How ChatGPT can equip startups with a marketing strategy

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Growth marketing, data-driven sprints, and no-code software like Canva, Webflow, Airtable and Bubble have changed the way startups do marketing. Don’t get me wrong – these are all great tools to have in a marketing toolkit.

But one thing missing? Assembly instructions.

Working each tool independently, no matter how modern, efficient and digitalised, doesn’t guarantee a perfectly designed chair as a result of this process. Knowing what tools to use, what to combine them with, where to apply them and at what stage increases your chances of a final successful assembly.

This is where marketing strategy comes in. Critical for early startups, accounting for 22% of the reasons why they fail, a good marketing strategy can guide you through this process and optimise your resources, having a clear set of do’s and dont’s in line with your positioning, audience, and product.

Why startups said goodbye to strategic marketing

The problem with it? Ain’t nobody got time, money, or skill for that.

Too much time

The typical process of devising a marketing strategy takes 8-12 weeks. If it is also to include the development of a brand identity, website and communications materials from scratch, it can take around six months.

Too much money

The average annual salary for a Marketing Manager in the UK is £53,269. In the US, it amounts to $110,409 per year. And this doesn’t cover content creation, design, development and advertising costs.

Too much skill

Marketing has grown into a domain of domains, too. There’s brand marketing, product marketing, performance marketing, marketing design, content marketing, outbound marketing, email marketing, PR marketing, marketing copywriting, SEO marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, promotions marketing… Insert your speciality to expand this endless list. One person – no matter how smart, experienced, motivated, or pressured – simply cannot cover it all.

How ChatGPT can bring it back

On November 30, 2022, OpenAI announced the release of a conversational language model called ChatGPT, which gained 1M users in five days and 100M users in two months.

It has kicked off the development of an ever-growing number of GPT3-powered applications and alternative models. Some of them, of course, cover and focus on marketing as a natural direction for any language model of this scale and success level.

But even ChatGPT on its own can offer a multitude of use cases for my fellow marketing strategists and particularly for founders, who might not have enough time, money, or skill to have devised a marketing strategy on their own.

Now, you can. How?

Free up your time

Start with optimising your competitor research by prompting ChatGPT to list out your direct competitors in the geo market that you’re interested to enter. ChatGPT can tell you all about the difference in product features, market positioning and unique selling proposition, based on open web data. If you want to include the latest Google data, you can switch between ChatGPT and Chatsonic, also based on GPT-3. This will speed up your market research, helping you understand what niche your brand can own.

Summarise your user interviews by including audio transcription of each interview in the prompt. Use to convert speech to text easily. You can then align your customer interview summary to one format, feeding an example of what it should look like to ChatGPT.

Automate your business emails when pitching to VC investors, partners, or prospects via Zapier. This will also save you time from writing emails yourself whilst keeping a professional but friendly tone. (You can actually specify what tone you’d like ChatGPT to use when writing emails to different stakeholder audiences, e.g. assertive and on-point with investors, or personable and benefit-forward with potential customers.)

Finally, it makes writing in general easier. If you think of yourself as a bad writer, if English isn’t your native language, or if you fear the blank page, use ChatGPT to research, rewrite, check and brainstorm content that your marketing relies on.

Cut down your costs

By being smart about how you use your time, you can now spend it more efficiently on the things that do require your absolute attention and the best of your skill set. Time efficiency is cost efficiency, too.

With automation and optimisation powered by GPT, new apps start popping up like mushrooms to accommodate every need and pain point – creating a competitive space where pricing is of the essence.

Yes, even the most sophisticated app isn’t going to replace a human specialist in the same marketing domain, but it isn’t really about that. It is better to have something than nothing – and it is certainly better to have something that might work, say at the 6/10 standard level, than zero.

So start exploring what the internet has got to offer, including the all-in-one, versatile ChatGPT itself, and find a way to integrate it into your processes.

Streamline your implementation

Using a central marketing strategy as the principal conductor of the marketing orchestra is what I’m most excited about and currently working on.

This process – very much replicating a normal strategy development process but making it more concise – spans three key stages:

  1. Input

Collect data about your product features, unique selling points, customer profiles, competitors, and overarching trends that make it the right time to launch. Then combine it with your personal story as a founder, your principles and the vision driving your creation forward.

  1. Framework

Distil the input data into a central marketing framework, including key messages on what you stand for, how you are different from others, who your product serves, and what emotional and functional benefits respond to their needs. This central framework is a foundation for everything you need marketing-wise. This is the starting point for any future marketing initiative, communication material, channel to test, and campaign to run.

  1. Output

Now translate a relevant part of your central marketing framework into a channel-specific brief, copy and creative. Whether a Facebook campaign, a Google ad or a product landing page copy, you use existing best practices and guidelines for each deliverable to create, facilitate and maintain your marketing.

Have a hypothesis? Test it. Didn’t work? Make edits to stage 2. Input has changed? Update your initial data in stage 1.

ChatGPT truly allows you to make your implementation coherent across channels, put your strategy to the test, and quickly iterate on your learnings.

But there are a few risks to keep in mind when doing so…

Optimise, not fully outsource

ChatGPT, and any other GPT-powered app, has its limitations:

And a special message to my fellow marketers: don’t worry, we’re not getting replaced. If anything, it makes us more powerful – and valuable – than ever.

By Alina Veselaya, a marketing strategist with 7+ years of experience that combines in-house startup roles and project work across deep tech, enterprise software and e-commerce, for Bdaily Premium. Alina is currently developing a GPT-based product on a 15-min marketing strategy.

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