You’re probably familiar with the hype by now, especially if you’re involved in the world of technology marketing and sales which, if you’re reading this blog, it’s likely that you are. What’s more open to debate is where you stand on Chat GPT, the increasingly talked-about AI technology.
Do you see Chat GPT as a long-term threat (for instance, to your job), an immediate benefit (that makes your life easier now and likely even more so in future) or does your response to the new technology lean more towards the “meh. Who cares”?
Since it’s here and almost certainly here to stay, the subject is worth discussing. That’s particularly so if you work in sales or marketing, two domains where its use threatens to become prevalent.
What is it?
Let’s start at the beginning and outline what Chat GPT is. The acronym stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer which, in plain English, means a natural language processing technique that uses deep learning to generate human like responses to questions. Or, in even simpler terms, if you’re a copywriter (for example) you could ask it to create a response to a question like “why should I outsource my lead generation” and get back a more than passable response.
So skilled and experienced copywriters and sales directors, go home. Your pitch is complete, and your work is done. Even better, it’s done quickly. Chat GPT interactions are not only broadly accurate (with some limitations), they’re also natural sounding and immediate. Need text for a marketing campaign? No more missed deadlines.
What’s not to like?
The acid test
Well, what happens when hype meets reality? We put Chat GPT to the test and asked it the same question you might ask when doing your marketing planning: “why should I outsource my lead generation telemarketing”?
What we got back was mildly impressive. Yes, only mildly, but certainly not unimpressive. On the plus side of the ledger, the response was indeed natural-sounding, well crafted, easily readable, and comprehensive. It also, as advertised, came quickly. But while it provided a useful catalogue of points to think about when deciding whether you should, indeed, outsource your lead generation telemarketing, it wasn’t persuasive. That, we suspect, is because while formulated based on collective experience, the respondent (Chat GPT) itself had no direct experience, and that was obvious within a sentence.
Here’s one way to think about Chat GPTs limitations. The most persuasive tool in the marketer’s collateral library is almost always the Case Study. Case Studies don’t tell you what should happen when a decision is made and something is done; they tell you what did happen when it was done. Nothing guides us as convincingly as lived experience. We know, most of the time, what we should do; when we consider recruiting someone to do it, we want to know that they’ve done it before and understand the results they achieved.
So, if you ask Chat GPT to tell you why should outsource your telemarketing, you’ll get a thoroughly researched and reasonable answer. But here’s the rub; ask Chat GPT “tell me about your most recent campaign and why it was successful…well, not so much. There’s no case study to be drawn from pirating the experience of others.
To use a metaphor, an artificial intelligence may have absorbed any number of medical texts but to imagine that replaces the surgeon’s eye and experience is another thing altogether. Would you want to rely on Chat GPT to operate on your and save your life, let alone write your copy? I’d rather put myself in the hands of an experienced surgeon.
Chat GPT is, for now and for marketers, a useful tool. For what it is and what it does, it’s certainly a valuable short-cut; in some ways playing the role of an uber-Google; a research tool with a heightened ability to communicate responses to speed you on your way to better planning and decision-making.
But it’s not a replacement for human skills and it’s not a cure-all for whatever might be ailing sales and marketing results. Harness its benefits by all means, but don’t expect it to out-perform your best in-house or outsourced human resources.
In the end, sales and marketing deliver results when human relationships between enterprises and prospects are formed which leads to needs being identified and objections being overcome. Experienced human marketers can do that. Artificial Intelligence, at least for now, can’t.