Why ChatGPT Struggles with Content for Niche Product Offerings

I honestly thought it was my prompting. So I took a bunch of courses, downloaded GPT "cheat sheets", spoke to" gurus", and watched endless YouTube videos about "generating the perfect prompt" and telling ChatGPT to role play as an expert marketer with 20 years experience and a PhD in behavioral finance.

It did get a little better but it still kinda sucked.

Let me explain.

My clients operate in niche industries where the use-cases are not exactly common knowledge. They work with Hedge Fund managers who don't publish their investment process on reddit. They work with Bankers, Investors, Venture Capitalists, and RIAs. ChatGPT is just a language model that is trained on (lots of) data, it takes training data in, and predicts how to link words together that sorta make sense to a human. When that training data is thin to non-existent the model fails. Predictably so.

And it knows it too. I asked ChatGPT why it sucked at generating content for my clients and here is what it told me:

While AI models like ChatGPT offer incredible potential for content generation across a wide array of subjects, they are not without limitations. When it comes to very niche product offerings, the lack of specific knowledge, context sensitivity, real-time data access, difficulty in capturing brand voice, and potential legal and ethical pitfalls can hinder their effectiveness.

So, let's unpack this a bit.

1. Lack of Current Knowledge - It doesn't have access to the latest trends data.

ChatGPT is trained on a vast corpus of text available up until a certain cut-off date. While this allows the model to have a broad understanding of many subjects, it may not have detailed or up-to-date information in very specific or niche markets. The lack of recent data is a problem when you need to create something topical, usually for the top of your marketing funnel where you are attracting prospects to your brand. So the things that everyone is talking about in your industry are usually off limits to LLMs.

2. Context Sensitivity - It hasn't built the knowledge since there is not enough training data.

Understanding the context of a niche product requires specialized knowledge and insight that might not be available in the general data on which ChatGPT is trained. Without a deep understanding of the industry, target audience, or unique selling points, the content may lack the nuance and specificity required to reach and resonate with the intended readers. This lack of specialized knowledge can lead to content that is generic or even inaccurate. In fact, when we produce content for our clients we think that eventually it will make great fodder for LLMs because there is just not enough data there to feed the LLMs yet.

3. Difficulty in Capturing Brand Voice - ChatGPT can try to mimic the writing style of a prolific writer but building your own voice is harder

If a niche product is part of a unique brand with a specific tone, style, or voice, capturing that essence can be challenging for a generalized model like ChatGPT. Tailoring content to reflect a brand's personality requires a deep understanding of the brand, something that may be beyond the capabilities of a general-purpose AI model.

This voice thing is a big one. No matter how hard I tried with variations of prompts upon prompts, the responses still sound generic, regurgitated, not original, and mind-bendingly un-interesting. It is often onerous to read and even when it does sound nice on the surface, it feels like a superfluous smile on the lips of a McDonalds employee with nothing but a gaping emptiness underneath it and an abysmal indifference in between the lines. And that means my clients just can't use it. Content needs to sound HUMAN to resonate with other humans and even the most advanced LLM-powered chat system still have some opportunity for improvement there.

I am very aware of the explosion of AI-generated content and instead of educating, it will probably pollute the internet with regurgitated computer gibberish and steal page rankings from actual human-generated content, to its own eventual detriment. The fact that search engines are now penalizing GPT content is a good thing in that sense.

Having said all this, I still think the wave of generative AI is transformational for most industries. It does save time when researching a subject or summarizing a whitepaper. But creating compelling original marketing content in niche markets is not it's forte, despite what all the ads tell you.

If you find an AI that can do this well, please let me know!