The AI decision: Is it time to say goodbye to your copywriter?

The AI decision: Is it time to say goodbye to your copywriter?

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As generative artificial intelligence (AI) continues to develop and become more widely used, business owners and society must think deeply about the implications of this technology. 

The proverbial cat is out of the bag. Artificial intelligence has the potential to replace traditional creatives in many industries.

This presents a difficult dilemma for entrepreneurs: should they embrace the AI revolution, let go of their copywriter (and other creative team members), or stay loyal to the human touch in crafting their content?

This essay will explore artificial intelligence’s positive and negative implications on creatives and business owners.

Here’s what I’ll cover specifically:

I. Introduction – the rise of AI and questions being raised right now

II. The benefits of replacing your copywriter with AI

III. The drawbacks of replacing your copywriter with AI

IV. Factors to consider when deciding whether to replace your copywriter with AI

The nature of your business and your goalsYour budget and resourcesThe role of copywriting in your marketing and branding effortsThe potential impact on your customers and audience

V. Conclusion

The pros and cons of replacing your copywriter with AIThe importance of weighing the risks and benefits and making an informed decisionThe need to stay informed about the latest developments in AI and to adapt to the changing landscape

I. Intro – The rise of AI and its potential impact on creative professionals

Only within the last twelve months, we’ve witnessed the following:

An artwork made by Artificial Intelligence (AI) won first place at the Colorado State Fair’s fine arts competition, sparking controversy about whether AI-generated art can be used to compete in competitions.OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot crosses one million users in less than a week.

Time it took to reach 1 million users:

Netflix – 3.5 years
Facebook – 10 months
Spotify – 5 months
Instagram – 2.5 months
ChatGPT – 5 days

— Kate (@whoiskatrin)
Dec 7, 2022

As artificial intelligence (AI) advances, it is natural to wonder how the technology might impact various industries and professions.

A burning question I’ve been mulling over is – what will this AI revolution mean for copywriters who rely on their creativity and human touch to make a living (such as myself)?

This question extends to visual artists, photographers, virtual assistants, and graphic designers.

The decision facing business owners and entrepreneurs: to automate or not to automate

One key question is whether AI can fully replace these professionals. While Artificial Intelligence has the potential to help with some of these responsibilities, AI could only partially replace these humans.

AI will likely augment the work of these professionals, allowing them to be more productive and efficient.

For example, a copywriter might use AI to generate ideas or to quickly produce draft versions of texts, which they can then edit and refine. Similarly, visual artists might use AI to create basic designs or identify patterns and data trends that can inform their work.

Small business owners and creative professionals need to consider AI’s benefits and limitations carefully and use the technology in a way that is ethical and responsible.

II. The benefits of replacing your copywriter or designer with AI

There are several potential benefits to using AI for creative tasks such as copywriting and design.

Increased efficiency and productivity. e.g., AI tools can easily 2-3x output by providing templates, ideas, and first drafts.Cost savingsAbility to generate high volumes of contentCan generate legible copy for any niche. However, much of it tends to be cookie-cutter and lacks uniqueness.Useful for most copy that does not need much “imagination,” such as welcome emails, product details, social posts, and advertisements.Can be used as a great research tool (provided you fact-check any claims it makes)

III. The drawbacks of replacing your copywriter with AI

While the above is compelling,  there are also some drawbacks to using AI for creative tasks.

Five areas where humans have an advantage over AI when it comes to marketing

Creativity and originality: While AI can generate ideas and content quickly, it may need help to produce work as creative or original as a human’s. Humans have the ability to think outside the box and come up with fresh, innovative ideas that can set a business apart. People are also incredibly talented at creating meaningful contexts. E.g., an AI tool won’t be able to write about how injuring myself in a 30-day pushup challenge last year taught me the most valuable principle in growing a business. Artificial intelligence can’t tap into a person’s life experiences and emotions.Personalized marketing that’s on-brand: AI may be able to handle some personalization tasks, such as targeting ads based on user data. Still, it won’t provide the same level of personalization as a human. Humans can understand and connect with customers on a deeper, more personal level, which can be critical to effective marketing. As one experienced copywriter shared in his video Will ChatGPT replace copywriters? – copy written by AI “lacks soul,” and great copy is about making a human connection between your customer, brand, and product. The copy that you get from the AI machine will still need editing. Clients hire copywriters because they have a bandwidth problem, so paying for an AI tool that requires them to review, edit and update AI-generated copy to fit their brand isn’t what’s going to help them.Emotional intelligence: AI may be able to analyze data and generate insights, but it will not be able to understand or tap into customers’ emotional needs and motivations in the same way as a human. Humans can empathize with customers and create marketing messages that resonate emotionally.Strategic thinking: While AI can handle routine tasks efficiently, it will not be able to provide the same level of strategic thinking as a human. Humans have the ability to think long-term and develop comprehensive marketing strategies that can help businesses achieve their goals.Connecting with humans: Talking with customers, collecting stories, surveying, and conducting customer research.  These tasks require empathy, emotional intelligence, and the ability to connect with customers on a deeper, more personal level. While AI can assist with some aspects of these tasks, it is unlikely to replace the value that a human can bring.

As Helpscout shared in an interesting experiment that they did with GPT-3 to see whether or not it would be helpful for responding to customer support emails:

AI isn’t yet able to directly give the sort of nuanced, thoughtful service that helps companies stand out. It falls into a sort of uncanny valley, sounding convincingly human much of the time, but then being unsettlingly close-to-but-not-quite real.”

Overall, while AI has the potential to revolutionize marketing, there are still many areas where humans have an advantage. Businesses should consider using AI to complement rather than replace human capabilities in marketing efforts.

“Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me.”

IV. Factors to consider when deciding whether to replace your copywriter with AI

When deciding whether to replace your copywriter with AI, there are several factors to consider.

The nature of your business and your goalsYour budget and resourcesThe role of copywriting in your marketing and branding effortsThe potential impact on your customers and audience

Let’s take a quick look at each of these. 

The nature of your business and your goals

AI might be a good fit if speed and efficiency are top priorities, but it can come at a cost to your brand. 

If creativity and originality are crucial to your business, then a human touch may be more important.

Budget and resources

While AI has the potential to save time and money in the long run, there may be costs associated with implementing the technology.

These include:

Access to each AI tool (while chatGPT is free in its current beta, it won’t be free forever). AI tools often come with a monthly or annual subscription.Time and money are required to train team members to effectively produce quality outputs using the tools. (Have you heard of the latest buzzword? It’s called “prompt engineering,” and some folks are calling it the “career of the future.”)The cost of rework and editing. Output from AI tools typically requires a human touch to produce high-quality content. 

The role of copywriting in your marketing and branding efforts

Copywriting plays a crucial role in a business’s marketing and branding efforts.

In branding, copywriting helps establish the business’s voice and tone. It helps convey the company’s values and personality and creates a cohesive and consistent brand identity across all marketing materials.

The tone of voice can convey the values, mission, and culture of the business, and it can help to differentiate the business from its competitors. The tone of voice can also significantly impact how the business is perceived by its target audience, and it can build trust and credibility with potential customers.

Any experienced graphic designer will tell you that visual branding is essential because it helps to make a lasting impression on potential customers. The science behind branding tells us that visuals are processed and stored in our long-term memory faster than words. So there’s more to branding than quickly creating an AI image or logo and calling it a day.

Marketing and branding are like conjoined twins, sharing some really vital organs. Trying to separate could be fatal. #futurpro
@theChrisDo@annelihansson74

— Mahi. MK (@OffbeatUpstairs)
Apr 1, 2021

The potential impact on your customers and audience

When marketing comes across as generic and unmemorable, it can make prospective customers feel uninspired and less likely to take action.

Human copywriters are often better than AI at creating a tone of voice for a brand, as they can understand and communicate the nuances of language and emotion.

Human copywriters can draw on their own experiences and emotions to create a tone of voice that is authentic and relatable and that resonates with the target audience.

Human copywriters can also draw on their own experiences and emotions to create a tone of voice that is authentic, relatable, and resonates with the target audience.

This helps to establish the business’s personality and character and build trust and credibility with potential customers.
Even Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI (creators of ChatGPT), had this to say about over-relying on AI:

ChatGPT is incredibly limited, but good enough at some things to create a misleading impression of greatness.

it’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now. it’s a preview of progress; we have lots of work to do on robustness and truthfulness.

— Sam Altman (@sama)
Dec 11, 2022

V. Conclusion

The pros and cons of replacing your copywriter with AI

Pros of replacing your copywriter with AI:

Potential increase in efficiency and productivityCost savingsAbility to generate high volumes of contentAbility to automate routine tasks

Cons of replacing your copywriter with AI:

Loss of human touch and creativityDifficulty in creating a unique and authentic tone of voiceAI’s limited ability to understand and communicate complex and nuanced ideasHigh potential for errors or mistakes in AI-generated content.

You’ll still need a human to edit and fact-check the output of any content generated by AI. Relying entirely on the quality and accuracy of the data from AI is risky.

Furthermore, Google’s latest algorithm targets and penalizes auto-generated content deemed “spammy.”

The importance of weighing the risks and benefits and making an informed decision

Given the pros and cons, it’s important to consider whether relying 100% on artificial intelligence-generated content is right for your business.

By all means, use AI as a tool in your copywriting arsenal. Just don’t rely on it completely. 

The need to stay informed about the latest developments in AI and to adapt to the changing landscape

As developments in this space are moving so fast, business owners must stay informed, adapt, and evolve.

AI experts are already predicting another year of breakthroughs in 2023. On December 31 2022, OpenAI president and co-founder Greg Brockman tweeted the following:

Prediction: 2023 will make 2022 look like a sleepy year for AI advancement & adoption.

— Greg Brockman (@gdb)
Dec 31, 2022

So, is it time to replace your copywriter with AI?

There are a few circumstances in which it might make sense to replace your copywriter with AI:

If you have a limited budget (like you’re just starting out in business) and are looking for cost-effective solutions. AI tools can be less expensive than hiring a human copywriter, especially if you need to produce large amounts of content.If you are in an industry or niche where the content does not require a high level of creativity or originality. Or if you’re new and still discovering your brand voice and who your customer is.When you have a lot of time to review, fact-check, and edit the AI-generated content yourself.If you have a junior copywriter or virtual assistant who isn’t very good at writing compelling copy, and you just need to push social media posts and “OK” content out to get traction.

However, it is crucial to consider the limitations of AI carefully and to ensure that it is used in a way that is ethical and responsible.

It is also important to remember that AI may not be suitable for all types of content or all industries. It will not be able to fully replace the creativity and human touch that is often essential in copywriting.

As such, a valuable person to have on any marketing team would be someone who:

Has considerable experience with marketing and copywriting (particularly for your business)Can interview and understand your customersGets your brand voice and can effectively communicate itThey are continually learning and know how to incorporate AI tech into their daily workflow to produce marketing assets.Can edit the output from AI tools to fit your marketing objectives.

For these reasons, some companies would still prefer human copywriters. Like designers, they would still need somebody to create assets matching their brand guidelines. In copy terms, they need a writer to match the tone of voice, produce niche content, and so on.

Final thoughts (and how I’m feeling about all of this)

When I first heard about AI copywriting tools several years ago, they were scripts that ran on basic websites where you’d enter a keyword/topic, and the tool would punch out a few hundred words of text. They sucked, and the output was often incomprehensible.

But AI has come a long way since then. In 2021 I started experimenting with more AI writing software to help me produce SEO content that would rank well on search engines, and I was blown away by what the tools could achieve.

The writing was on the wall. While I don’t think we’re there yet, it will only be a matter of time before AI can fully replicate or surpass what human writers can do.

With years of experience in copywriting, marketing, and interviewing business owners and their customers, I am confident that my services as an experienced marketer are irreplaceable.

Having said that, I’m not sitting around waiting for AI to take my job. I’m currently investing in deepening my knowledge and learning new skills. Building software using no-code tools is one of them, and building wealth as a second-generation immigrant is another. So you’ll see me talking about them as I dive deeper into them this year.

I’ll leave you with this parting quote from Naval Ravikant (co-founder and former CEO of AngelList):

Learn to Sell, Learn to Build, And You Will Be Unstoppable.

Oh, and by the way, this piece was written with the help of AI – ChatGPT and Jasper, to be precise.  

Anfernee Chansamooth

PS. – Did you get value from this newsletter? If yes, then please:

Forward it to someone else who might find it useful too.Consider supporting my work and becoming a paid subscriber.

What’s new this week

1/ I’m putting together a list of prompts I’ve been testing with chatGPT for producing articles and other marketing. And a video walk-through. Let me know if you want me to share it with you when ready.

2/ While many folks were sleeping in after a crazy NYE party, I celebrated my 44th birthday with my wife here in Danang. We over-indulged in sweet treats at a high tea & dessert buffer at one of the local resorts. I also posted a question asking friends on FB to share their fave moments with me, and the responses were beautiful and gave me warm fuzzies.

3/ I’m slowly rebuilding my Linkedin profile. Connect with me if you haven’t already.

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