What hospitality and winery marketers need to know about AI tools like ChatGPT

Digital Marketing

Shana Bull is a marketing educator and digital storyteller, working with wine, food, hospitality businesses, teaching classes on marketing, and freelance writing. Reach her with your questions about digital marketing at shana@shanabull.com, @sharayray on Instagram or at shanabull.com.

Read Shana’s past columns.

Without knowing it, for years, artificial intelligence has played an integral part in our lives.

We've trusted adaptive-learning technology to perfect our documents with Grammarly, Google Docs and Microsoft Word; recommend TV shows based on our viewing habits through Netflix; and filter spam from inboxes via Gmail. All these were before ChatGPT by Open AI came along and took the digital world by storm.

To kick off this piece, I used a website called Jasper.ai to construct an outline for me and help me come up with specific words when I felt like they were just beyond my reach. This allowed me to get my thoughts into a well-structured, cohesive article.

And then I added my own voice. Because at the end of the day, that’s what is important when it comes to social media marketing.

AI is a powerful tool. According to Ben Parr, a journalist-turned-founder who is the president and co-founder of Octane AI and author of “The Social Analyst newsletter"(benparr.substack.com), “AI is going to rapidly change everything, and we aren’t ready for it.”

He currently posts TikTok videos (tiktok.com/@benparr) with details about AI tools (some favorites include Quillbot, Octane AI, Tome AI, and TweetHunter), as well as reports on technology and business. He concludes marketers should take advantage of the tools available.

“Marketers should be invigorated by all the ways they can leverage A.I. to scale their marketing and writing. There are marketers right now who are using A.I. to multiply their content creation, increase their SEO, write more newsletters, create ad copy, write YouTube and TikTok scripts, and much more. The deeper a marketer goes into A.I., the more they can automate and grow,” Parr wrote.

According to a survey conducted by United Kingdom-based technology company Aira, only 37% of marketers currently use AI tools to help produce written content, with 63% hesitant to use it. One thing to note is this study was done before ChatGPT took over the tech news cycle.

If you are wondering what ChatGPT is, it is a chatbot launched by a company called OpenAI in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI's GPT-3, which is an autoregressive language model that uses deep learning to produce human-like text.

How AI can help North Bay marketers

Oh, and currently it's free to use. So now that ChatGPT is here and free for now, what does this mean for marketers, specifically those hospitality marketers here in the North Bay?

Personally, I like ChatGPT for ideation and research.

For many, the thought of starting with a blank slate can be intimidating, but inspiration is your greatest asset when it comes to creativity. I sometimes ask the app questions about what I'm trying to create, which sparks ideas for my content.

For hospitality marketers, this means that AI can be used as a tool to help you come up with engaging ideas so that you can refine them further through your own unique writing style.

Potential uses for ChatGPT AI in wine marketing

1. Generate ideas and marketing angles for your marketing.

2. Repurpose past content for social media, white papers, blog posts, and email marketing.

3. Analyze what job tasks take the most time and identify the biggest issues, break them into smaller parts, and apply AI to accelerate those tasks.

4. Brainstorm creative ways of engaging customers through campaigns or loyalty programs (seriously, ask it for an outline with dates for a drip campaign for your next event or new release).

5. Create personalized content, such as a special message to email to customers on their birthdays or anniversaries.

6. Provide ideas for creating a new, unique wine-tasting experience for customers.

7. Brainstorm ways to use machine learning and data analysis to gain a deeper understanding and create actionable insights from your data, like insights from social media, email opens, or your wine club data.

8. Create images using Canva’s new “text to image” AI-image generator.

Current AI limitations

Here are a few important things to note:

1. It takes work to understand the best commands. The better you get at providing commands, the more the AI will provide information specific to what you are looking for. Similarly, if you're delegating to a team member, you have to explain what you need clearly.

2. For anyone wondering if AI will take over our jobs, the answer is no. The reason is that AI cannot think creatively on its own. Instead, it requires humans to provide the words and context for it.

And the more creative we are at understanding how to provide input, the better the content AI can help you create. Honestly, it's like using Google Search or YouTube to figure out an issue you have at work. The information is already out there, but you need to know how to find it.

3. AI requires consistent input and ongoing refinement. In fact, GPT-3 can only access information from before 2021. This demonstrates the importance of keeping up-to-date with trends and the evolving world.

And, let's be honest — we all know how much technology and digital marketing have changed in the past two years.

4. Real people need to fill in the blanks. Right now, not all of the copy that AI generates is factual, so it would be a bad idea for your business to, say, ask ChatGPT to create a blog post and add it to your website as is.

You won't know if the information is correct, and honestly, you want content on your website to have your own point of view, which cannot be created with AI. Marketers still make sure to edit and rewrite anything AI provides to be in the brand voice.

AI should be used as a tool to help you create content faster, smoother, and more creatively — but the beginning and end results still require human intervention.

Parr expanded on this idea when we talked.

“AI is both an incredible tool for marketers and also a worrying trend. I do suspect that more companies will decide they can do more with smaller marketing teams by using AI This means that the marketers who know how to use and manage AI are the ones who will have future-proofed careers,” Parr said.

While ChatGPT may have taken over the tech news cycle, it doesn't mean that AI is taking over yet. For now, AI should be used as a tool to help you create content, but it is nothing more than that: an aid at your disposal.

Despite its recent coverage, AI hasn't taken over the hospitality marketing industry yet. So, if you're here reading this right now, consider yourself lucky. You have a chance to be an early adopter and take advantage of ChatGPT's free services while they are still easily accessible.

Then, when AI becomes more popular in the future, you will already have experience with it and know how to best utilize these tools.

And you’ll be ahead of those who didn’t think this trend would grow.

As marketers, we need to find ways to use AI responsibly and strategically, trusting our own judgment when it comes to content creation. If you are interested in learning even more, email me to discuss hosting a class on AI best practices for your business.

Digital Marketing

Shana Bull is a marketing educator and digital storyteller, working with wine, food, hospitality businesses, teaching classes on marketing, and freelance writing. Reach her with your questions about digital marketing at shana@shanabull.com, @sharayray on Instagram or at shanabull.com.

Read Shana’s past columns.

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