How AI and ChatGPT can help in college marketing

Though it is a relatively new player in higher education marketing, artificial intelligence (AI) has already changed the game for community colleges. It offers unparalleled speed and accuracy for tasks like sifting through large enrollment datasets and understanding complicated student behaviors at various stages of the buying journey.

In fact, the global AI market in higher ed is expected to grow by over 40% by 2027, according to a report by Technavio, a marketing research and analysis firm. This projected growth is a testament to the increasing adoption of AI-powered tools and illustrates the need for higher ed to stay ahead in a rapidly changing market. One way colleges can stay on the forefront of this important new technology is through understanding ChatGPT as a language learning model that can be used to enhance enrollment strategies.

This article is part of a monthly series provided by the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR), an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is short for “chat generative processing translator” and is designed to understand and generate human-like text based on provided context, making it applicable to various natural language processing tasks.

ChatGPT is like a chat buddy. It makes conversations fun and smart by understanding what a user is saying and responding in a way that makes sense. It operates within the domain of generative AI, a kind of artificial intelligence capable of autonomously creating content, such as text, images or other data. Generative AI such as ChatGPT brings in tools that perform duties ranging from creating content to analyzing the performance of different marketing campaigns.

Which means that ChatGPT is more than a language whiz. It can perform calculations, fact-checking and even a bit of reasoning. Its training makes it capable of doing unexpected things like coding, data analytics and teaching. So, it’s not just a word genius; it’s more like an all-around AI superhero.

Initially designed to boost productivity for tasks like writing essays and code, ChatGPT is now a powerhouse used by more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies, according to TechCrunch, a news website dedicated to the tech scene. OpenAI uses deep learning and neural networks to understand language, making chatbots, virtual assistants and text analysis smarter.

And chances are its abilities will grow. AI is constantly improving, especially for virtual assistants and creating new content. The generative AI market is projected to grow by nearly 25% from 2023 to 2030, according to Statista, the global data and business intelligence platform.

Examples of using ChatGPT

Tools like ChatGPT can make marketing/communications professionals’ lives easier in a variety of ways:

  • Content creation: Marketing professionals often use ChatGPT to craft content and generate engaging social media posts. The tool provides an adaptable and efficient solution for generating personalized content in various contexts, empowering users with its language-generation capabilities.

  • Idea brainstorming for campaigns: Others use the analytical capabilities of such tools to generate ideas for their enrollment marketing campaigns. For example, if a marketer wants to brainstorm slogan ideas for a marketing campaign, they might explore a few dozen variations. ChatGPT, however, can effortlessly generate thousands or even millions of creative slogans by manipulating words and concepts in ways that surpass human cognitive capacities.

  • Digital marketing: ChatGPT helps create super personalized content, enhancing the effectiveness of marketing strategies. For instance, ChatGPT can help make search engine-optimized content, ensuring that the produced material aligns with best practices for online visibility and search rankings. It also can write persuasive copy for paid advertising campaigns.

  • Data analytics and insights: Some marketing teams use AI to manage and leverage data effectively. They integrate ChatGPT with GPT Sheets to analyze the performance of their enrollment marketing campaigns quickly. They partner with third-party applications to use tools like ChatGPT in their Google spreadsheets. This combination enhances their team’s ability to make data-informed decisions and optimize marketing strategies for greater effectiveness.

As the AI-driven revolution continues, higher education institutions must embrace these technologies to stay ahead in the marketing race.

About the Author

Noor Mah-E
Noor Mah-E is the digital marketing specialist at Elgin Community College in Illinois. He is a certified digital marketing professional with a bachelor’s in marketing and an MBA in business analytics.