ChatGPT at One: A Game-Changer in PPC

In the span of just one year, ChatGPT has unleashed a wave of transformative potential within the realm of PPC. Let’s delve into the landscape shaped by generative AI and explore what lies ahead for this revolutionary technology.

chatgpt ppc

It feels almost surreal that only a year has passed since ChatGPT made its debut, seizing global attention with its exceptionally adept chatbot capable of generating human-like text on command.

Beyond the initial whimsical explorations like crafting jokes or writing letters in Shakespearean style, more pragmatic applications swiftly emerged.

  • Educators harnessed large language models to impart complex subjects to students.
  • Hollywood scriptwriters renegotiated contracts, adapting to a landscape where genAI could generate innovative plot twists.
  • Software companies seamlessly integrated genAI into their tools, streamlining mundane tasks.

For PPC marketers, ChatGPT opened doors to a paradigm shift. Let’s reflect on ChatGPT’s inaugural year and anticipate the evolutionary path this transformative technology is set to traverse.

Recalling ChatGPT’s Inauguration

ChatGPT entered the scene on November 30, 2022, offering free access to an impressively intelligent AI chatbot. Powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 language model, it showcased unparalleled contextual understanding, logical reasoning, and the ability to respond to prompts with coherent and convincing text.

Rapidly evolving from a tool for drafting emails and blog posts, ChatGPT stirred excitement as users recognized its potential as a foundational element for the next wave of computing revolution across diverse industries.

In the twelve months since ChatGPT’s introduction, various industries have witnessed substantial transformations. Our industry, in particular, experienced the impact of generative AI streamlining content production, from blog posts and social media updates to landing pages, keywords, and ad copy.

The technology’s swift generation of high-quality text proved to be a boon for marketers, saving valuable time in the ideation and execution phases of projects.

Taking a step further, Google introduced a generative AI campaign creator in May, intensifying the ponderings of digital marketers regarding the future of their roles.

Early Ventures into GPT-3.5 in PPC

Naturally, PPC experts were intrigued by the potential applications of ChatGPT. Even in its initial iteration, I discovered several valuable uses:

  • Generating keyword ideas from seed keywords or landing page URLs.
  • Organizing lengthy keyword lists into coherent ad groups.
  • Crafting compelling ad headlines and descriptions.
  • Offering suggestions for landing page optimization.
  • Analyzing the relevance of search queries to enhance ad targeting.
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To handle these tasks at scale within spreadsheets, I turned to GPT extensions for Google Chrome. Additionally, the OpenAI API Playground allowed for extensive exploration, enabling adjustments to settings impacting performance, such as the temperature setting, crucial for regulated industries where creativity could clash with regulations.

These early applications showcased the immense potential of ChatGPT in PPC account management and campaign optimization. However, they merely scratched the surface of what would become achievable as AI technology advanced.

Enter GPT-4: A More Proficient Wordsmith

In March 2023, OpenAI unveiled GPT-4, marking a significant upgrade. Trained on a vastly expanded set of input parameters—25 times more than Meta’s Llama-2 model and five times more than Google’s PaLM-2 model—GPT-4 demonstrated superior writing capabilities.

GPT-4 excelled in mathematical prowess, a crucial aspect in PPC, where optimization decisions hinge on accurate mathematical or statistical data analysis. While earlier versions adeptly handled simple PPC tasks like keyword generation, GPT-4 particularly shone in crafting long-form text, such as email campaigns, blog posts, and landing pages.

However, the trade-off was evident: GPT-4 operated at a slower pace and incurred higher costs compared to its predecessors. Yet, as more models entered the scene, opportunities for optimization arose. Users could evaluate each model’s strengths and weaknesses, choosing the most suitable LLM and version for specific tasks.

In my experience, GPT-3.5 proved equally proficient as GPT-4 in suggesting keywords, making it a more cost-effective and faster option for keyword-related tasks. On the other hand, GPT-4 outperformed in writing tasks, justifying the extra cost and latency for tasks like crafting landing page copy or client reports.

ChatGPT’s Evolution Continues

July 2023 saw OpenAI introduce beta features for ChatGPT, including Code Interpreter—later renamed Advanced Data Analysis. These features unlocked entirely new PPC use cases.

Advanced Data Analysis

A significant leap for GPT-4 was its newfound ability to write and execute Python code. By directly uploading campaign performance files into ChatGPT prompts, advertisers could leverage statistical analysis to gain insights and devise optimizations.

Plugins: Expanding Connectivity for Enhanced Capabilities

One of the most potent enhancements ChatGPT received was support for plugins—special add-ons significantly broadening its capabilities. These plugins enabled ChatGPT to establish direct connections with external datasets, documents, and live websites, transcending its initial confines of fixed indexed knowledge.

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This meant feeding ChatGPT a raw .csv file of PPC campaign statistics for advanced analysis, uploading an entire product catalog to enhance copywriting relevance, or having ChatGPT scrape and summarize a landing page in real time. The possibilities were now boundless.

Did these capabilities signal the beginning of humans becoming obsolete in digital marketing? Not quite.

Generative AI as an Assistant, Not a Replacement

While it’s tempting to envision generative AI as a complete replacement for digital marketing tasks, the reality is that these tools function optimally as assistants, augmenting human capabilities rather than supplanting them.

As I outlined in 2017, well before the era of generative AI, humans play three crucial roles in digital marketing:

  1. The Teacher: Curating data and fine-tuning models like ChatGPT to align with organizational objectives and industry context.
  2. The Doctor: Prescribing solutions, such as selecting the right LLM for specific business challenges.
  3. The Pilot: Vigilantly monitoring performance and intervening when generative AI deviates from the desired course.

Generative AI excels at handling tedious tasks like crafting repetitive ad copy and landing pages, allowing human professionals to operate more strategically. For instance, an account doctor could redirect time previously spent on copywriting towards data analysis and consultation. Alternatively, they could prompt ChatGPT to distill key account insights into client-ready reports, with the tool generating content while the human provides creative direction and quality control.

So, rather than viewing generative AI as a threat, it should be seen as a collaborative assistant, amplifying human strengths. Marketing teams embracing this human-AI partnership will undoubtedly outpace the competition. The key is recognizing that the future remains fundamentally human, with AI serving as a valuable ally.

What’s Next: OpenAI Dev Day Announcements

At OpenAI’s DevDay on November 6, 2023, major upgrades were unveiled, offering a glimpse into the future potential for PPC professionals.

GPT-4 Turbo: A Giant Leap Forward

Foremost among the announcements was the launch of GPT-4 Turbo. This upgraded model supports much longer prompts—up to 128,000 characters, enabling the submission of roughly 300 pages of text. This expanded context window empowers ChatGPT with in-depth understanding, facilitating more advanced PPC analysis and optimization tasks.

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From Whiteboard to Ad Script: Vision Modality

OpenAI introduced new modalities, including vision, enabling GPT-4 Turbo to process images. In a remarkable demonstration, PPC scripts expert Nils Rooijmans provided a photo of a whiteboard sketch depicting an optimization decision tree. He tasked GPT with writing a script for that scenario, and the AI, comprehending the logic from the image, suggested relevant Google Ads Script code to automate the task.

Reduced Pricing for Enhanced Accessibility

OpenAI implemented a significant reduction in pricing across the board. Input tokens for GPT-4 Turbo are now three times cheaper at $0.01, while output tokens are two times cheaper at $0.03. This makes the technology more accessible, and the lowered costs could facilitate broader access to capabilities like fine-tuning, enabling PPC managers to train custom AI tools tailored to their specific accounts.

With upgraded foundational models, new modalities, and more cost-effective building blocks, OpenAI’s offerings present an exciting prospect for the future.

The Future of Generative AI in PPC

The future appears exceptionally promising, given the strides made by ChatGPT in just one year. Here’s what we can anticipate:

  1. Improved Accuracy in Analytics and Math Computations
  2. Integration with PPC Platforms Through Plugins
  3. Capability to Dynamically Write Scripts and Rules Compatible with PPC Tools
  4. Easier Access to Personalization Through GPT, “Fine-Tuning,” and Longer Prompts
  5. Low-Code Tools for Building Custom AI Models Tailored to Clients’ Businesses

ChatGPT’s journey in PPC has been a year of innovation, integration, and tangible impact. As algorithms continue to advance, our role is to push the boundaries of AI to enhance PPC performance beyond human limitations. In a landscape of AI assistants, the answer should never be that something cannot be done but rather that we have not yet explored its potential. AI serves as a teacher, a doctor, and a pilot’s aide, allowing us to execute projects faster than ever before.”

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