Assessing the Role of Large Language Models in Marketing
TL;DR:Businesses that need superior writing will continue to need the services of talented copywriters. Businesses that need basic, competent writing may be able to use AI-written copy as-is.
Generative AI technologies now possess the ability to produce copywriting and graphic design. This is prompting marketing professionals to consider the implications of AI on various marketing career roles.
As someone who has tracked the advancements in AI and natural language processing since my graduate studies in Romance Linguistics, I recognize the potential strengths and limitations of Large Language Models (LLMs) such as those developed by OpenAI. The analysis of AI’s applicability to copywriting I share below is applicable for now. But given the rapid and sometimes daily progress in the sophistication and capabilities of AI technologies, my analysis will likely change often.
AI-generated copy can be useful in some cases. It is typically grammatically sound, devoid of typographical and stylistic errors, and follows a logical flow of thought. It may contain errors of fact, but so can human-authored copy. AI-produced copy is suitable for use as-is in 75% to 80% of cases, corresponding to the 80/20 rule.
Note: By referring to “copy produced by default” I aim to differentiate it from AI-generated copy resulting from advanced prompt engineering. Skillful prompt engineering can significantly enhance the relevance and utility of AI-created copy, a topic I will address in a future article.
Currently, AI-written copy is limited to being simply competent. It does not rise above basic competence to produce content that is engaging, compelling, insightful, or novel. For this reason, the copy AI produces is inadequate for organizations that have discerning target audiences. Such audiences require inspired copywriting that is beyond the capability of AI.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss generative AI, LLMs, prompt engineering, or similar topics, I invite you to contact me.