TRENDING: Can CMOs capitalise on ChatGPT?

By Louise Burgers, Retailing Africa Editor. The AI ascendency of ChatGPT will make its first and most immediate impact across the marketing function.

By Louise Burgers, Retailing Africa Editor. Only if they ask the right questions… So, how should CMOs be thinking about ChatGPT? What answers should they be seeking? The AI ascendency of ChatGPT will make its first and most immediate impact across the marketing function. The keywords are localisation and personalisation.

The use of artificial intelligence tools in marketing is not new. The innovation comes at the intersection of AI with increasingly sophisticated intuitive learning capabilities, as is evidenced by OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT just over three months ago. This was followed by a flurry of pronouncements from Google through to Microsoft about their own AI investments. But where does this leave marketers? Where does the opportunity lie? Where will it have the most impact? And what should the industry focus on first?

What makes this AI chatbot system exceptional is that it converses with users and learns from the interaction. While the system appears infinitely knowledgeable, it’s not perfect, it must be fact checked, and it has some way to go before replacing human interaction. But it does have enough capability and innate intelligence to be harnessed by marketers in applications that will absolutely alter the industry over time.

The conversations we are currently tracking at CMO Council centre around content marketing and localised marketing being the core beneficiaries of marketing attention around ChatGPT. There is no doubt this is a transformative technology which will impact marketing effectiveness, creating value for marketers to massively scale automated communication efforts. It will also increase investments in personalisation so marketers can converse with customers, utilising all the cultural nuances necessary, and across a variety of subjects.

Marketing performance at scale

The inherent value lies in its assist to increase marketing performance at scale, and to create opportunities for more intimate conversations with customers. Digital marketing agencies and brands have been the early adopters of the tech. For local marketers, it’s an entry into playing the field as if they had a large agency at their side, for the price of a premium subscription.

Content creation is the biggest payday for smaller brands and marketing shops as the sheer volume of content that can be produced at scale with the help of the AI bot is staggering. Personalisation is another winning attribute of the AI assistant, as opportunities abound to employ ChatGPT to localise content to whichever audience is specified, as well as generate intelligent personalised automated responses to customer inquiries, as well as high-quality mailers or social media marketing campaigns.

The customer journey should improve with the correct use of the AI and customer experience excellence will in turn expand. But there is still a need for human oversight as the AI attributes are tested and refined as marketers moderate the programming.

It’s an ongoing conversation. A factual or correct answer from ChatGPT depends on how you ask your question. It’s the same for marketers – make sure you know which questions to ask.


This column was first published for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, where the author consults on editorial strategy, as Editorial Director of the CMO Council.



Louise Burgers is the Publisher, Editor and Co-Founder of She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She also lectures post-grad students in Marketing and Advertising Communications at the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business; and works with the global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council in the Africa region on editorial strategy. Specialising in local and Africa consumer trends, Louise is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger this decade.

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