As the most festive holiday is coming, businesses ramp up marketing efforts to attract clients and boost sales. While a wide range of marketing blogs guide you to holiday marketing campaign ideas, we charged algorithms with doing some marketing work. Let’s assume that we are the owner of a coffee shop and ask AI to help us to build a marketing campaign. Keep reading to know what kind of results we got. Spoiler: algorithms performed very well, but they still need a comprehensive brief to make high-quality work.
Carrying out this experiment, we had two narratives about the coffee shop owner — and two chats with the ChatGPT algorithm developed by the research lab OpenAI. The first narrative had just a vague general idea without any details — like something people can Google. The second was a short brief with a little story, some specific details, and goals the owner has set. Here is what the experiment showed.
The First Narrative. The Coffee Shop Owner Seeks for Marketing Ideas
Here is the request we sent to the ChatGPT bot: “I am the owner of a coffee shop on a student campus. Suggest ten ideas for a Christmas marketing campaign”. And here is what it answered:
Good job, AI teammate! While the answer is prone to being a bit wordy and repetitive — the system doubled items about special holiday menus and contests — it is still a good groundwork to go further. As you may have remembered, we sent a super wishy-washy request. However, AI suggestions covered diverse goals from sales (by offering special drinks, deals, and gifts) to brand loyalty (by supporting philanthropic practices and building community) and included specific recommendations. As an owner, you can take these ideas as a starting point, refine and polish them — and here is your plan.
The Second Narrative, ep.1. The Coffee Shop Owner Finds Out How to Achieve Their Goals
Now let’s look at what we got if we gave ChatGPT some extra inputs: “I’m the owner of a new coffee shop on a student campus. There are a bunch of competitors in the area, but our offer has some advantages. We have an app with a loyalty program. We donate 1% of each cappuccino we sell to the environmental protection program. Please, suggest ten ideas for the Christmas marketing campaign whose goals are: to raise awareness of our coffee shop and to raise awareness of our charity program”. The answer was:
Did you see this? AI kept in mind your story and offered ideas that would help both strengthen your competitive advantages and achieve the goals you had cited. The text itself might be polished — to reduce items, and to make it structured around goals, audiences, or marketing mediums. Anyway, you could ask the algorithm to master this task and make the list look perfect — like one of these meeting reports being sent after brainstorming. Though we did something else.
The Second Narrative, ep. 2. The Coffee Shop Owner Delegates Their Work to AI
We enlarged the experiment to find out how AI would keep performing tasks based on the initial brief and the strategy it delivered. We asked ChatGPT to come up with a recipe for a special holiday menu. AI presented a peppermint mocha. Well, we wouldn’t say it’s 100% exclusive and original. Google gives 10 million results for “peppermint mocha”, while with AI you have one result and don’t need to dive into 10 million pages.
When we moved to the next task, the algorithm surprised us again. It demonstrated a nice concept for an Instagram post to promote the campaign.
Solid concepts for imagery, and the copy has a reference to the charity program which has yet to be shortened. The only thing that completely failed here was a text-to-image prompt. Now let’s look at what DALL-E, a text-to-image algorithm, creates for this campaign. We took ChatGPT concepts as prompts and asked DALL-E to generate images of peppermint mocha.
Some glitches stick out, particularly the last iteration with a Starbucks-like logo. Apparently, DALL-E algorithms were built using a dataset based on plenty of Starbucks cup images. Anyway, what AI did is tremendous. As an owner of a coffee shop, you can consider a bunch of ideas, take one of the generated images (hope it won’t be with the Starbucks logo), edit the text as you see fit, and present the special Christmas offer at your place.
All in all, our experiment showed that using AI to generate ideas and create marketing materials might be reasonable. While there have been some limitations and drawbacks, the results were promising. AI certainly has the potential in assisting businesses with their marketing and content creation efforts. But a clear and detailed brief is still a must-have — there are no magic buttons (and probably there would not be any).