When ChatGPT was launched in November 2022, the reaction was one of great astonishment, disbelief and – in many sectors – dismay. Generative AI and tools such as ChatGPT, DALL-E and Midjourney show just what is possible when a text-based question-and-answer schema is combined with creative abilities. For digital marketing, generative AI offers an entirely new way of gaining access to the minds and wishes of customers.
Generative artificial intelligence combines machine learning, deep learning, large language models and automation within artificial neural networks. Generative AI systems are able to use existing content to create new content, ranging from text, images, videos and audio files through to data analyses from various different aspects.
These results are based on prompts – specific requests given to the AI. These prompts trigger the evolutionary optimisation process.
When analysing a prompt such as “Paint a picture like Picasso’s Guernica”, the AI will usually look at the painter’s style, the style of the picture, the wider context in terms of art history, and so on. Two models are used to drive the evolution of generative AI:
When it comes to digital marketing, content production is only the second building block within an AI-driven data workflow. Data is analysed based on prompts, and patterns and rules are then established and applied to new contexts. These contexts form the basis for forecasts relating to trends, risks and opportunities. Depending on the analysis, data pool and prompt, the AI theoretically has infinite amounts of data at its disposal for bringing the forecast as close as possible to p=1 probability. Both AI products – content and forecasts – are currently being tested out and developed as part of campaigns and marketing initiatives. At this moment in time, there are four key concepts:
When broken down to the essentials, we can see that AI already provides marketing workflows with far-reaching optimisation potential for the customer experience at a fundamental level:
Considering AI from a more in-depth perspective, however, it is a strategic tool above all else; a tool that analyses the wishes, requirements and challenges of target groups, compares these to the competition, and uses this to generate approaches and content for personalised campaigns.
In AI’s abilities, we also see the crux of the matter: it uses personal data to a much greater extent – and how it uses this data has not yet been mapped sufficiently. For this reason, OpenAI concepts (with ChatGPT a particularly prominent example) should be used with caution. Customers also want to know when their data is used by AI – whether it’s as an author of texts or a generator of images. Companies must communicate this in an open and honest way, and with “good justification”. Ultimately, AI is a strong tool, but it is not all-powerful – and it will always be just a tool. Marketing will continue to be about human-to-human communication. It will only be the workflows that will be changed by the introduction of AI. It is exactly these workflows, however, that offer a wide array of new challenges that companies must address.
Technology doesn’t limit us as people – only our creativity! Generative AI is a powerful tool for designing innovative and inspiring marketing campaigns.
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