The Uses and Limitations of ChatGPT for Your Marketing
I remember the first time I saw artificial intelligence (AI) being seriously advertised in automotive. I was at a tradeshow in 2010, and Nissan had connected with a company that cooked up a chat solution that was powered by AI. Cue the epic sci-fi soundtrack …
In reality, it was just a chatbot that had a range of pre-programmed responses to questions people might ask. Fast forward a decade and everything being advertised as AI was still just simple algorithms and pre-programmed replies. AI in automotive is just a buzzword used to make dull products look shiny at NADA. That is, until recently.
If you’ve paid any attention to the news lately, ChatGPT is all the rage, and there’s a lot of talk about how this new, accessible AI technology might be used in automotive marketing. Can it write replies to emails? How about a FAQ page about service? Can it write your blogs and landing pages? Surely the answer to some of this must be yes if universities have to ban students from using it to write papers! That’s true to an extent.
Let’s look closer at some ways this technology can save your store money, and some of the things people say it can do, which it can’t.
What Is It Good At?
Need a FAQ section for your service page? Your finance page? Just about any page on your website? ChatGPT is a great place to start. Just describe what you’re looking for and how many FAQs you want, and in short order, it will whip you up a readable and likely useful FAQ section. Time saved!
How about a salesman who needs to describe how to connect a customer’s iPhone to their F-150 via Bluetooth? Yep! Ask ChatGPT for a written guide, and your salesman will have saved 15 minutes writing that email. It will even appear more personal, as if they wrote it from scratch rather than sending a link to a page they found online.
If you can think of a question that has a reasonably concise and straightforward answer, ChatGPT can most likely save you and your staff time (and, therefore, money) in writing the blurb or email you need. It’s simple, quick and you don’t need any technical understanding to use it for these simple functions.
So, What Is It Bad At?
The more complicated, personalized or unique to your store the answer needs to be, the less ChatGPT’s output will be useful without significant modification. Even a simple ask like a Bluetooth setup guide needs to be fact-checked. Right on the ChatGPT home page, it lists its most major limitations…
“May occasionally generate incorrect information.” Uh-oh, was that towing capacity accurate?
“May occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content.” Hmm… I asked for an article comparing the F-150 EcoBoost to the F-150 Lightning, not an article stating that gas engines are killing the planet.
“Limited knowledge of world and events after 2021.” Wait… All the new vehicles I’m trying to sell came after 2021.
These issues are navigable, but you need to know how to give the system the right prompts, and the more important the output, the more work it will need to make it fit for publication or sending to a customer.
One of the questions we’ve been asked a bunch is whether ChatGPT and similar technologies replace SEO vendors. Why pay a vendor to write SEO content when a chatbot can do it? The above reasons outline a number of the pitfalls to doing this, while perhaps the most glaring one is tone and personalization. Writing in your store or group’s voice, with content tailored to your geography, demographics and history, is just not something AI is capable of doing yet. This means you may be able to get the bones of a landing page from ChatGPT, but a well-versed human is going to need to put time and effort into rounding it out and optimizing the content for search.
A Weapon Needs Wielding
Ultimately, ChatGPT is a tool … a marketing weapon, if you will. It has its uses, and it’s more than a fad. What it’s not is a fix-all. A weapon is only as good as the person who wields it. It will depend on what you’re trying to do to know if a salesman can wield it or if you need a marketing expert or someone even more specialized.
For FAQs and the like, this is a tool you can use in-house. For long, robust content that will drive SEO, AI is a long way from providing you a useful output, and Google has specifically said humans need to write content for it to count. So, if you want to do SEO better, at least for now, you’ll need to skip the AI solution and hire an expert or an expert vendor.