<This is the first newsletter I published on LinkedIn. It was written in March 2023 – but much content is still relevant.>
When I headed out for the Christmas holiday in December, the talk about ChatGPT was just getting started. So like anyone who needed a break, I didn’t pay it a lot of attention, especially since I knew the news and the chatter would be there when I returned.
Coming back was like getting slapped in the face. The talk was everywhere. The panic from some – “it’s the end for writers,” “it will never replace writers,” and the excitement from others – “new tools to help us write better and faster!” And still, I felt no real excitement or concern.
Not because I don’t think there’s a real opportunity here and an equal amount of cause for concern, but because we often jump at the next big thing before we figure out what it means for us as writers. And as marketers. And salespeople. And communications people.
I’m not interested in jumping on the bandwagon. I’m interested in what it means, how it impacts the way things are today and are going to be tomorrow.
That’s why I loved the conversation I had with Paul Roetzer, CEO and founder of the Marketing AI Institute, for our first episode of season 5 of the Content Matters Podcast.
“That’s the misunderstanding. People see this technology, and they see these demonstrations, or they use it themselves. And it’s impressive output, and it sounds authoritative. And the immediate assumption is, well, writers are done. What do we need writers for, editors for, if AI is going to be this good at things? But then, when you understand that they actually just make stuff up and they hallucinate all the time about facts and information, then you realize the importance of human editors and humans enhancing or adding on to what the AI generates.”
When I interviewed Jon Miller, CMO for Demandbase, about the platform’s evolution, I asked him if generative AI will be a part of the new batch emails functionality on the roadmap. He told me that they were playing with generative AI to help create emails but to keep in mind that this wasn’t game-changing. Applying this technology is now table stakes.
What Roetzer and Miller said resonated with me. As writers, it’s so important that we understand this technology. It’s here to stay, and it’s only going to get better. But it doesn’t just apply to writers. Generative AI is now getting built into everything: marketing apps, sales apps, customer service, and communications. If we truly want to use it the right way, we need to wrap our minds around how it works.
Here are a few resources that can help:
This is a virtual event on March 30 from the Marketing AI Institute that will advise writers on how to think and apply generative AI in their work. Note: everything these guys are doing is worth reading and attending, but this one is particularly good for writers.
I participated in a webinar on the “promise and perils of Chat GPT,” hosted by PRophet and there were some great insights by all the guests in the webinar. Watch the replay here.
Christopher Penn shared this quick video, “You Ask, I Answer: Future of SEO and ChatGPT Impact?” What is the impact of ChatGPT on your search engine optimization efforts? It could be pretty substantial, as Penn points out. I wouldn’t play a wait-and-see game here. I would start thinking about how to generate awareness around your brand, your experiences and insights, and your products and services that don’t include search. Penn offers suggestions worth considering.
Some News on the Generative AI Front
I am fortunate to get to write a regular column for Diginomica.com focused on marketing and sales tech and strategy. And I get a lot of news in my inbox daily; too much to cover it all. So I thought I would use this newsletter to share some of that news with you, both things I’ve covered and things I couldn’t get to.
These items focus on generative AI.
Propel launches Amiga, an AI pitch writer.
Propel provides PR management software. I wrote about their platform for Diginomica. This past week they announced their foray into generative AI with Amiga, a pitch writer for PR professionals. The company says this pitch writer (which you can try once for free) results in 75% time savings, 23% cost savings, and 113% improved results.
The tool is trained on Propel’s dataset, which is pretty significant (one million journalists, 3 billion articles, and 50 million Twitter influencers). Right now, Amiga writes an email pitch for you based on your inputs, but it will also auto-suggest journalists and bloggers to pitch in future updates.
SOCi announces new line of products built on integration with OpenAI.
I had a great conversation with Monica Ho, CMO of SOCi (a marketing platform for multi-location B2C brands), about the metaverse, but this latest news is all about an integration with OpenAI to build a set of products referred to as “Genius” products.
The first one announced will integrate its review response management tool with ChatGPT to provide automated responses to online customer reviews in real-time. SOCi announced funding of $120 million to help build these new tools, so while they aren’t available yet, I expect we’ll see that first one soon.
Drift enters the ChatGPT party.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Drift has announced an integration with ChatGPT to automate conversations, starting with suggesting replies in live chat. The sales rep doesn’t have to accept the recommendation, or they can modify it before accepting it, or ask for a new suggestion. Responses take into consideration the content on the website, including marketing materials, as well as the context of the conversation. This one isn’t live yet, but you can join the waitlist. It’s also just the beginning of Drift’s plans, so stay tuned for more.
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I know things are changing. That’s how it works. New technology, new strategies, new ways of looking at things – this is why marketing is so exciting. Like everyone else, I’m trying to figure things out as I go along and I’d like to use this newsletter to share my thoughts, experiences, and my conversations with technology vendors and industry experts with you.
This is my first newsletter, so bare with me as I improve and optimize it. My goal is to provide marketers (and others) who are interested in the latest technology updates and how they can help improve our marketing strategies.
I believe technology is an enabler. But I also believe it’s important to stay up to date on technology to understand when and where it can be best leveraged, even before we think we may need it.
I’m also a content marketing strategist and writer. So expect conversations on strategy and tactical advice to be mixed in.
Always open to feedback, and if you have technology news you would like to share, you can find me on LinkedIn.
Please share if you like this first newsletter with like-minded people.