The Pros and Cons of Using ChatGPT in Marketing

Chatbots have been forecast to usher in a new era of AI-enhanced touchpoints before, but the latest generation has seriously raised the bar. ChatGPT from OpenAI, a research company backed in part by Microsoft, is the most capable AI chatbot ever developed by virtually everyone’s measure. Though, Claude from Anthropic, a Google partner, is advancing quickly on some rankings

ChatGPT, like all the new chatbots making headlines, is built using Machine Learning (ML) techniques, specifically a form of artificial intelligence known as transformer models, to generate human-like text. It’s capable of generating content of all types, including drafting emails, writing code, answering questions, creating written content, and even translating languages.

How AI Chatbots Like ChatGPT Work

GPT stands for Generative Pretrained Transformer, which refers to the architecture that powers these bots. It generates new text by transforming text its model has been previously taught. ChatGPT has been trained on a wide variety of text sources, including books, news articles, and scientific journals. However, it doesn’t know specifics about which documents were part of its training set or any personal data.

ChatGPT, like all GPT-powered digital tools, is based on a Large Language Model (LLM). An LLM is an AI model that has been trained on a large amount of text data. These models learn to generate text by predicting the next word in a sentence, having been trained on countless sentences during their training process.

The Pros and Cons of Using ChatGPT in Marketing
There are AI tools built into most major digital marketing platforms today, but few are as powerful as OpenAI’s GPT-4, which can enhance marketing efficiency and effectiveness in many areas including:

  • Predictive Analytics: LLMs like ChatGPT can scan through unstructured data like customer reviews and social media comments to provide insights on customer sentiments and preferences.
  • Content Creation: Thanks to its human-like prose generation, ChatGPT can write blog posts, social media updates, product descriptions, or any other type of content needed in a marketing campaign, and it can help generate ideas for content or draft content based on specific instructions.
  • Lead Generation: Virtual agents, integrated with ChatGPT, can interact with potential customers, answer their queries, and collect their contact information for further nurturing.
  • Ad Optimization: ChatGPT can write or optimize ad copy, create engaging headlines, and generate appealing descriptions that resonate with the target audience, and it can analyze the performance of different ads based on customer engagement data and provide insights for future ad campaigns.
  • Localization: Though automated translation has existed for a while, ChatGPT makes translating and adapting content to different languages and cultural contexts faster and simpler than ever, increasing the reach of marketing communications.
  • Content Strategization: ChatGPT can aid in planning a content marketing strategy by suggesting topics or formats that might resonate with the target audience.

The Pros and Cons of Using ChatGPT in Marketing

Pros: The Benefits of Marketing with ChatGPT

ChatGPT offers a variety of advantages that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing activities:

  • Time-Savings: Tasks like creating content, drafting promotional emails or messages, and generating social media posts can be done quickly by ChatGPT. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Businesses can reduce the cost of hiring additional content creators, social media managers, or customer service representatives. 
  • Consistency: Since ChatGPT is based on predefined models and instructions, it can generate content and responses that are consistent in tone, style, and messaging — which is key to instilling brand recognition and recall.
  • Personalization: Chatbots provide responses based on customers’ previous interactions, which improves customer engagement and satisfaction.

Cons: ChatGPT’s Limitations

Even the latest LLMs are not without their drawbacks, the biggest of which has been called the hallucination problem. It refers to the tendency of AI systems, particularly those based on large language models (like GPT-3 or GPT-4), to generate output that seems plausible but which is factually incorrect or nonsensical.

Efforts are being made to mitigate this issue by improving the training processes of these models, including providing clearer instructions to the model about not making things up, or by fine-tuning the model on specific tasks where high precision is required. Yet, hallucinations still sometimes slip through, which is why it’s important to have human oversight when using ChatGPT.

Beyond, that issue, ChatGPT and bots like it have other drawbacks that impact their effectiveness in marketing, including:

  • Lack of Creativity: Although ChatGPT can follow patterns and mimic styles, it struggles with creating truly unique, innovative content, or ideas.
  • Quality: Even the best AIs can make grammatical errors, produce content that doesn’t make sense, or misinterpret instructions.
  • Coldness: An over-reliance on ChatGPT might lead to a lack of human touch and differentiation in a company’s marketing efforts, which could negatively impact customer relationships.
  • Privacy and Security: All computer systems, including ChatGPT, can be vulnerable to manipulation or hacking, which can lead to the exposure of sensitive customer data, and customers might feel uncomfortable interacting with a digital agent (especially if they feel their conversations are being monitored or recorded).
  • Ethical Issues: ChatGPT can sometimes replicate offensive or inappropriate biases present in its training data. That can lead to ethical concerns and potential damage to a brand’s reputation (as Microsoft learned the hard way with its foul-mouthed bot Tay).

Balancing Automation and Human Oversight

ChatGPT can automate a lot of tasks, but there are some things still best left to humans, which is why it is important to adopt a collaborative approach where human creativity and strategic thinking are combined with AI’s efficiency and scalability. 

Humans can provide the creative spark, emotional understanding, and ethical judgment that machines lack, leaving repetitive projects like processing large amounts of data and generating commonly used content to ChatGPT. This collaboration can help ensure high-quality outputs and prevent errors or inappropriate content.

Additionally, while ChatGPT is trained on a wide variety of data, it might not have foundational information about a specific domain. To overcome this, businesses can input their own domain-specific data to help ChatGPT better understand the specific terminology, style, and preferences of their industry and audience.

Augmenting Everyone’s Potential

While its long-term effects remain to be seen, ChatGPT is already proving to be a remarkable, perhaps even paradigm-shifting catalyst for improving marketing results. It can free up more time to focus on complex and creative work; analyze vast amounts of data, spot trends, and make informed decisions with ease; provide instant translations, automatic summaries of complex documents; and ultimately unlock greater per capita productivity.

The union of ChatGPT and human creativity opens up a world of possibilities, paving the way for a future where the potential of every marketer can be amplified, and more effective, personalized, and innovative marketing strategies can be realized.


Hanlon works at the cutting edge of advanced digital marketing. Reach out today to learn more about the exciting world of AI-enhanced brand strategies.