Value Exchange and The Economics of ChatGPT in B2B Marketing
Updated: Mar 8
In this article we look at the economic implications of AI-tools on B2B marketing and find out why understanding value exchange is key to successful content marketing.
The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is creating new opportunities for businesses in a variety of industries, but none more so than in B2B marketing. AI tools such as Jasper and ChatGPT are transforming the way companies create and deliver content, and the economics behind these tools are changing the industry as a whole.
AI tools, such as Jasper and ChatGPT, to help streamline the content creation process. Whilst these tools can certainly provide efficiencies in terms of time and cost, they also have important implications for the concept of value exchange in B2B content marketing.
What is Value Exchange in B2B Marketing?
Value exchange, in the context of B2B marketing, is a non-monetary exchange where marketer's provides something of value (e.g. an article, white paper, thought leadership) and receives something of value from the reader. This could be personal contact information, simply their time and attention.
This is essentially a market in which 'content' or it might be better thought of as 'information' is traded for personal information.
What makes this interesting is that the reader doesn't know the value of the information they will receive until after they have read the report. If the content is of low value, the target will feel cheated, while high-value content will leave them feeling satisfied and positively disposed towards the company that created it.
This market works well when the value of the content to reader is greater what they share to receive it, and the cost of producing the content for the marketer is lower than the expected lifetime value of that person's personal information. The actual dollar values here will vary wildly depending on the individual and the type of data being requested. A survey by TrendMicro put the value at around US$10-20.
AI-tools are reducing the value of generic content
The rise of AI tools is altering that equation. The tools are reducing the marginal value of content, making generic content written by AI less valuable. Rather than search for an basic explainer article, anyone can just ask ChatGPT the same question. However, the value your audience ascribes to their personal information has remained stable or arguably even increased in recent years.
This implies that companies must invest more in creating high-value, unique content than before to ensure that they continue to surprise and engage their readers.
AI solutions can undoubtedly assist in creating high-value content, but they must be used judiciously. They can be powerful tools, simplifying the research and copywriting process. I used ChatGPT to help write this article. However, the content they produce can also be generic and unoriginal. They struggle to incorporate data and statistics, and are often confidently wrong.
Strategies for creating high-value content
Create content that is tailored to the target audience. This is particularly crucial in the context of B2B considered purchases. Companies must identify decision-makers and opinion-formers within their target audience and develop content that speaks directly to their needs and concerns. This necessitates a profound understanding of the target audience and the development of content that is both informative and engaging.
In-depth research and analysis. This is one of the most effective ways to provide unique insights and information to readers. This could include interviews with industry experts ( a good way of increasing their personal brands.
Providing access to unique data: This can include commissioning surveys into the specific issues your audience is interested in. Alternatively, many companies have access to proprietary data, for example Real Estate companies sharing data on market movements. Building unique datasets using techniques such as web scraping can also be a valuable approach.
The benefits of investing in high-value content
Companies that invest in high-value, unique content are well-positioned to establish themselves as industry leaders, building trust and expertise among their target audience. Such content can be used not only for marketing purposes but also for PR campaigns, as distinctive findings are more likely to receive press attention.
A good example of this is ADP, a large multi-national HR software and services provider. ADP created the ADP Research Institute to produce a variety of research and insights into topics such as Employee Experience, Diversity and Inclusions, Pay, Resilience, Workforce, and Small Business. These high-quality reports, including large-scale research such as the annual People at Work survey and more focused reports such as 'The Geography of Recent U.S. Wage Growth'.
This research has helped build brand credibility and awareness for ADP, it regularly receives media attention, and keeps the company at the forefront of key HR decision-makers' minds. The ADP Research Institute's reports offer unique insights and information that can't be found elsewhere, providing high-value content in exchange for their audience's attention and personal information.
The PowerPoint effect
The purpose of reading white papers and reports in a B2B context is often driven by a specific business need. Those who engage with these materials are often influencers or opinion formers within their organization, seeking information on a particular topic. When an individual uses the information or data provided in a white paper to inform a decision, it can have a powerful impact on the perception of the company that produced the report.
This is known as the PowerPoint effect, as the use of this information in a presentation can enhance the company's reputation and establish them as a thought leader in their industry. By providing high-value content that informs and influences decisions, businesses can build a loyal following of engaged influencers and decision makers who trust their expertise and insights.
Low-value content can cause lasting brand damage
Poor-quality content poses real risks. A target who provides their personal contact information in exchange for a white paper or report that is of low value will form a negative view of the company, eroding trust and making it difficult to recover. Companies must ensure that the value exchange is fair, providing content of sufficient value to the target in exchange for their personal information or attention.
In conclusion, AI tools such as Jasper and ChatGPT have significant implications for the concept of value exchange in B2B content marketing. Whilst they can certainly provide efficiencies in terms of time and cost, they also reduce the marginal value of content, making it more important than ever for companies to invest in high-value, unique content that speaks directly to their target audience. By doing so, companies can establish themselves as industry leaders, building trust and expertise among their target audience and generating motivated leads who willingly provide their personal information in exchange for interesting information.