There are valid concerns about using generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) in a business setting. It can “hallucinate” and present false, biased information as fact. It can complicate content ownership and copyright questions. If left unchecked by human monitors, its output can skew real-life outcomes that could sabotage growth and the company brand. But when it’s used strategically to augment human creativity or harness data for analysis, GenAI can help communications pros turn out compelling content, enhance outreach and personalization, and spur more meaningful client interactions. It can also help you gain an edge on your competition.
However, there are some important guidelines to using it successfully. While GenAI isn’t the Big Bad Wolf some fear, it isn’t just a plug-and-play app you can use carelessly with no consequences. To successfully integrate this time- and potentially money-saving tool into your company’s communications efforts, you must understand its strengths, its limitations and the ethical issues surrounding its use and embrace the learning curve that accompanies it.
As a tool, GenAI uses algorithms to generate new, original content. Drawing from a huge dataset, GenAI uses that knowledge to create fresh and – hopefully – relevant outputs. The text, image, video and music content produced by GenAI can mimic human creativity closely – and finding ways to use that content to amp up your creativity is probably where it holds the most promise for communications professionals.
Currently, content creation is the tool’s greatest strength and its primary application – and with the ability to generate text, images and videos, AI-powered tools can help produce compelling content at scale. For instance, you can use AI tools like ChatGPT, DALL-E 2, Bardeen, Midjourney, Gamma, Jasper and Flair to generate blast emails, newsletters, outlines and ad copy. You can also draft articles, briefs and proposals. By automating these kinds of content creation, you can free up time for your team to focus on brainstorming ideas, designs and messaging, strategy and client contact. GenAI can even be used to help break through writer’s block and encourage team collaboration. As a creative catalyst and time-saver, GenAI can be an enormous boon for your business.
But you still have to add in the human factor when working with GenAI output to guarantee its successful application. Plan on having a human monitor vet that output and make sure it is presented in the proper context. AI-generated content must be curated, edited and shaped before it is put to use. Otherwise, you risk ending up like the sanctioned New York attorney who relied on case citations produced by ChatGPT – without checking them first – for his briefs, only to learn later that the cases were completely made up in a GenAI “hallucination.” Whoops!
In addition to producing content, there are other valuable ways to use GenAI. One of its stronger applications is to enhance personalization and automate data collection. For example, if you use AI to collect and analyze customer data, it can use that data to generate personalized recommendations, write product descriptions aimed at particular audiences, create targeted ads and even produce customized directions for product use. This kind of personalization can help create stronger connections with an audience, making it easier to build brand loyalty.
Using GenAI to create interactive experiences on your website or a client’s site can also potentially improve client engagement and allow you or your client to gather valuable data and insights. AI-powered chatbots can answer questions in real time or provide recommendations, simulating actual human conversations, and the interactions can be stored for later customer analysis. You or your clients gain valuable customer insight and the opportunity to fine-tune your marketing strategies.
But again, beware the potential demon within: Chatbots might save you time and offer customer insight, but they can’t measure the frustration some people experience when they’re looking for a human to answer their questions and address their concerns but can’t reach one. If your chatbot ticks off a potential client so much that they give up trying to reach you or your associates, well, your chatbot just cost you a client. For many businesses, giving clients a clear pathway to contact a human, not just a chatbot, may be essential to retaining them.
Addressing the ethical questions
It’s critical when using GenAI in a business context to monitor outputs and ensure they enhance your own creative efforts, align with your company’s values, and comply with legal and ethical standards. You also must establish strong organizational controls and policies. Some users might inadvertently use sensitivedata in their prompts, and less attentive users might not verify results. Some might claim the GenAI output is actually their own original work. Discuss your GenAI use policies at length with your team and make sure they understand the consequences before going live with any applications. And remain open to policy shifts; because the tools are constantly morphing, you will likely need to keep adjusting your rules for appropriate use.
You’ll also want to be transparent with clients about using any AI-generated content to maintain trust. If clients understand your GenAI use is ethical and responsible, boosts efficiency and augments your team’s creative efforts, they’ll feel confident your use of the technology serves their interests and benefits their bottom line.
Embrace the learning curve
Don’t expect integrating GenAI into your communications strategy to be a cakewalk. Because it’s new and constantly shifting as vendors refine algorithms and train their tools with more data, there will be a learning curve for everyone on the team, and the learning will be ongoing. In addition to trying out the available GenAI tools on your own, it’s beneficial to read up on new uses and emerging challenges. Staying updated on the latest advances and trends will also help you measure the impact of your GenAI use on your communications efforts.
Collaborating with AI experts or partnering with a reputable AI company is certainly worth considering. Doing so might help your learning process, and it could benefit clients as well. Building an ecosystem in which you can steer clients to a trusted partner with expertise in GenAI assistance can help you expand your customer foundation and increase existing clients’ appreciation for your holistic approach to business challenges.
GenAI has the potential to transform your business by bolstering your creativity, scaling your outreach and enhancing your engagement. By adapting and harnessing GenAI’s power, you won’t just streamline your efficiency, but also boost creativity. And if you take the proper precautions, it doesn’t have to be scary.
Here at Plat4orm, we understand that it’s vital to approach GenAI use with a strategic mindset that is attuned to ethical considerations and is open to a process of continuous learning and adaption to a rapidly evolving field. When you decide to embrace GenAI’s possibilities, let us help you unlock new dimensions to your company’s marketing success by visiting us at Plat4orm.com.