Since it launched last November, a free online AI app has blown up as a revolutionary game changer to write proposals or marketing materials for construction companies like yours. But before you go all in on this wonder tool to promote your building-based business, consider a few warning signs.
AI has always been an abstract concept, known for its role in science fiction movies or annoying “how may we help you?” chat-bots that didn’t fool anybody into thinking they weren’t talking to a robot. But then ChatGPT made its debut, and the world of writing has now flipped on its head.
We experimented with the app ourselves and were impressed with this amazing content generation tool. All you have to do is enter any subject into the box (i.e. write a 500 word article about stucco siding installation) along with any criteria (i.e include keywords construction marketing, seeking project managers, Seattle, etc.) and it will instantly kick back a concise, articulate narrative with flawless precision.
Imagine writing a communicative, perfectly structured proposal, report or website case study in a matter of seconds instead of hours, days, or even weeks of drudgery? ChatGPT has taken several industries like education, legal and marketing by storm, catching wildfire in every tech blog and news channel, and has become so popular its inventors had to find creative ways to turn new users away. And this is only the beginning as machine learning is becoming more refined and sophisticated, almost exponentially.
The prospect of saving hours of writing time is seductive to say the least. But before you go all in, here are some concerns about using AI to promote your business in the B2B world of the building industry.
We heard that someone has already launched a new app as a countermeasure to ChatGPT and other platforms, sniffing out content generated by AI instead of genuine “humanese”. What formula does it use to expose cheaters? It simply looks for the subtle giveaways where sentence structure is too slick, grammar is too perfect, delivery is mechanical and it lacks the nuances that imperfect humans use to communicate.
While you may not have to worry about getting busted by a college professor for turning in a paper not in your original voice, keep in mind that your audiences will soon be able to detect the difference between genuine messaging based on your experience and prefabricated copy from a computer. And it may be a great toy in the short term, but might easily work against you to land quality projects.
If you visit a website of a consumer-facing contractor like a plumber, electrician, roofer, not only do you get assaulted with a monstrosity of keyword-stuffed mayhem, most websites read like a robot wrote it, desperate to attract inbound leads but ignoring the fact that those prospects are human.
Don’t get me wrong, the goal is to attract as many prospects as possible in an oversaturated industry, and all the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) boxes are dutifully checked, but depending too much on technology to rig the system compromises the personal connection that is so valuable to the sales experience.
Just as any consumer, those who are going to award you that next project prefer personal connection over disingenuous sales gimmicks. Referrals from credible sources carry ten times the weight of aggressive advertising tactics.They let their guard down to companies who offer support or industry advice, and shut down those who thinly disguise a phony approach.
If you do decide to try out a chat bot app (hopefully in moderation), scan the content and determine where you might be able to interject a little humanese before you ship it. Add a point of view from your niche industry experience to help them understand your personal philosophy and provide a value above your competitors. Personal chemistry is the real deal closer, and it's something a computer cannot replicate… at least for now.
P.S. This article was entirely written with no AI help, by the way.
Photo by Ivan Samkov, Pexels