AI In Marketing Ensures The Survival Of Artists Who ‘Think Different’

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Let’s go back to 1997. Steve Jobs returns to Apple and everything is in the mud. The company needs to turn the tables and come up with an epic campaign that would solidify the brand for decades to come.

The marketing agency hired for the campaign uses AI and writes the pitch based on these suggestions (from ChatGPT):

  • Showcase the company’s latest and most innovative products.
  • Highlight the user-friendly features of those products.
  • Highlight the company’s commitment to design and user experience.
  • Emphasize the company’s brand values and mission.

Would the final campaign be as good as the “Think Different” campaign that we ended up getting? Can AI come up with campaigns like “Just Do It,” “Finger Lickin’ Good,” and “The Happiest Place on Earth”?

AI is bringing a significant revolution in the marketing landscape, with ChatGPT leading the charge. If you are unaware, ChatGPT is a tool that can generate human-like text and can perform a lot of language processing tasks. It can even talk to that annoying friend you have who keeps texting you all the time.

You can surely now understand why businesses are drooling at the prospect of using this technology for marketing. To be honest, AI in marketing is tricky as marketing is inherently art. While some see it as a revolutionary step forward, others may have concerns about potential job displacement. And, there are those who remain indifferent. But one thing’s for sure, AI is going to change the marketing landscape forever. Whether it’s for better or worse remains to be seen.

In this article, we explore the potential impact of AI on creative content and examine the reactions of different stakeholders to this disruptive technology. I personally believe that the shift wouldn’t be as linear as one might expect. Through a close examination of challenges and opportunities, let’s try to predict how things will play out.

Phase 1: Rapid Adoption and the Rise of the Misguided

In the first stage of adoption, there would be three segments of people in control of marketing and content creation and their reaction to the emergence of AI. These include the upper management, the underperfomers, and the good marketers.

The reaction of the upper management

Executives at the top of the hierarchy are not always subject-matter experts. This is a common trend across industries, much like politics. While some will quickly realize the value of AI in marketing, others will view it as a cost-cutting opportunity.

Does every executive in a suit understand the value of art, the heart of marketing, and the soul of copywriting that resonates with the audience? When Steve launched the Think Different campaign, he shared an example from Nike. He mentioned that when you see an ad from Nike, you do not think of a brand that sells shoes. Instead, you think of a brand that honors great athletes and great athletics. If you expect AI to do all of the work, it is hard to believe it can achieve something of this grandeur.

As Eugene Schwartz said in his book Breakthrough Advertising, “Advertising is not a science; it’s an art. The most powerful words in advertising are those that stir emotions.” This statement was true in 1966 and still holds true today.

The problem with the suits pulling the strings would be that some of them would see the content AI can produce and think of it as the best thing since sliced bread, leading them to believe it can replace human resources for copywriting and content creation.  Without a deep understanding of what makes art connect to humans, they would want AI to do all the heavy lifting, unable to differentiate average content from epic content. Some creators would be let go during the process. This includes writers who write their blog posts, copywriters who create their landing pages and newsletters, script writers who write scripts for their podcasts, ad creators, and also pre-sales reps who are probably writing personalized outreach emails.

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This would not be the case for every company as some executives would understand how valuable the tech is and would empower their workforce in adoption. But, we will see a huge amount of companies churning out average content and this would work without many issues for a while.

The reaction from underperformers and inexperienced marketers

A report by McKinsey predicts that by 2030, AI could automate up to 30% of tasks currently performed by human workers. A similar study by the World Economic Forum found that of the jobs that are most likely to be automated by 2025, marketing and sales jobs are among the top 10. As you can tell, marketers who do automatable jobs or struggle to consistently produce high-quality content, are at risk of losing their jobs as their average output can easily be replaced by AI. In fact, some of them would turn to AI to do all of their work.

Lazy marketers and content creators may see AI as a way to automate their work and free up their time, but this could lead to a lack of creativity and inspiration in their content. Instead of AI helping them do better, they would want tools like ChatGPT to do everything. Need to create a landing page copy? Just add the main pointers to ChatGPT and let it generate the copy. Need to create a blog post? Just provide some details to ChatGPT and let it make the copy. Plagiarism can’t be detected accurately as of now.

This group of people does not understand why creating content is an art form. Their strategy would work for a while until it doesn’t.

The reaction from good marketers and content creators

In contrast, savvy marketers and content creators who have a keen sense of taste for quality content and understand how to strike a chord with their audience will recognize that AI cannot replace their work. Instead, they will see it as a tool to enhance their performance, eliminate human errors, and remove the mental fog that all artists endure at some point. These marketers will use the technology to take their work from a 7 out of 10 to a 9 out of 10.

Here are some ways content creators can use a tool like ChatGPT to enhance their performance:

  • Generate ideas and base outlines
  • Edit and linguistically correct content inputs
  • Rewrite content in a specific writing style or framework
  • Get suggestions on writing content for a particular audience segment

The possibilities are endless!

Phase 2: The Spam-Fest and the Repercussions That Follow

As the adoption of AI in content creation continues to rise, it’s important to understand how these tools work. ChatGPT, for example, is a language model that uses machine learning from a large dataset to generate text. It studies other people’s work and generates an output on similar lines. Variations would show up based on your original input. According to ChatGPT itself, “it may generate text that is similar to text it has seen before in its training data.” Using ChatGPT to generate content will result in variations of content that you or others in your field have already written. It is essentially paraphrasing with extra steps.

While ChatGPT is an excellent replacement for content creators who paraphrase other people’s work, it cannot replace the work of thought leaders and critical thinkers. As the adoption of AI in content creation increases, we will start seeing a lot of content produced through AI. Websites will have similar copywriting, blog content, newsletters, and social media posts.

The API of an AI tool connected to an automation tool can take this to dangerous levels. For example, automation can be used to write comments or generate personalized outreach emails in bulk. SEO specialists might also flood low-competition keywords with API-generated content. To showcase an example, I picked a random post from LinkedIn and had ChatGPT create a comment for it:

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The output is pretty usable. I can easily establish an automated process where the workflow generates comments for each post on my LinkedIn feed without expending any human effort. If others begin to do the same, it can wreak havoc on the platform. We can say the same for pretty much any platform. As this practice becomes more widespread, we can expect a significant decline in user experience. Dark times are ahead of social media users!

As the spam-fest continues, big players like Google and Facebook will work on figuring out how to stop the spam. With the plethora of data and resources in their possession, it’s not a matter of if but when.

Thanks to the Youtube channel, AI in a Minute, I was able to learn about tools such as Huggingface’s GPT2 Output Detector and GPT Zero Plagiarism Detector, both of which can detect if a piece of content has been written by AI. It does the job fairly well but fails to exempt content that has only slightly been assisted by AI.

I have two drafts of this article (up to this point). One of them is the original copy and the other one is a modified copy where I have taken the help of ChatGPT to make some linguistic changes. Ironically, the AI-assisted copy received a 95% “real” score on the Huggingface tool, while the original draft received a 25% “real” score. Removing four sentences that I generated from ChatGPT as an example in the opening section of the article dramatically increased the score from 25% to 99% “real” for the original draft. For the AI-improved draft, it changed the score from 95% to 99% “real”.

Score with a few sentences generated from ChatGPT as an example

Score after the removal of those sentences

While these tools aren’t perfect and cannot be taken at face value, progress is being made, and soon big data will catch on with much more accuracy. And when this happens, penalties will likely follow.

On the other end, consumers will become more adept at identifying AI-generated content and subsequently begin to ignore it. To illustrate this point, I used a tool called Copy AI to generate a cold email pitch targeted at Bill Gates using his LinkedIn profile and a description of ChatGPT from Wikipedia. Here’s what it came up with:

Generate five of these and you will know that the tool uses texts and keywords from the target’s LinkedIn profile and creates the copy. It puts two and two together to align the product with the person but the results are sometimes disastrous. The messages have no soul. As I had mentioned earlier, tools like Copy AI and ChatGPT are potent if you let them do some of your jobs instead of all the work. As people start getting more of these AI-personalized emails, they would soon be able to tell that they are computer generated.

As the prevalence of AI-generated content increases, businesses may experience a decline in engagement levels from both consumers and platforms. Big data corporations like Google and Facebook will work to combat the rise of AI-generated spam, potentially lowering reach or decreasing rankings for such content. At the same time, audiences will begin to recognize and ignore AI-generated content, resulting in a decline in effectiveness for businesses that blindly rely on AI as a replacement for human input and creativity.


Update: Google released its guidelines for AI-generated content on Feb 8, 2023.

Phase 3: The Rise of the Hybrid Model and the Survival of the Critical Thinkers

In Phase 3, we see a partial return to the status quo as businesses begin to realize the importance of standing out in the ocean of uninspired content, while also avoiding penalties levied by big data corporations. This realization leads to a renewed focus on the role of artists in marketing and content creation.

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The savvy marketers and content creators discussed in Phase 1 will be at the forefront of this shift, as they have already integrated AI into their processes to eliminate their own limitations. These early adopters have a deep understanding of both the limitations and potential of AI, and as a result, will have become even more skilled marketers.

As more businesses follow suit and begin to understand the value of incorporating AI into their marketing strategies, we will see the rise of the hybrid model. In this model, AI and human efforts work in tandem to produce the highest quality content possible.

However, it’s not all good news. Inexperienced or lower-skilled marketers will continue to be at risk of losing their jobs as mundane tasks and lower-tier content can be produced and automated by AI. The only option for them would be to improve their skills and bring better outputs. As the tech advances, the need for out-of-the-box thinkers and good marketers would continue to increase. Businesses must invest in their workforce and provide training and development opportunities to stay competitive in the evolving marketing landscape.

To close this section, I will reference a quote that has been frequently cited in the discourse surrounding AI:

“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us”

Trivia: How ChatGPT Helped in the Creation of This Article

It would be unfair to have this article end without some meta-commentary on how AI assisted in its creation. To provide some background, I am a small marketer from India and English is not my first language. Despite being well-versed in Western culture through my consumption of media, my linguistic abilities may not always align with American writing standards and ChatGPT has significantly helped in making improvements. My process involves utilizing the tool to rewrite paragraphs in an American business writing format and then thoroughly reviewing the original draft, comparing it with the AI-generated result, to identify any areas where further improvement is necessary, subsequently making adjustments to the copy I originally wrote.

If you compare the AI suggestion to what I ended up having in the final copy, you will notice that I’ve only incorporated a few linguistic suggestions. Needless to say, ChatGPT has become my personal editor effectively pre-editing my work before it reaches human editors. This streamlines the editing process for both writers and editors alike.

In addition to utilizing ChatGPT for linguistic revisions, I also employed the tool to generate ideas for the article. Initially, I had intended for this to be a LinkedIn post, but upon further consideration, I decided to expand it into a more comprehensive piece. I utilized ChatGPT to process my initial LinkedIn draft and generate ideas.


I also had it review my work and fetch relevant statistics.

Final Thoughts

The sudden rise of AI has completely changed the marketing landscape among other things. And, it is important to consider the potential ethical implications of its use. With the tech improving consistently, junior workers are at an alarming risk of losing their jobs. We are quite possibly about to see the survival of the fittest. This brings an opportunity for everyone to step up as it is hard to believe that AI can replace critical thinkers and those who think of marketing as an art form.

While the initial adoption cycle will be rocky and brings a risk of poor user experience for consumers, once the dust settles, good marketers should be better off. Businesses should welcome these changes to the landscape without taking hasty decisions on their human workforce. The rise of AI ensures that only the most innovative and creative marketers will thrive. The ones who think outside of the box, the ones who take big risks, the ones who… ‘think different’.

By: Nilangan Ray
Source: Hackernoon


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