4 Ways to Use ChatGPT for Local Marketing

ChatGPT and the New Era of Search: Personalized Advertising and Beyond

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As OpenAI adds more features and capabilities to ChatGPT, its artificial intelligence program,  the potential use cases for search, advertising and brand marketing are growing. 

ChatGPT has been making waves across multiple industries since its inception, however last week’s announcement that the program will now be able to search the internet on its own is reverberating within the adtech community.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, OpenAI shared the news that ChatGPT will no longer be limited to data from before September 2021. The program can now browse the internet to provide users with current information, including complete and direct links to sources.

In giving ChatGPT access to that search data, OpenAI is opening the door for advertisers and brand marketers interested in using the technology in new and innovative ways.

“The introduction of browsing capabilities in ChatGPT is a significant evolution in how users might conduct online searches. Unlike the static keyword-based searching on traditional search engines, ChatGPT offers a more interactive, conversational approach to searching, which can potentially change user behavior over time,” says Daniel Malek, head of business development at Intango, a search and contextual adtech company that works with brands and advertisers. “Marketers are buzzing about this because it opens up new frontiers for advertising, and also challenges the existing paradigms of search advertising.”

From the very beginning, agencies and brand marketers have been looking at how they can use generative AI to handle everything from ad copywriting to chatbots. AI has had a major influence on out-of-home advertising, as well, with brands like McDonald’s and Burger King famously using the program to write content for billboards in South America earlier this year. 

ChatGPT’s new search feature will extend those capabilities even further, however it could also create headaches — at least initially — for brands and advertisers that are unwilling to adapt.

“If ChatGPT’s browsing capability becomes popular and scales quickly, search-focused performance advertisers will face a crunch,” says Malek. “Campaigns built for traditional search engines may lose traction as users shift towards more interactive, conversational search experiences. It’s a wake-up call for advertisers to adapt or risk obsolescence.”

With this update, a new layer of competition and adaptation for search-focused advertisers is being introduced to the market. ChatGPT’s natural language processing capabilities enable it to understand user queries in a more conversational context, making search engines more intuitive and user-friendly. Malek believes it’s likely that users who find conversational search more engaging could migrate from traditional search engines to generative AI programs like ChatGPT or Google’s Bard, which would have an impact on the traffic and impressions that search campaigns are seeing.

Adapting to Change

Advertisers will have a key role to play in any transition that takes place. 

Malek suggests that advertisers and brands look at OpenAI’s announcement as an opportunity to innovate and diversify their strategies, first by understanding the conversational search landscape, and possibly collaborating with platforms like ChatGPT to explore advertising opportunities, and also by building strategies to create more interactive, conversational ad content that resonates with this new form of search.

“They should also be willing to experiment, learn and iterate quickly to stay ahead in this evolving landscape,” Malek says. “Continuous learning and adapting to how users are interacting with conversational platforms will be key to successful advertising campaigns in this new realm.”

As companies continue to explore the potential, the ethical and societal implications of generative AI programs will undoubtedly become a critical point of discussion. However, it’s already become clear that ChatGPT and generative AI are here to stay, and they’re rapidly changing the way consumers across the globe search for content and interact with brands.

“Observing the trajectory, it’s plausible that ChatGPT could further refine its browsing capability to provide even more precise, personalized search experiences. We might also see the integration of advertising solutions within the conversational search framework, creating new channels for brands and advertisers,” Malek says. “As AI and machine learning continue to evolve, the seamlessness and intelligence of conversational interactions will likely enhance, blurring the lines between human and machine interactions. This continuous evolution will only further entrench conversational search as a significant player in the digital landscape, urging advertisers to continually adapt to remain relevant and effective.”

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.
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