Thought Leadership Studio Podcast Episodes:
How Strategic is Your Content Marketing? Can ChatGPT Help?
Episode 32 - Learn a six-question Self-Assessment of the Depth of Strategy in Your Content Marketing or PR Campaign. Including Prompts that use ChatGPT to help build Strategic Thought Leadership.
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What this episode will do for you
- Quickly assess how strategic your campaign or communication is.
- Deepen your understanding of what it means to be strategic with communication.
- Learn prompts for ChatGPT that can assist building a strong Marketing Strategy via a Thought Leadership Model.
- Gain deeper insight into the mechanics of a strategic backstory.
- Strengthen the subconscious positive influence of your message in service of leading your audience to a better outcome.
Stand Out With Strategic Leadership in Your Content Marketing, PR, or Public Influence CampaignWe are suddenly living in a world of ChatGPT. Is that good?
One possible outcome of the emergence of AI-generated content is, due to it making easier to generate more content, there will be an even greater firehose of information for your audience to drink from. Even before these recent developments, standing out in the crowded marketplace of the digital age has been a challenge.
Having a greater depth to your message is a way to separate yourself from the competition rather than blending in. And that means not necessarily avoiding AI but using it the right way- and we'll get into that.
Building that depth to your communication comes in part from having a strategic approach to your marketing, and leadership. It's important to ask yourself whether your content is:
- Taking your audience somewhere with purpose, like a rowboat with all powerfully rowing in unison?
- Or is it more like when rowers are rowing in opposite directions, putting the boat in a spin in one place?
There is a structure to effective thought leadership that creates market leadership. Looking behind the content of communication to its underlying structure gives the insight needed to make it truly powerful and to stand out from the firehose of same-think in your industry, field, market segment, or profession.
- How well are people being propelled to the new position?
- How empowering is the new position for the recipient?
- How well aligned is it with the unique benefits of the product or service or philosophy that you represent?
If this seems murky, hang with me and it will start to make more sense.
Following is a framework for better understanding the depth of your communication by assessing its structure separately from its content.
Rate your campaign or marketing or communications program with the self assessment quiz below. After, I'll break down the components so you can use it as a tool not just for self assessment but also for self-regulation to adjust your campaign by bringing in whatever components necessary to make it what I would call Strategic Thought Leadership.
6 Question Self-Test for Assessing Strategic Value of Your Campaign
Scoring- give 5 points for each firm "yes" answer" and 0 points for each firm "no".
- Can you clearly define one or more of your leadership positions as "if-then" statements? YES NO
- Can you contrast your leadership position(s) with the baseline thinking it leads people from to create paths you are leading an audience along? YES NO
- Can you articulate persuasive talking points that bridge the gap between the baseline position and leadership position? YES NO
- Can you show how each content piece (web page, blog post, podcast interview, press release, etc.) uses these talking points to propel thinking in a way that serves an audience? YES NO
- Can you articulate the values of your audience that your position(s) serve(s) better than their prior positions? YES NO
- Are you outputting this leadership in a content, influence or PR program with enough scale to get a positive response from your audience? YES NO
Somewhere in between? Feel free to give yourself an appropriate number between 0 and 5 in those cases.
- 0-10 points: Low to No Strategy. Your strategy needs substantial work.
- 11-20 points: Moderately Strategic.You are getting there, now bring up the weak points.
- 21-29 points Very Strategic Excellent! The best can always get even better, though.
- 30 points: 100% Strategy Score Keep up the good work! Where else can you find even more leverage?
Contrasting a Creative, New Angle with Traditional AssumptionsPeople want to extract value from where they give their attention. Providing value with content means taking them to a new place, and that means thinking that stands out from the answers one could get from AI like ChatGPT.
Can You Use AI to Identify Baseline Thinking? An ExperimentSince thought leadership is about inventing new thinking, I feel ChatGPT could be helpful in discovering what the current prevalent assumptions in a field or profession are... the old, default thinking you are leading people away from.
But, what else? Let's explore. Let's use the field of marketing and developing a strategic position there as an example.
To start, I asked ChatGPT
"What are some prevalent assumptions in the marketing industry?"
Some prevalent assumptions in the marketing industry include:I prodded a bit further with "What are some unspoken rules in the marketing profession?"
The more you spend on advertising, the more sales you will make
A larger target market will lead to more sales
Having a strong brand will automatically lead to customer loyalty
Younger demographics are primarily found online and older demographics primarily watch television
Consumers make purchasing decisions based primarily on logical considerations and rational thinking
It's important to note that these assumptions may not always be true and may vary based on the specific product or service being marketed and the target audience. Market research and testing can help to determine the effectiveness of these assumptions in specific cases.
Some unspoken rules in the marketing profession include:Getting maybe a little closer to some actionable Baseline Thinking Positions, I then asked, "What are some belief systems in marketing that are worth challenging?"
Always be aware of the competition and try to stay ahead of them
Use data to support decisions and strategy
Be willing to take risks and try new things
Continuously adapt and evolve to stay relevant
Be sensitive to cultural and societal changes and their impact on the target audience.
Be aware of ethical considerations, such as avoiding deceptive or manipulative practices
Be prepared to justify and defend budget and strategy decisions to upper management
Be able to clearly communicate the value of the product or service and the impact of the marketing efforts to both internal and external stakeholders.
It's worth noting that some of these unspoken rules are not only specific for the marketing profession but for the business in general. Additionally, these rules may not be applicable to all marketing contexts, but they are generally considered as best practices for the marketing profession.
There are several belief systems in marketing that are worth challenging, as they may not always be accurate or effective in achieving marketing goals. Some examples include:I'm not particularly happy with how actionable these assumptions are. Maybe we can't yet depend on AI for deep insight? Or is it better as an extension of thinking or providing some counterpoint?
The belief that more advertising equates to more sales: While increasing advertising spend can help to increase brand awareness and generate leads, it doesn't necessarily guarantee an increase in sales. It's important to carefully consider the target audience, message, and medium when creating a marketing campaign.
The belief that bigger target market means more sales: It's important to remember that a larger target market also means more competition. A narrow, well-defined target market can be more effective in reaching the right people and generating sales.
The belief that the brand automatically leads to customer loyalty: A strong brand can help to attract customers, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee customer loyalty. A company needs to consistently deliver high-quality products or services and provide excellent customer service to earn and maintain customer loyalty.
The belief that younger demographics are primarily found online and older demographics primarily watch television: While it's true that younger generations tend to consume more digital media, it's important to remember that different demographics have different media consumption habits, and a multi-channel approach is often necessary to reach a diverse audience.
The belief that consumers make purchasing decisions based primarily on logical considerations and rational thinking: Consumers are often influenced by emotional and psychological factors, such as brand trust, social proof, and consumer reviews, when making purchasing decisions.
It's important to remember that these beliefs are generalizations and may not always be true. Market research, testing and experimentation can help to understand the effectiveness of these beliefs and to adapt the marketing strategy accordingly.
And we need to drill down to if-then statements to be able to effectively apply what I call the THAUT Process of Strategic Thought Leadership. Let's see how well ChatGPT does.
"ChatGPT, Convert the following assumptions to if-then statements:
- The more data we have on customers, the better we can target them.
- The better we can target customers with data, the more sales we can make.
- More marketing content is always better.
- Marketing and advertising are a hierarchical system with advertisers at the top and customers at the bottom.
"If a company has more data on its customers, then it will be able to better target them."OK, so here's some "baseline thinking" in a form that we can effectively challenge with thought leadership positions.
"If a company can better target its customers using data, then it will see an increase in sales."
"If a company wants to increase its reach and engagement, then it should produce more marketing content."
"If a company views marketing and advertising as a hierarchical system, then it will put advertisers at the top and customers at the bottom."
It's important to note that these statements are assumptions and not necessarily true in every scenario, context or industry. They can be tested and validated by market research and experimentation. Additionally, it's important to consider other factors that could impact the outcome, such as the product or service, the target audience, and the industry. And it's worth challenging these assumptions, as there are many other factors that can be influencing the sales, such as the product or service, the target audience, the industry, the messaging, the channels and the timing.
Can we use AI to help generate some thought leadership position ideas?
"ChatGPT, What are some alternate positions that would challenge those assumptions, also as "if-then" statements?"
"If a company has a lot of data on its customers but doesn't use it effectively or ethically, then it may not be able to better target them."Now these are getting closer, but I feel there are much better thought leadership positions that can emerge from human creativity, from taking a different perspective. Consider the shift in perspective that comes from taking the customer point of view and looking at marketing from the outside in. After all, the customer is really who is in control and any hierarchy in marketing should have the customer at the top, not the bottom.
"If a company can better target its customers using data, but doesn't also pay attention to the quality of its product or service, then it may not see an increase in sales."
"If a company produces a lot of marketing content but doesn't focus on quality or relevance, then it may not see an increase in reach and engagement."
"If a company views marketing and advertising as a hierarchical system, then it may not be able to build trust and long-term relationship with its customers."
It's worth noting that these alternate if-then statements are based on the assumption that the original statements may not be accurate in all cases and they are not necessarily true. Factors such as the industry, the target audience, and the product or service can play a big role in the outcome. These alternate if-then statements are intended to encourage critical thinking and testing of the assumptions, rather than to be taken as absolute truths.
ChatGPT pointed to the general direction of that insight with "If a company views marketing and advertising as a hierarchical system, then it may not be able to build trust and long-term relationship with its customers."
I think a better thought leadership position could be "If the marketing adds value to the recipient with a fresh, empowering perspective, then it is more effective because more prospects will willingly engage with it."
Here we are talking and looking at not so much using data to target the customer but gaining insight to better discover and target what the customer wants, but that they may not even be able to yet articulate for themselves. So we take it upon ourselves to articulate it for them.
It is much more respectful- it reveres the values of respect, leadership, and service. But that might be a bit too "out of the box" for AI that only has past thinking to feed it.
But I am starting to see how ChatGPT be used to more quickly assemble traditional thinking in an industry as the beginning of a list of assumptions to challenge.
Just don't take it as the last word. And look outside of these assumptions for the truly new, creative thinking that will build an audience and take them somewhere worthwhile.
And are you starting to see how defining these endpoints of the Thought Leadership Path as a vector from old thinking to new can beget persuasive talking points that guide a strategic campaign?
Now, let's address finding Thought Leadership Positions that better meet higher values in the audience.
"ChatGPT, What are some values customers have that marketing does not effectively satisfy?"
Marketing is a process of creating, delivering, promoting, and communicating a product or service to customers, but it is not always able to effectively satisfy all of the values that customers may have. Some values that customers may have that marketing does not effectively satisfy include:Now we are getting somewhere. Let's see if ChatGPT can help build some talking points to support this position in a way that better satisfies, in particular, the values of empowerment and privacy.
- Authenticity: Many customers value authenticity and transparency in the products and services they purchase, and may be skeptical of marketing messages that are overly polished or make unrealistic claims.
- Sustainability: An increasing number of customers are looking for products and services that are environmentally friendly and ethically produced, but marketing may not always effectively communicate these values.
- Empowerment: Customers may value feeling empowered and in control of their purchasing decisions, but some marketing practices such as manipulative or pressure-based sales tactics can make them feel otherwise.
- Community: Some customers value being a part of a community and supporting businesses that align with their values and beliefs. Marketing can't always effectively create a sense of community and belonging.
- Privacy: Many customers are becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy and data security, and may be hesitant to engage with marketing efforts that collect or use their personal information without permission.
It's worth noting that these values may vary depending on the target audience, the industry, and the product or service. Additionally, companies may have different values and priorities than the customers, and this can lead to a gap between what the marketing message is and what the customer is looking for.
ChatGPT, generate some talking points supporting the position that marketing that adds value to the recipient with a fresh, empowering perspective and is based on targeting what the recipient wants instead of targeting the recipient is more effective.
These talking points seem to be to be largely focused on rational thinking and logical decision making. I am not seeing the structure of the language of influence here, but I wouldn't necessarily expect that from that particular prompt.
- Focusing on adding value to the recipient with a fresh and empowering perspective, rather than targeting them, helps to build trust and credibility with the audience. Customers are more likely to engage with a message that provides them with something of value, rather than one that is solely focused on making a sale.
- Targeting what the recipient wants, rather than targeting the recipient, can lead to a more personalized and relevant marketing message. This can increase the chances of customers engaging with the message and ultimately making a purchase.
- Marketing that is based on adding value, also helps in creating long-term customer relationships, rather than just a one-time transaction. This can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth, which can be more valuable than a single sale.
- A fresh, empowering perspective can also help to stand out in a crowded market and differentiate a company from its competitors. This can lead to increased brand awareness and loyalty.
- By focusing on what the customer wants, a company can better understand their needs and tailor their products or services accordingly. This can lead to an increase in customer satisfaction and retention.
- Marketing that adds value to the customer, also aligns with the company's values and mission, which can in turn attract customers who share similar values and beliefs.
- Empowering the customer with knowledge and information, can help them make more informed purchasing decisions and build a sense of trust with the company. This can lead to long-term customer loyalty.
Remember that people make decisions largely unconsciously and based on emotion with the rational mind being used to build support to justify these emotion-based, unconscious decisions.
That's why you need to use the structure of the language of influence when building talking points that support your Thought Leadership Positions and propel people along your Thought Leadership Paths.
There are over 20 language patterns we use in my consulting practice to help clients build what we call "Position Papers" that summarize their Thought Leadership Positions and list talking points that strategically guide and populate content marketing, PR, and influence campaigns.
These patterns work on a subconscious and emotional level, as well as a logical level, when utilized correctly.
Let's see if ChatGPT can be harnessed to use one of them.
One key pattern that could potentially fit is what we call the A-B Outcome Pattern. It's like you're at a fork in the road so you have two options. One option, the old, baseline thinking, will lead to problems and suffering. The other option, the new thinking (Thought Leadership Position) will lead to good outcomes and, especially, good feelings.
So, I'll attempt to harness ChatGTP to help formulate some A-B Outcome Pattern talking points.
Generate some talking points in the formula of "if you adopt this perspective (marketing that adds value to the recipient with a fresh, empowering perspective and is based on targeting what the recipient wants instead of targeting the recipient is more effective.) you will gain benefits and if you don't you will suffer consequences". Be sure to include the good feelings they will get by adopting this perspective and the negative feelings they could get if they don't.
If you adopt a marketing perspective that adds value to the recipient with a fresh, empowering perspective, you will gain benefits such as increased trust and credibility with your audience, which can lead to increased engagement and sales. This can result in a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment for providing valuable and relevant information to your customers.This is fairly helpful. It certainly doesn't replace strategic thinking. But some frankensteining of the right pairs of positive and negative outcomes with a curation of the most helpful snippets and some tight editing can maybe accelerate the population of a good Position Paper supporting this Thought Leadership Position.
If you adopt a marketing perspective that targets what the recipient wants, rather than targeting the recipient, you will gain benefits such as increased personalization and relevance in your marketing message, which can lead to increased engagement and sales. This can result in a feeling of effectiveness and efficiency in your marketing strategy.
If you adopt a marketing perspective that adds value to the customer, it will help in creating long-term customer relationships, rather than just a one-time transaction which can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth. This can result in a feeling of pride and confidence in your company's customer service and reputation.
If you adopt a fresh, empowering perspective in your marketing, you will stand out in a crowded market and differentiate your company from its competitors, leading to increased brand awareness and loyalty. This can result in a feeling of innovation and forward-thinking in your marketing strategy.
If you adopt a marketing perspective that focuses on what the customer wants, you will be able to better understand their needs and tailor your products or services accordingly, leading to increased customer satisfaction and retention. This can result in a feeling of empathy and understanding towards your customers.
If you don't adopt a marketing perspective that adds value to the recipient, you will suffer consequences such as a lack of trust and credibility with your audience, which can lead to decreased engagement and sales. This can result in a feeling of disappointment and frustration in your marketing efforts.
If you don't adopt a marketing perspective that targets what the recipient wants, you may miss out on potential opportunities to personalize and tailor your message, leading to decreased engagement and sales. This can result in a feeling of missed opportunities and inefficiency in your marketing strategy.
If you don't adopt a fresh, empowering perspective in your marketing, you may blend in with your competitors, leading to decreased brand awareness and loyalty. This can result in a feeling of stagnation and lack of differentiation in your marketing strategy.
If you don't adopt a marketing perspective that focuses on what the customer wants, you may miss out on understanding their needs and tailoring your products or services accordingly, leading to decreased customer satisfaction and retention. This can result in a feeling of disconnection and lack of empathy towards your customers.
For example, here's one decent Talking Point I curated/editing from that batch: "If you simply rehash old thinking in your marketing, you may blend in with your competitors, leading to decreased brand awareness and a feeling of stagnation. If, instead, you promote a fresh, empowering perspective that adds value, you will gain trust, credibility, increased engagement and sales. This can result in the satisfaction of providing value to your prospective customers."
That's just the little beginning of course. In future podcasts and upcoming courses, I will detail more of the Patterns of Persuasion that are some of the key building blocks of a strong Thought Leadership Model that will empower you to build a larger, more engaged audience more quickly with the satisfaction of positive persuasion that works.
Looping back to the 6-Question Marketing Strategy Self Assessment, consider the first two questions are about contrasting what we might call your Thought Leadership Position with the prevalent thinking in a field, industry, market segment, or profession that we might call Baseline Audience Thinking.
How do you know it is helpful new thinking? Realize you are leading from a current mental model from a new one and mental models, also known as belief systems, always can be formulated as if-then statements as they connect two things.
Thought leadership in the age of artificial intelligenceCreativity is required for thought leadership because it is about leading people to genuinely new thinking. With artificial intelligence regurgitating group think ever more efficiently, human creativity and the inspiration it springs from is ever more essential.
I have mentioned in prior posts and podcasts that creativity is how different your behavior is than artificial intelligence could have predicted. It is about a break from the past. It is about making new connections that weren't made before.
No matter how smart artificial intelligence gets, it still only has the past to work from. Yet it appears that AI like ChatGPT can assist Thought Leadership by expediting insight into the common assumptions you can lead people away from in favor of a fresh perspective.
These initial tests are also promising in its ability to quicklyseed ideas for talking points formulated for persuasion.
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