What the Rise of Generative AI Means for Marketers

What the Rise of Generative AI Means for Marketers

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The competition is on.  While OpenAI and Google duke it out to see who can create the best bots on text generation software, a clear winner in the battle over generative AI has already begun to surface — the agency marketer.

While these are still early days for OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, marketers have begun to pounce. From creative production and versioning to content generation and customer service, marketers are finding innovative ways to use AI chatbots to generate more reliable results for their clients.

Already, the content recommendation company Taboola has started testing a solution with ChatGPT that gives advertisers the ability to generate campaigns based on past ad performance data. According to Taboola CEO Adam Singolda, the solution will be used internally at first to generate titles that Taboola account managers can pitch to clients. Eventually, it may be made available externally as a self-serve feature.

At Advertiser Perceptions, a firm that offers business intelligence solutions for the advertising industry, Vice President of Business Intelligence Nicole Perrin says her team is looking at how brands will use generative AI for creative production and also how the technology might someday disrupt search marketing.

In the near term, the use of AI bots and related technologies by search platforms like Bing will almost certainly lead to fewer clicks on search results. On Tuesday, executives from Microsoft unveiled a new Bing search engine that relies on AI and a new version of the company’s Edge web browser that offers its own chatbot service.

“As these search tools change, marketers will need to spend time using them and understanding consumer behavior with them,” Perrin says. “It will definitely take some time to understand how consumers are iterating with generative AI and how these tools work out in the wild. But if they see what it is like, they’ll be able to figure out what the right KPI is.”

Brands that rely on Google Snippets to generate referral traffic are already asking what ChatGPT could mean for the future of search marketing. 

Google Snippets has become an important component in the brand marketer’s toolbox in recent years because the feature gives credit to the site an answer comes from. That makes SEO a form of content marketing, even when searchers don’t click through to a brand’s website. If more consumers switch to ChatGPT to answer basic queries, the current dynamics may shift. At present, ChatGPT doesn’t credit source websites, since it’s generating answers itself. 

“I’ve researched search advertising for a long time, and have seen how Google Snippets — what is sometimes referred to as zero click search — had an impact on what search advertisers do and how they measure success,” Perrin says. “The traditional metric for search was to get consumers to click on either an organic search result or an ad, but as search engines like Google developed products, such as Snippets, which encouraged zero clicks, the goal is to not click, but to have the answer right on the page.”

If people are using ChatGPT to answer basic questions and they aren’t clicking on Google search results, then Perrin says marketers will have to change their KPIs. Click-throughs will no longer be the primary indicator of success.

“Until marketers figure out some alternative way to stand out in searches, they may tone down their emphasis on that type of content marketing if they don’t feel that they will get credit for it,” Perrin says.

Expect to see a lot of experimenting with content marketing and search marketing in 2023, as marketers test the waters of ChatGPT and gauge the effectiveness of ongoing search campaigns. Perrin says she anticipates seeing AI technology change and improve rapidly as more companies enter the space with their own ChatGPT competitors.

“From what we’ve already seen in the past couple of months, people are so creative, so when you give them these tools that allow them to be more creative and more productive, they come up with things beyond imagination,” Perrin says. “I’m looking forward to seeing what marketers will do with generative AI that we can’t even possibly predict at this juncture.”

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.