How is ChatGPT artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot technology poised to revolutionize B2B marketing in 2023, and what dangers do marketers and brands need to navigate in order to make the most of it?
For a prototype that launched a mere two months ago, ChatGPT — which is short for generative pre-trained transformer — has initiated a surprising explosion in how people are putting the technology to use.
It’s also raised new questions that touch on the very fabric of online communication.
Let’s take a look at the technology ChatGPT and various offshoot programs offer, including some of the very real benefits it offers to B2B marketers, along with an assortment of pitfalls to avoid.
1 — What Does ChatGPT Technology Offer B2B Marketers?
ChatGPT was rolled out in November 2022 by the OpenAI AI research organization founded in part by Elon Musk, and takes the form of a website interface where users type in questions and receive written responses.
The old computer adage of “garbage in, garbage out” still applies even with ChatGPT, however part of the reason that it’s generated so much interest lies in its ability to give answers that are much more human-like than previous chatbots. In some cases this has caused people to raise an eyebrow with worry, contemplating how the technology might be misused.
Two of the key parts driving the success of ChatGPT and other AI technologies are providing a large and accurate collection of data to train the software on, and prompting it with finely-tuned questions — or prompts, as they’re more often called in the world of AI.
When AI technology is trained on a collection of inaccurate or outdated information, it will still produce human-like output, but with flawed conclusions.
The other challenge that B2B marketers using the technology face is crafting the best prompts for a certain task. Thankfully refining prompts is relatively straightforward, and some in the industry have envisioned job titles dedicated entirely to the practice, which means it’s likely we’ll soon see “ChatGPT & AI Prompt Specialist” and variants popping up.
We’ll take a look at some of the areas of ChatGPT use where a cautious approach may be wise, however let’s begin with a quick rundown of some of the many ways that the technology can provide real benefits in the B2B marketing environment.
Before we begin, a recent work by marketing cartoonist Tom Fishburne, a.k.a. the Marketoonist — “AI Tidal Wave” — pokes lighthearted fun at how some professionals are feeling about the swift recent rise of AI.
21 Ways that AI Can Help B2B Marketing Content Creation & Optimization
- Blog post creation and research
- Blog post topic idea generation
- Social media message idea generation and creation
- Keyword usage optimization
- Infographic topic idea generation
- Infographic creation and research
- Newsletter creation and research
- Case study topic idea generation
- Case study research and creation
- Podcast and webinar topic idea generation
- Podcast and webinar transcription and derivative blog post creation
- Event presentation topic idea generation
- Competitive research data analysis and comparison
- Landing page creation and research
- Website content analysis and optimization recommendations
- Key differentiator research
- Refreshing existing content and creating derivative assets
- Identification of potential industry creators and influencers
- Website content optimization research and suggestions
- Email marketing content analysis and creation
- Combining separate content into topical power pages
These are only simple examples of how B2B marketers and brands can use ChatGPT technology, as its capabilities to ingest and analyze text-based content offer opportunities far beyond this list.
As we mentioned, the rub lies in taking these tasks and writing the best prompts to feed into ChatGPT and other such tools. Even when providing simple prompts, most users have found the technology impressive, which leads us to wonder what future iterations of these tools will look like.
“Two of the key parts driving the success of ChatGPT and other AI technologies are providing a large and accurate collection of data to train the software on, and prompting it with finely-tuned questions.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet
2 — The Great Circle of AI Content Creation & Detection: Does It Matter?
It’s not only marketing content that is part of the cat and mouse game of creation and detection, as ChatGPT is also able to cobble together working programming code, and to debug broken programs.
This has led to the inevitable use of the technology to create or modify computer viruses and malware, as Dan Goodin recently explored in Ars Technica’s “ChatGPT is enabling script kiddies to write functional malware.”
AI has put into movement a digital perpetual motion machine, creating code that not only tries to hide the fact that it has been partially or fully programmed by AI, but is also put to use in trying to detect AI-written and obfuscated code.
It’s a natural evolution of the kind of creation and detection that’s been going on for decades, with hackers and security experts ever racing for the upper hand with virus and anti-virus code.
ChatGPT has become so popular with people either trying it out for various purposes or putting it to real business uses that some users have encountered messages noting that the system is temporarily unavailable due to exceptionally high demand.
As users mature in their use of ChatGPT, they tend to gravitate towards writing more complex and precise prompts, which may contribute to system slow-downs or temporary unavailability.
Many expect ChatGPT, which has been free to use, to eventually move towards a per-per-use or subscription-based model, which will likely bring more stability to the nascent tool, while other free-to-use variants are also likely to become available.
“AI has put into movement a digital perpetual motion machine, creating code that not only tries to hide the fact that it has been programmed by AI, but is also put to use in trying to detect AI-written and obfuscated code.” — @lanerellis Click To Tweet
3 — AI’s Impact On Search Engines
Microsoft’s Bing search engine expects to incorporate the AI capabilities of ChatGPT in order to deliver enhanced search results, stemming from collaboration the two organizations have had since 2019, Microsoft recently announced, as we covered in our Elevate B2B Marketing News.
Microsoft has also reportedly been in talks to invest $10 billion in OpenAI — funding that would value OpenAI at some $29 billion, and eventually see Microsoft holding a 49 percent stake in the organization.
Other reports note Microsoft’s desire to eventually include OpenAI technology in its Microsoft 365 suite of business applications.
The search engine community has seen increased interest in ChatGPT technology, such as SEO industry pioneer Brett Tabke, founder of the Pubcon series of conferences and the WebmasterWorld message forums, who recently set up a private Facebook group to explore the intersection of AI and SEO.
Another public Facebook group — “Chat GPT SEO, Content Writing & Marketing” — explores some of the same search issues, while the 21,000-plus member “#ChatGPT, Artificial Intelligence, Prompts, Insights for Recruitment” LinkedIn* group and additional groups on other social media platforms have sprouted up as interest in AI-generated text creation software has dramatically grown.
Google has taken a less embracing approach to ChatGPT AI technology, as the New York Times examined in “A New Chat Bot Is a ‘Code Red’ for Google’s Search Business,” however many believe that it’s only a matter of time before it eventually incorporates its own flavor of AI-enhanced search.
“I definitely think GPT and AI chat in general pose a threat to Google, but not across the board; it’s a good replacement for certain queries but only a fraction of all the things people search for,” Lily Ray, senior director of SEO and head of organic research at Amsive Digital, recently noted.
“15 — 20 percent of searches on Google continue to be brand new all the time — AI will struggle to keep up with real-time knowledge, Ray added.
“I’m actually super excited to see how this changes search in 2023. It would be super cool if Google launched its own public chatbot product but can’t even imagine the implications with misinformation and E-E-A-T,” she added, referencing Google’s abbreviation for its quality rater guidelines core components of experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
“I definitely think GPT and AI chat in general pose a threat to Google, but not across the board; it’s a good replacement for certain queries but only a fraction of all the things people search for.” — Lily Ray @lilyraynyc Click To Tweet
4 — AI’s Impact On Trust, The Future Of The Web, & Humanity
Will ChatGPT technology permanently erode trust, or will the way we view the integrity of written communication evolve to the point where we can appreciate the benefits of AI-generated content, while still understanding and avoiding its risks?
As someone who’s worked for 39 years in online communications — starting in 1984 operating a 300-baud computer bulletin board system — I’ve seen the overall trustworthiness of online content continuously dwindle, first when the Web began nine years later, and then as some SEO practitioners began seeking to game the search engine system, yet nothing has caused me as much concern as I have now in 2023 with the rise of ChatGPT technology.
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever have a surefire way to show which bits of information we read online have been crafted by a human and which are the result of ChatGPT technology — imagine an all-powerful web browser extension that somehow had such a power — so acceptance of the widespread use of AI seems inevitable.
Trust is a cornerstone of B2B marketing success, and a key issue with the use of ChatGPT technology is how it can best be used without compromising trust.
A big part of earning trust in the era of ChatGPT will come from marketers who have taken AI-generated writing and spent appropriate time correcting any errors and adding human embellishments that will make content stand out from what is likely to be a sea of similar information.
If ChatGPT technology output is able to answer all our B2B product or service questions, and we can save great amounts of time in the process, what’s the problem?
When we can no longer easily tell whether the words we’re reading are from a human or AI technology — a milestone that is upon us — the entirety of written communication will be forever altered.
Other areas of society are also struggling with the technology too, such as the concerns of educators outlined recently in “NYC schools block ChatGPT, fearing negative impact on learning.”
While certainly creating legitimate new concerns, the technology also provides unexpected opportunities, such as DeepBrain AI’s offering Re;memory, which builds “digital twins,” as PetaPixel recently explored in “Eerie AI Tech Processes Photos to Let You Talk to Dead Loved Ones.”
Artists and video and still image professionals also face similar prospects in their visual realms, as I explored in “Riding The Razor’s Edge of AI in B2B Marketing,” and new non-text-based derivatives are being launched regularly, such as those covered in “Microsoft’s new AI can simulate anyone’s voice with 3 seconds of audio,” adding renewed interest in being able to interact with an artificial version on anyone living or dead, as the New York Times recently explored in “A.I. Is Becoming More Conversational. But Will It Get More Honest?”
“Earning trust in the era of ChatGPT will come from marketers who have taken AI-generated writing and spent time correcting errors and adding human embellishments that make content stand out from a sea of similar information.” — @lanerellis Click To Tweet
5 — The ChatGPT Gold Rush Effect & What’s To Come
ChatGPT AI technology has ushered in a new digital gold rush of businesses putting the tools to use in a wide variety of areas relevant to B2B marketing.
SlidesAI uses the technology to to create presentation slide decks, Character.AI allows for custom chatbot creation, while a new Google and DeepMind collaboration brings AI to the medical field, as Interesting Engineering covered in “Google and DeepMind just launched MedPaLM, a large language model.”
New and improved versions of ChatGPT and other AI tools are bound to offer ever-slicker user interfaces, making it easier than ever for B2B marketers to begin using the technology. The next generation of GPT technology — GPT-4 — is highly anticipated, and AI author Gary Marcus recently shared insight into some of the improvements it may contain in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting … GPT-4.”
“Shiny things are always fun to play with, and I fully expect GPT-4 to be the shiniest so far, but that doesn’t mean that it is a critical step on the optimal path to AI that we can trust.” — Gary Marcus @GaryMarcus Click To Tweet
B2B Marketers Will Ride The AI Roller-Coaster
B2B marketers can undoubtedly reap many important benefits from the roller-coaster ride that is today’s ChatGPT AI technology, and it certainly presents a prime opportunity to keep innovating as the technology matures.
With these advances also come subtle obstacles we must be keenly aware of, as we look to view ChatGPT’s AI technology through the lens of what’s best when it comes to providing best-answer B2B marketing content.
2023 is set to be a breakthrough year when it comes to AI, and we hope that the areas we’ve explored here will help as you navigate the ChatGPT AI revolution taking place now.
More than ever before, creating award-winning B2B marketing that elevates, gives voice to talent, and humanizes with authenticity takes considerable time and effort, which is why more brands are choosing to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Reach out to learn how we can help, as we’ve done for over 20 years for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and many others.
* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.