Supercharging Content Creation: How Carmoola Uses AI in Marketing 🚀

When I joined Carmoola in April I knew that I was about to be part of something really special. The founding team had already built the most incredible product to disrupt a completely broken category by putting customers back in control of the car finance process and delivering world-class customer service. Despite not having a marketing department at that time, I couldn’t believe the amount of high-quality content that had already been produced and distributed, and I’ll admit to being massively overwhelmed - how were my team and I (i.e. me and Isabella!) going to keep this up? With a million and one things to do as well, we had to work out how we could punch above our weight with our content creation, without letting anything else drop. 

First things first, why is content so important to us? As a relatively new brand, we’ve got a huge job to do in telling people who we are and why we’re different (better!?) than anything else out there. We don’t have the massive budgets of the more established players meaning we have to work harder to get that visibility, and being easy to find for those in market is key. In a low-trust category with no historic credentials, we need to quickly establish ourselves as experts in our field. Delivering helpful, engaging and interesting content is critical to this and with our 'go big or go home' attitude we’re constantly exploring smarter ways to keep our content game strong. 

Enter AI 🤖

Now, hold on to your steering wheels; this isn't about robots taking over our jobs. My personal opinion on this is that human talent will always be a critical component of the creative process. Whether it’s writing brilliant briefs, developing brand strategies, creative ideation or platinum standard production, real people are essential. But if we can make life easier for ourselves, why wouldn’t we? What this is about, is using cutting-edge technology to give us a head start where we haven’t got the big teams needed to deliver such a high volume of work and to automate some of the parts of the process that distract us from doing the things that deliver more value to our customers.

In the Carmoola team, we've started experimenting with AI tools like ChatGPT, Bard and Midjourney to help us be more productive and try some new things. And the results? 

Well, they're mixed, to be honest. 

Whilst these AI tools have helped us to generate content ideas at an incredible pace, disproportionate to our team size, the output is inconsistent. For example, creating new images for social posts and suggesting content ideas have been fairly successful. We’ve had lots of fun describing what images we want Midjourney to create and asking ChatGPT to generate a million ideas for vox pop question ideas that we can put into briefs for content creators that we’re working with. It’s also been a shortcut to understanding the art of the possible across media channels that we know less about, or for asking how we can automate repetitive tasks, but the tools definitely have their limitations. 

What we’ve learned:

💡 The answer is only as good as the question you ask - like writing a good creative brief, if you don’t describe what you want clearly, succinctly and with key details you’ll get a rubbish output. 

👏 You can coach the tools - we’ve created a helpful prompt for all of the team that enables them to teach the generative AI tools they’re using who we are. This means we get ideas that align more closely to our brand personality and tone of voice, but you have to go through and edit to make things distinctive and different otherwise everything comes out looking and sounding the same. 

🧐 It’s super useful for research and everyday resources - got a subject you don’t understand enough? Need Excel to do something that you don’t know the formula for (🙋‍♀️)? Ask the chat tools - they can talk you through the process, provide you with links to useful resources or even create your presentations for you in a fraction of the time it would usually take and without disturbing the team around you. Also, don't be afraid to tell it it's wrong if the answer you get doesn't work.

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🗣️ AI loves feedback - didn’t get the answer you wanted the first time? Tell it, and add some more detail “make this more cheeky” or “rewrite this using more everyday language” and see what happens. With each extra bit of detail you give the tools they enhance the output making it quicker to edit. As a people pleaser what I especially enjoy about this is that by asking these things politely, ChatGPT seems to adapt its tone of voice and is nice to me in return.

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Takeaway 🥡

AI is far from perfect - but it’s getting better all the time. As good as the tools out there already are, there are definitely some things that they can’t yet get quite right. For example, some of the images generated can be close enough to what you want but just wrong enough that there’s something you can’t quite put your finger on what’s not quite right.

What it does do though, is give us much more ability to be always on, working smarter, and true to the Carmoola spirit having lots of fun along the way. Buckle up, this ride has only just started 👀