The power and potential of artificial intelligence in market communications arrived with a bang in our office in late 2022. Over lunch one day, a McKinsey executive told us about an application called Chat GPT – a tool he said had “game-changing potential”.
Back in the office, we tried it out. The results were enthralling. Search answers appeared not as page links but in engaging, informative text. Chat GPT condensed, edited and rewrote rough copy drafts into well-written passages. Wow!
Raising the bar
It was instantly clear that Chat GPT was a different beast from earlier AI-like precursors like Google Translate (GT). Remember back in 2006 when GT was launched with the promise of revolutionising translation and interpretation worldwide?
Sometimes GT was good; sometimes it was dire. Oh how it amused us with its unpredictable blend of hit and miss. Almost every week a client would get in touch asking if we could convert some analphabetic paragraphs of Google Translate gobbledegook into passable copy.
In 2016 Google added neural machine learning-based functionality to the service. GT has since improved markedly as the AI component has worked its magic.
Even so, the likes of Chat GPT and Bard represent a step change. They’re not infallible, far from it. But their professionalism and reliability are impressive nonetheless. For marketers and communicators, the revolutionary potential of a tool that can generate informative, readable copy at a keystroke is abundantly clear.
But just how transformational will AI be for our industry? And how, exactly, will it change the way we work?
A brave new world takes shape
To us, it’s clear that AI solutions like Chat GPT and Bard will have far-reaching implications both for our business and for you. A few areas where changes are already happening:
- Painstaking trawling through page after page of, say, a report, highlighting relevant parts to use when creating a readable summary will become a thing of the past.
- Creating eyecatching taglines and slogans will become easier, faster, and more effective.
- Retooling existing copy from, say, a white paper to use, say, in a PowerPoint document will be possible in seconds.
- Editing large blocks of marketing content will be semi, if not fully, automated.
- Writing anything – from a strategy document to a sales presentation – will be easier and faster than ever before.
That’s a quick snapshot. We see dozens, if not hundreds, of other ways AI will accelerate, improve, consolidate and, indeed, transform content writing.
The end is nigh? Not so fast…
So Chat GPT, Bard and others are about to put content creators out of a job, right? No! And you’ll soon be doing Zoom calls with an AI bot rather than a real-life professional writer? No again!
As far as we can see, the human touch will remain crucial to successful creative copywriting – for the next couple of decades at least and in all likelihood beyond. Why? Because professional, native-language nous and know-how will still be essential to massage raw AI-generated output into pacy, readable on-brand messages that carry the desired style and messaging.
New skills and more productive
Over time, AI will likely shrink the field of professional marketers and writers. Those who remain will have a broader palette of skills than today, combining writing and communications flair with what may equate to an editor-in-chief role.
Content creators like us will also be more productive than in the past. Thanks to AI, we’ll juggle more projects simultaneously. We’ll deliver a greater volume of high-quality content to you, according to your deadlines, faster and more reliably than ever before.
According to Socrates, the secret of change is to “focus on building the new, not fighting the old”. AI will fundamentally disrupt our industry; it already is. Harnessing its opportunities is where our energies should go.
It’s a challenge we’re looking forward to meeting, and to discussing with you.
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