By now, you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT.  ChatGPT is an eerily prescient artificial intelligence program that writes natural-language responses based on prompts typed in by a human user. Rumblings were heard in the marketing world about ChatGPT as far back as November, but few marketers took it seriously until it burst on the scene through demonstrations in December. By January, it was on the agenda for the world leader’s forum in Davos, Switzerland, and now the conversation around ChatGPT has escalated to a fevered pitch. 

Here are our thoughts on ChatGPT and its future in marketing.

Will ChatGPT Replace Human Writers?

Not any time soon. 

I admit it; I tested it. I gave it the same prompts as a client gave me to write articles for their newsletter, and while ChatGPT did write serviceable, grammatically correct text, the text itself was lackluster. It lacked personality. In fact, it read like a cobbled-together version of the top search engine results for that particular topic – and that’s because it did indeed pull phrases from top results, revise them a bit, and present it as fresh copy.

ChatGPT Cannot Reflect Brand Tone and Voice

The biggest limitation of ChatGPT today for marketing is its lack of brand tone and voice.

A fellow CMO and I sat down together on a zoom and tested ChatGPT. We tried to have it write sales copy for his company’s flagship software product. ChatGPT produced descriptions of the software, but it could not inject the quirky, specific language used by his target audience. He markets the software to a specific type of engineer, and the AI program did not have the wherewithal to change language, tone, and voice to reflect the language and vocabulary preferences of the target audience.

The other drawback was the complete lack of brand voice in the final document. Brand voice refers to the specific language used in marketing communications that enhances a company’s overall branding. What you’re reading here, on the Seven Oaks Consulting blog, reflects our tone and voice: authentic, expert, and warm. ChatGPT writes grammatically correct copy, but it lacks the nuances of expression of human-written content, and hence cannot encapsulate the brand tone and voice of any business (yet).

What Can Marketers Do with ChatGPT?

We’ve successfully used ChatGPT to write quick definitions of simple terms for glossaries and to write “prompts” for longer articles and blog posts.

For example, I asked it the question, “What is content marketing?” and this is its response: 

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. 


The result is grammatically correct – and 97% plagiarized from The Content Marketing Institute.

This is how ChatGPT’s response scored in Grammarly’s plagiarism checker.

We can certainly use AI for starting information, but trusting it to write original, unique, and correct copy is foolhardy. 

It’s a smart machine. It can produce results from scouring the web, and it can display the results according to its algorithm, programmed with the rules of correct English grammar, but it cannot “think” through what the audience wishes to know, nor can it create engaging, original text like a good copywriter can create.

What Is the Future of ChatGPT for Marketing?

Microsoft hopes to disrupt the search market by rolling out ChatGPT as an alternative to Google Search. A subscription-based model is the most likely revenue source, but will users be willing to pay for ad-free ChatGPT results to avoid the ubiquitous phalanx of ads in Google search? 

For marketers, I believe ChatGPT has a place within your content marketing team.

  • Use ChatGPT as I did, above, to find the best definition. Run the definition through your favorite plagiarism-detection software (we used Grammarly) to find the source, and then cite the source of hyperlink to it. It’s faster than reading through multiple web pages.
  • Create prompts by using a question generator such as “Answer the Public” and then use these in ChatGPT to build out a starter prompt for your content writing team. Such prompts are useful to help writers conceptualize a topic. They can then add their own unique spin or research to the topic to build the appropriate content piece.

Despite the hoopla and jitters among many writers we know, ChatGPT is nowhere near ready to take over our work. There’s still work aplenty for skilled writers, copywriters, and editors. Only we can infuse words with brand voice, tone and style; only we can creatively spin a tale that engages and inspires readers to take action. Machines may, someday, be able to do this, but that day has not yet arrived.