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Marketing to Plumbers

Understanding Context in AI — A Comprehensive Guide

Last week on Technique Tuesday we dove into the exciting realm of Scope, showing how by defining your limits AI tools can work more effectively to produce consistent and solid results.

This week, we’re focusing on the next key element: Context. This multifaceted tool isn’t just a background player; it’s the foundational stage upon which your ideas dance.

Traditionally, context is about what you bring to the table—your unique perspectives, knowledge, and insights—along with a careful consideration of your target audience. It has been shaped first and foremost by your personal experience and background.

AI allows you to go far beyond your own experience. In realms where the goals are clear, context is almost intuitive. You can command your AI tool to “Write professional high-level marketing copy. Aim the results at an audience of plumbers over 40,” and the results can be astonishingly on-target.

When it comes to more complex tasks, like generating art, the path might not be as straightforward. That’s where methods like the Always Ask approach come into play. No harm in asking directly for what you want, as I discovered when I asked Midjourney to create “A marketing image to sell crunchy snacks to plumbers over 40.” Check out this week’s header image to see the results I got from that.

With the addition of AI you can go far beyond your personal experience, instantly polling the LLM you are working with to either come at the problem from another point of view or help you determine how to expand your audience. And in either case it will create output that it has algorithmically determined is more focused on getting the kind of results that will connect with whatever audience you, and it, have defined.

Before delving any deeper, let’s quickly recap the three main tools for better AI interaction:

  • Scope: The boundaries of the conversation. What’s in, what’s out? Think of it as the guide rails.
  • Context: The overall setting, including assumptions, premises, and the audience’s profile.
  • Goals: Your specific objectives or outcomes.

While goals are usually explicit, context tends to be more implicit. We inherently know our own assumptions. One of the unique opportunities that arise from using a general-purpose LLM is its extensive knowledge base. If you have a writing style, share a sample. If you admire a writer, ask for the output to be “in the style” of them. Like scope, defining context with modern AI is an iterative process, and it’s something that can evolve. For it, everything is explicit. It calculates, analyzes, and includes those possibilities in the results.

When we engage with an AI, we can use it to both focus the results and streamline the process. AI doesn’t replace your skills; it leverages them. Your experience becomes a catalyst for a broader, more enriched creative process.

Let’s delve into two basic axis points for understanding context:

  1. What expertise is being used to create this content?

– If you focus on a particular profession, AI can imitate those skills. Whether it’s your specialty or not, AI might even teach you something new.

  1. Who is this content being created for?

– AI’s capabilities here are transformative. It can help you understand your audience better, ask probing questions to refine your focus, and assist in crafting content that resonates.

AI, in essence, sharpens the blade of our intention, enhancing your results.

As you work with AI to unravel context, you’ll uncover hidden assumptions that often go unnoticed. Even the basic notion that there is an audience for what you create will be fully explored once you’ve thought about these techniques first.

Context isn’t a static backdrop; it’s a dynamic and responsive tool that evolves with you and your AI. It’s not something you do before you craft your content. Instead, it’s an integral part of the creation itself, shaping the reference frame and influencing both your abilities and the target audience.

In this new age of AI collaboration, context transcends traditional boundaries, driving you to explore uncharted territories and expand beyond what you thought possible. Remember: “Improving context improves content.” It’s not just a catchy phrase; it’s a creative philosophy that can push you towards innovation, growth, and connection. Don’t hesitate to explore the infinite potential that lies in how you interact with AI. Define your context, shape your content, and unlock the doors to creativity.



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