Change can be scary, but it’s also inevitable. Just ask Michelle O’Hara.
The marketing landscape has evolved drastically in the 16 years Michelle has been running businesses. As the owner and director of OH! Marketing, Michelle has successfully navigated the opportunities and challenges as they’ve come, not only for her own business, but for those of her clients.
“When I started in business, it was all about creating relationships and building loyalty,” Michelle says. “You just did a good job, provided good service and your customers kept coming back.
“While this remains important, now there is a lot more going on in the market. From social media to AI, it’s incredibly noisy – but if you fight against it, you’ll get left behind.
“More than ever, it’s crucial to use a mix of both traditional and digital marketing methods, in order for your brand to stand out in the current environment.”
Is ChatGPT the answer?
When used appropriately, Michelle says ChatGPT and other AI platforms can assist with a variety of business functions, including marketing.
“We utilise ChatGPT to help us speed up processes, be more efficient and develop content,” Michelle says.
“Just in the last month we’ve used ChatGPT to help write a radio jingle, 10 taglines for ESG branding, core competencies, a job description, an email to communicate an organisational change, a newsletter to a cold list of targets, and to generate ideas to run a competition.
“The list goes on and on.”
While ChatGPT provides opportunities to automate workflows and spark creative thinking, in its current capacity it still requires human input to be successful.
While there are a huge variety of uses for platforms like ChatGPT, Michelle warns there are also pitfalls to watch out for. In particular, she points to the lack of personalisation when using these platforms as a potential problem.
“You, as a human, will always have more breadth and depth of knowledge than a computer,” she says.
“Yes, AI can help you to pull together information at incredible speeds. But you’d be remiss not to take what it gives you and humanise it, personalise it, and utilise it in a way that is going to be relevant to your ideal client.
“For instance, Google is going to start penalising AI-generated articles. Be careful that you are not just pumping out ChatGPT content with no human input. You have to make it your own – otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.”
Michelle says that while ChatGPT can be an excellent resource, its output is ultimately only as good as the input that it learns from – input provided by humans.
“What you get out of ChatGPT is only as good as what you put in,” she says. “The more information you give it, the more patterns it identifies, and the stronger information you’re going to get back.
“It isn’t a perfect solution. If it doesn’t know something, it can ‘hallucinate’, filling the gaps with information and facts that aren’t accurate. That’s why fact checking is critical.”
Michelle also highlights the risks regarding intellectual property and sensitive information.
“We’ve seen companies run into trouble when they’ve put highly sensitive information into ChatGPT, without realising that anything you input then becomes common knowledge that can be shared with other users,” she says.
AI in action
Even though platforms like ChatGPT carry their share of risks, Michelle says the benefits outweigh the costs if you harness its power correctly.
For instance, she suggests using ChatGPT to write emails and automate workflows to keep you in contact with your ideal customers.
“So much of business gets done through referrals, and as such it is incredibly important to foster the relationships we have in place to keep those referrals coming through,” Michelle says.
“It can be as simple as creating a thank you email using ChatGPT and an automation to trigger a send to whoever has referred you.
“Alternatively, you can set up an automated task in your project management software to remind you to call and thank a client who has been promoting you.”
Michelle says segmenting your audience and speaking to them how they like to be spoken to is another way ChatGPT and automation can assist you in your business marketing.
“Once you work out your ideal customer psychographics – their lifestyles, interests and values – you can talk to them on that level,” Michelle says.
“Use ChatGPT to change the language for the customer segmentation you’re talking to and automate different versions of the same messages to target different psychographics.
“Talking to customers in their ‘language’ will make them feel special, and feel like they are being heard, seen and acknowledged for who they are and where they’re at.”
Michelle says you can also use automation to upsell and add value.
“People want to feel like brands actually care about them,” she says.
“Your customers want to feel like they’re getting the VIP treatment, and you can use this to your advantage by automating emails that make it convenient for them to interact with your brand.
“You can use ChatGPT to stay in touch, whether it’s reminding them to rebuy when their products are getting old, introducing them to new products that match their interests, or letting them know about a special or deal.”
Ultimately, Michelle says that as long as you remember to fact check, spell check (be especially wary of Americanisations) and humanise, ChatGPT can be a marketer’s best friend.
“Those who are short on resources no longer have to waste any more time on marketing than absolutely necessary,” she says.
“Automate as much as possible, so that you can focus on what you’re good at, which is running your business and closing sales.
“But remember, a goal without a plan is simply a wish.”