Generative AI models for texts and images have captured the imaginations of professionals worldwide. ChatGPT has become the most ubiquitous among the large language models (LLMs), where interest in the text-generating tool has skyrocketed since its introduction to the public in late November 2022. This includes B2B marketers, who are tapping into ChatGPT for their marketing campaigns.
“These generative models are potentially valuable across a number of business functions, but marketing applications are perhaps the most common,” as Harvard Business Review describes. Indeed, marketing teams have some of the most creative roles at B2B companies. As we will find, ChatGPT’s strengths often outweigh its weaknesses where B2B marketing tasks apply.
Still, it’s critical marketers understand how they should interact with ChatGPT, ChatGPT’s limitations, and the best use cases for ChatGPT as part of their daily responsibilities. In this article, we’ll explore opportunities for marketers to not only make their jobs easier but add real value to both their processes and their creative output.
Generative AI and B2B Marketing: What’s the Big Deal?
ChatGPT uses a powerful deep-learning algorithm called GPT (generative pre-trained transformer) to understand and process natural language inputs, then generate realistic and relevant responses to the best of its ability. Its creators trained GPT by using hundreds of billions of words from a wide variety of online sources and libraries.
It didn’t take long for the general public — including B2B marketing professionals — to realize ChatGPT’s value. “Just five days after launching, the app garnered more than a million users who have used the technology to do everything from write essays, research topics, draft emails and templates, and fix code,” Forbes magazine reports.
Working successfully within ChatGPT’s limitations
Now, marketers are leveraging ChatGPT for blog posts, email copy, social media copy, and other writing tasks. As we will find, they are also using ChatGPT to assist them with research, topic ideation, and competitive analyses.
But ChatGPT and other generative AI tools are a long way from replacing human marketing professionals in these efforts. OpenAI, the organization that created ChatGPT, says so themselves: “ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.” It still takes training, professional experience, and a discerning human eye to greenlight content before it can be successful.
Getting Your B2B Marketing Team Started with ChatGPT
The race to “upskill” marketing teams by augmenting their capabilities with ChatGPT has begun. As you prepare your team for success using generative AI, consider these five B2B marketing use cases and how ChatGPT can help.
1. Conducting brand-clarity research
Brand-clarity research answers the question, “Do our target buyers understand our brand?” B2B marketers uncover their audiences’ perceptions of their company and compare those results with the messaging that they’re bringing to market. This can help inform branding decisions as B2B marketers work to improve how potential customers view their company.
Marketers can ask ChatGPT key questions about their target audiences to uncover useful insights about brand clarity. ChatGPT will leverage its deep understanding of billions of texts to deliver useful results for internal review. ChatGPT can also help identify potential areas of confusion among customers for marketers to then explore and address directly.
2. Researching competitors
Competitor research helps B2B marketers understand how competing companies position themselves in the market, then develop strategies to differentiate their brand. Marketers can use ChatGPT as a starting point for quickly researching competitor campaigns, website content, and target-audience demographics. For example, marketers can ask ChatGPT to find campaigns and messaging from competitors, then study those results to assess potential opportunities. This can become a huge gain in terms of efficiency and enable B2B marketers to think more creatively about their brand.
3. Drafting email copy
Writing email copy is a critical responsibility among B2B marketers; but it’s often difficult to get started, let alone produce quality email copy on a large scale. Marketers can directly ask ChatGPT to produce email copy as they begin each draft. Although ChatGPT won’t produce ready-to-use copy, making some custom modifications to its output saves vast amounts of time compared to writing email copy from scratch.
4. Creating a content framework
B2B marketers need to create content that communicates the value of their product or service in a compelling way. ChatGPT can provide ideas for content themes, structure, and tone, helping B2B marketers with their initial steps in developing a complete content framework. Marketers can tweak these elements to frame conversations around products, services, and value propositions in a way that is interesting and perhaps otherwise unexpected.
5. Finding direction for statistical research
As OpenAI confirms, ChatGPT’s output is not always accurate — the text it produces can be used to launch any effort, but it falls to B2B marketers to confirm and adjust its claims. Even so, ChatGPT can save B2B marketers precious time by providing immediate results when they need to uncover data or statistical information quickly.
Specifically, B2B marketers can ask ChatGPT to uncover statistics related to their target audiences or industry trends, then edit those results accordingly. B2B marketers can even ask ChatGPT to share its sources so that they can investigate further themselves. Although generative AI may produce incorrect statistics, it may also point marketers in the direction of the right topics and high-quality sources worth considering.
Keep the “Human Element” in B2B Conversations
Successful B2B marketing involves interacting with humans, not companies. “A lot of B2B marketing falls flat because it doesn’t appeal to people,” as Fast Company describes. “By creating relevant content that is also emotive, we can connect with our audience as humans rather than just as decision-makers.”
ChatGPT is part of the first generation of publicly available generative AI tools. These tools will only become more capable and specialized as their technologies improve. But as human beings, our expectations regarding content — including B2B marketing content — will also evolve.
Intelligent readers such as B2B buyers will become less tolerant of texts that lean too heavily on AI. It’s your team’s ability to flourish with the support of these tools, rather than rely on these tools’ output alone, that will determine the success of your B2B marketing efforts in the future.