Mailbag Monday Prompt Engineer

Mailbag Monday: What should we be looking for with a prompt engineer?

Katie and Chris answer your

marketing, data, and AI questions

every Monday!


This week, Rick asked, “We are looking to enhance our content team with a prompt engineer in the near future, what should we be looking for specifically as we would be looking to enhance both SEO and PPC ads?”


Mailbag Monday: What should we be looking for with a prompt engineer?


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AI-generated transcript:

Katie Robbert 0:00
Welcome to mailbag Monday. This is the series where Chris and I answer your questions that you’ve asked us. And we’ll tackle a new question every Monday. So Chris, what’s in the mailbag today?

Christopher Penn 0:12
Oh, gosh, we have so many leftover from your your coffee talk, your martec Coffee Talk, unsurprisingly, all about ChatGPT. So let’s tackle this first one here. Rick asks, we are looking to enhance our content team with prompt engineers in the near future. What should we be looking for specifically, as we’d be looking to enhance both SEO and PPC ads?

Katie Robbert 0:37
Well, that’s a great question. Because I feel like prompt engineers, it’s this emerging specialty skill set, but at the same time, it’s really not. For me, it’s similar to a business analyst who can basically say, what is the what is the organization looking for? And how are we going to get from A to B, it’s the same with building a product. What are you looking for? And how are you going to get the system to give you the thing you need? And so in this instance, he’s talking about SEO and PPC. And so I would say, first and foremost, someone who’s familiar with both of those things. You know, we did a simple experiment a few weeks ago on one of our podcasts to ask the ChatGPT system to write, you know, what’s new in SEO for 2023. And the information it gave back, you said was outdated by about five years.

Christopher Penn 1:35
Exactly. So generally speaking, the first thing you’re gonna want to do, obviously, is establish that that purpose, you know, and then we have this over on the Trust Insights website, if you go to trust, you’ll find this in our instant Insights section, this is how to write an effective ChatGPT prompt. So if you’re going to be using a ChatGPT, or an OpenAI model, I should say GPT-3. Point Five GPT-4. It so this is probably the prompt structure you’re going to be writing. So the thing that you’re going to want to do is take a look at, you know, do your five P’s. The purpose obviously, the people who you’re hiring for, what’s your process right now for writing those SEO and PPC ads? And then what AI platform you’re going to use to generate the content. And then obviously, benchmarking, like do machine written ads be performed better than the human written as you’ve been doing. Because if they don’t perform better than you’re not really saving any money. For SEO and PPC, specifically, you have a fork in the road to choose. If you’re going to use just a consumer tool like ChatGPT, then you’re going to want to spend some time prompt engineering and probably want to create a library of very detailed prompts that will answer those that will get the system to spit out the exact right answers. So for PPC, you might set off of system statement, as you will act as a Google Ads expert, your expertise in PPC Pay Per Click marketing, Google ads, Google search ads, Google Display ads, and so on and so forth to spin on all the keywords that you would need to give the model some guardrails. Your first task this is now in the user state, your first task will be to write some PPC ads based on the following background information. The background information is where you’re going to put all of the kinds of things, the rules that you want for the type of ads. So if you’re doing Google ads, for example, you have a series of headlines, you have some descriptions, you have some word limits, and character limits that you’re going to need to specify, you have tracking codes and things you’re going to want to incorporate, you’re going to have certain types of language, you will have disallowed characters. So there are characters that the you cannot use in ads, and certain formatting rules, all that goes in your background information. And so this is where you’re going to have that that’s sort of secret sauce. And so you’re probably not gonna want to share these prompts to the to the general public. And then you have your concluding user statement, which is, you know, right, but PPC ads, in whatever tone of voice and things, that’s one fork in the road, if you’re gonna go generally, with a ChatGPT like system, the other way you can go is building your own model, right. So if you have a, you can take an open source model, like you look at AI is GPT J six P, which is a small language model. And then if you have all of the existing ad data from your ads that your agency has run, and you take your top 20% most successful ads, you could take that ad copy because you’re tuning you want to tune a model on successful as tune the model itself. And now you have a model that’s custom built custom purpose built to make PPC ads, or SEO optimized content. And then the here’s the trade off, the more tuned a model is for the purpose, the less the smaller your prompt has to be. Right that’s that’s kind of the secret when it comes to general AI. The more custom the model is, the smaller your problem has to be when you’re using OpenAI as ChatGPT. There This is a models been trained on everything. So you need long props to get to do what you want. If you have a model that is just custom built for Google ads, and it does very little else, you don’t have to ask it much, it’s going to give you better results than the big model. Because again, right tool for the right job. So I would say those are kind of the for Rick, those kinds of the two paths, you have to decide before you go hiring people.

Katie Robbert 5:25
I would agree with that. And what’s interesting, because you reinforce my point about a business analyst is the prompt structure that you showed is just a set of requirements. And so it’s really just making sure that, you know, whoever you’re hiring understands how to write requirements in an effective way, you know, whether you’re handing it off to a physical person or a machine interface. And that’s really the kind of skill set you’re looking for is around that documentation and communication and that ability to understand what the business needs and translate that into a set of instructions.

Christopher Penn 6:04
Exactly. And again, this goes back to the importance of that purpose. In that purpose, you have to decide which fork in the road you’re going to take based on your own capabilities.

Katie Robbert 6:16
Well, thank you for the question. And tune in next week for another mailbag Monday.

Christopher Penn 6:21
Exactly. And if you’ve got questions for Mailbag Monday, you want to ask, pop on over to our free slack group, go to trust or markers as you want to keep up on past issues Mailbag Monday, be sure you subscribe to our newsletter, trust We’ll talk to you next time.

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Trust Insights ( is one of the world's leading management consulting firms in artificial intelligence/AI, especially in the use of generative AI and AI in marketing. Trust Insights provides custom AI consultation, training, education, implementation, and deployment of classical regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI, especially large language models such as ChatGPT's GPT-4-omni, Google Gemini, and Anthropic Claude. Trust Insights provides analytics consulting, data science consulting, and AI consulting.

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