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Ideas & Insights

  • Writer's pictureVox Logic Staff

The Rise of AI-Generated Content: What it Means for Marketers

The emergence of ChatGPT and other generative AI solutions has sparked a wave of discussion in the popular press and social media – leading many to ask what the new tech might mean for writers, editors, and the marketing process in general.

A big part of our job at Vox Logic is to help clients evaluate and implement AI-enabled marketing tools. That includes ChatGPT along with most of its leading competitors and spin-off applications that are emerging almost every day. Here's a quick snapshot of our thoughts on the subject.

What is Generative AI?

Generative AI refers to artificial intelligence tools with the ability to create new, unique content from limited human input. Founded in natural language generation (NLG) technology, AI-generated writing distills ideas from a universe of big data resources, summarizing concepts in a surprisingly human-sounding narrative.

In addition to written text, there are AI applications that produce original graphic imagery, computer code – even original poetry and artwork. But, the most common marketing application is content production: articles, personalized email messages, product descriptions, etc. There are a variety of generative AI tools on the market including:

  • ChatGPT

  • Jasper AI

  • Copy AI

  • Writesonic

How does the process work?

Most generative AI tools are capable of creating a first draft based solely on a short description, for example, "an article about the benefits of generative AI." But as you might suspect, the quality of the written output is largely dependent on the quality of the input. For that reason, some platforms take the user through a series of queries, starting with an initial description, then working through outlines, individual sections, and drafts.

Much of the media attention focuses on AI's ability to generate surprisingly natural, human-sounding text. But their real value stems from their ability to reach across vast repositories of information – extracting a handful of relevant concepts – and weaving them together into a single narrative.

How well does it work?

First-time users are generally amazed at how quickly AI can gather ideas from across the web to generate a natural language first draft. But if CMOs are hoping to replace writers with software, they're likely to be disappointed. The output consistently falls short of something that's ready for publication. Common drawbacks include:

  • Quality Challenges: While some AI-generated passages are surprisingly good, the overall quality is inconsistent. It's not unusual to get a draft that's rich in minute details while omitting fundamental elements of a story that seem obvious to human writers. Some paragraphs are cleverly written while others come across clumsy sales pitches. Outright factual errors are not at all uncommon.

  • Lacking Contextual Expertise: AI relies on aggregated information across vast data repositories. As a result, the writing tends to be heavy on broad generalizations and light on details. It typically lacks the distinct perspectives and contextual insights that make content engaging.

  • SEO Issues: Search engines know AI-generated content when they see it. And they don't like it. Google’s editorial policies are specifically "designed to encourage more original, helpful content written for people by people." That means that AI-generated content can trigger an SEO penalty – lowering its ranking in the search results or removing it altogether.

While the technology falls short of a silver bullet for content production, most users agree that AI helps move the process forward. These tools help accelerate research, generate ideas, add narrative structure – and even serve as a remedy for writer's block. But they don't eliminate the need for real subject matter expertise and editorial talent to validate, curate, and shape raw concepts into a coherent narrative. Simply put, it's good to have AI on the team, but it's not ready to be left unsupervised.

What's Ahead?

There's no question that Generative AI has the potential to fundamentally transform the way we approach marketing content. But, ultimately, it will be viewed the same way we look at every revolutionary innovation that came before it – as another tool in the toolbox. Its value will vary dramatically based on the talents of the people using it.

Mediocre content creators will use AI to create more mediocre content. Only faster. The many businesses and aspiring influencers who don't have anything original to say will be happy to use whatever AI spits out at them to fill the vacuum in their social media feeds. But that strategy will just get lost among the thousands of other redundant messages competing for attention in the echo chamber of digital content.

We shouldn't expect AI to become a substitute for originality. Once these tools are in the hands of everyone, it will simply raise the baseline of what we consider average. That will actually increase the value of talented humans -- real writers and marketers who can shape AI-generated content with an original point of view.


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