to read it.
There is a use for low-end content that can be used as a research aid for people working on original content. If you wanted to work up a piece on your own, it’s a great way to collate lots of information from existing sources that you could review before writing your fresh hot take, were you to have the time and the inclination.
An intellectually vapid word magpie… or a team of people who know what you do?
With all humility, we’d like to suggest that a better use of your time would be to use your own personal human ChatGPT: Redmill Marketing Associates.
Use a content agency, in other words, that will do all that Web crawling and research for you but only as ‘step zero’ in creating material for you.
By working with a company like ours, you are contracting experts who've worked in the sector, support the industry, and want it and you to succeed.
We’re a team of people who have also got a grey hair or two, so are not naïve enough to think your latest whizz will be bigger than the iPhone—but will tell you so in ways that might well show you how to market it in a wiser way that will get you solid traction if sold with less fizz.
You’re also working with a ‘chatbot’ that only ever creates content that matches you and your place in the market, based on an often intense dialogue and information-gathering phase to make sure no generic blah will end up online with your imprimatur on it, but only ever carefully crafted assets written by skilled writers and content creators deeply familiar with what YOU do and YOU want to say and what YOUR audience wants—not every Tom, Dick and BT that has stuff out there in cyberspace.
You might think ‘They would say that, wouldn’t they.’ We like to think of ourselves, after all, as an experienced team with a deep knowledge of the marketing and strategic needs of the TMT industries, and as offering expert marketing support from a team who understand technology and telecoms.
But we stand by that promise. We will work hard for you, as a unique brand. We want to create great stuff with you and for you that will have an impact—not just write ‘essays’ that reflect everything about a topic yet also really nothing.
So, we recommend you leave the generative AI alone for the time being—and look to get all the hard work done by a few human Mark Antonys… at least until they do finally turn HAL 9000 on.
Which seems to be taking a lot longer than anyone either wanted or feared. And whatever else it is, ChatGPT is not a 9000 computer that has never made a mistake or distorted information—let alone, by any practical definition of the words, “foolproof and incapable of error”.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know…