In kitchens all across the country, families gathered this year to celebrate the holidays and discuss the one topic on everyone’s minds: ChatGPT. The AI chatbot from OpenAI is the subject of debate and intrigue. It’s also providing marketing technology firms with new ways to serve their small business clients. One of the latest vendors to jump on the bandwagon is Cidewalk, the local mobile advertising firm.
Cidewalk recently announced a new service called BannerAI, which is being billed as an add-on solution designed to complement the company’s pay-per-spot digital billboard ad service.
Cidewalk’s digital billboard service offers SMBs a way to launch billboard ad campaigns for just $100. It caters to more than 10,000 digital billboards across the U.S., giving advertisers the flexibility to purchase ad spots across any screen at any time. The attractive price point and self-serve model clearly make the new service attractive to SMBs, but according to Cidewalk CEO Venkat Kolluri, the process of creating relevant graphics for billboard ad campaigns has held back small business owners and prevented the new solution from gaining more widespread industry adoption.
“It is a time and resource-heavy task for a small business owner to find the time to recruit an outside agency to help create the ad graphics. Finding the right graphic or image for a billboard banner ad is never easy,” explains Kolluri.
ChatGPT answers complex questions and conversationally writes essays and codes. The bot can remember the thread of a dialogue, using previous questions and answers to generate its next responses. It’s been dubbed a Google killer, and while it’s too soon to know whether there’s any truth to those predictions, it is clear that ChatGPT has potential. It’s also clear that people are interested in AI more broadly and that there are many uses for the technology that aren’t clearly understood.
Cidewalk’s BannerAI solution is powered by OpenAI, which means it relies on much of the same technology as ChatGPT. The solution helps small business owners generate relevant banner images from scratch using simple text prompts. It’s designed to complement Cidewalk’s RTB-enabled programmatic billboard advertising platform and streamline a process that had previously been taking businesses hours or days, if not longer. Now, businesses can automatically create custom ad creatives to go with their billboard campaigns and then launch those campaigns in minutes.
Using AI to create custom ad creatives means small businesses are less reliant on third-party agencies to create billboard ad copy. It also opens the door to a world of possibilities for AI, and chatbots like ChatGPT in particular.
For example, small businesses with limited budgets can already start using ChatGPT to generate text ad copy for social media and other digital campaigns. Both ChatGPT and Cidewalk’s BannerAI are free, making the current iteration of AI solutions within reach for businesses with limited budgets.
The speed with which businesses can generate fresh ad copy using AI is another factor to consider. Relying on AI rather than outside agencies means businesses can quickly update online campaigns based on real-time information.
For more information on what ChatGPT might mean for small business advertisers in the future, check out What is Chat GPT and Why Should We Care?