Generic Prompts are Making for Generic Marketers

By Thought Leaders Archives
Cover image for  article: Generic Prompts are Making for Generic Marketers

How much time do you spend thinking about how to talk to a large language model (LLM)? I spend a good deal of time. Here's why.

I’m a brand marketer by background. I can see the eyes rolling from a mile away when I start to spout off about tapping into the emotional core of your audience. “I’m just selling X and they just need to know Y and Z,” says the Sales team. Alas, not so. Even at the very bottom of the funnel, you have a lot to prove to your customer that you understand them and their problems, and that you have a solution that’s right-sized for them.

Enter A.I. Suddenly, these seemingly magic machines can do the work of marketers in a fraction of the time. It’s so simple, you just download a prompting guide from any number of resources (LinkedIn being a major culprit), you copy-paste into ChatGPT, dopamine releases as you watch the outputs typed out before your eyes, and you’re off to the races.

There are a few problems to this. As a brand marketer turned A.I. consultant, I will help guide you through.

1. These prompts tend to be quite generic. If you input generic prompts, you’ll get generic answers from any LLM. Generative AI tools use probability to calculate the most likely response to your prompt. It’s just the way they work: boring in, boring out.

2. LLMs are a reflection of us humans. They’ve been trained on massive, opaque corpora of human-generated data, and as a result, they sort of act like us. Surprisingly to most, if not all of the experts in the space, they respond better to emotional cues and persuasion than to simple requests for work. For marketers, this is a big plus. You can use those magic powers of persuasion you’ve been honing your whole career to get the bots to give you more impressive results. You can tap into the emotional core of your brand, your business and your consumer/customer. Do not lose this thread as you are bombarded with Marketing 101-level prompts to try on.

3. The “frontier model” LLMs (ChatGPT, Gemini, Claude, Llama, etc.) are apt to use any data that you input to train the models of the future. It’s not clear exactly how and when this is happening, but we know it’s happening, because the NYT is suing OpenAI about exactly this. So never, I repeat, never input your sensitive company or client information into ChatGPT or equivalent. If you have a single-sign-on accessible, data-gated enterprise account, and your company has approved the safeguards for business use, then it’s probably okay. That’s for your CTO to decide, not me!

What does all this mean in practice? I’ll show you! I’ve pulled some very generic prompts from the internet. The type of prompt you see anywhere and everywhere in the “Top 10” guides published ad nauseum to garner algorithmic love. With the help of Anthropic’s Claude, I re-wrote them with the following principles in mind:

Emotional Intelligence: Encouraging LLMs to tap into universal feelings and aspirations.

Cultural Fluency: Guiding LLMs to respect and embody diverse cultural values.

Symbolic Thinking: Using products as metaphors for deeper human experiences.

Narrative Integration: Weaving offerings into the emotional fabric of stories.

Universal Yet Adaptable: Creating frameworks that are broadly applicable yet contain no sensitive data and are easily customized.

Use Case




Ad Copy

Can you generate ad copy ideas for a [product/service] that is focused on [target audience], which is struggling with [pain point], and the [product/service] can help them with [key benefit]? Please make sure to emphasize [unique selling point].

Focuses on product benefits without deeply understanding the emotional landscape.

You're marketing to Gen X women who are breadwinners but feel perpetually behind. Prompt: 'Before writing, spend a day in their world. Join Facebook groups where they share raw truths: balancing kids' tuitions with parents' care, feeling they started retirement planning "too late". Note phrases that show deep fears, e.g., "watched my mom struggle, terrified that's my future." Now, craft ad copy that shows profound empathy and speaks directly to the audience as if they were in the room.


Blog Posts

I'm struggling to come up with a clear structure for my blog post on [topic]. Can you generate an outline that covers [subtopic 1], [subtopic 2], [subtopic 3], [subtopic 4], and [subtopic 5]? Please ensure that the outline includes [specific detail] and [specific detail] to provide the reader with valuable insights.

Structure-focused, missing emotional arc and reader's inner journey.


Start with an idea anchor, and ask the LLM to build subtopics around it.

As a brand blogger, we are writing about 'Navigating Career Crossroads' for ambitious yet burnt-out professionals. They're not just seeking advice; they're craving understanding. Start with this primary idea: 'At 2 AM, staring at your resignation letter—I've been there.' Now, let's structure a blog that mirrors their emotional journey: Propose five subtopics that augment the primary idea. Give them titles and suggested copy.  Weave in data on fulfillment vs. salary and quotes from innovators who defied norms. Each section should make the reader feel “seen” and validate a feeling 'This understands my soul'.



Competitive Analysis

What are the key elements of the marketing strategies in [industry] and how could we improve our own approach?

Examine the customer feedback and reviews of our top [competitor's names] and suggest ways to address any pain points or areas of improvement.

Too data-focused, missing the emotional and narrative aspects.

Set the stage and designate a role. Then parse the task out step by step with a clear end goal.

In the [industry] space, customers aren't just buying products; they're choosing stories to be part of. You’re a business analyst and together we are going to work to understand our competitive landscape. Please do the following step-by-step: 1. Analyze how [Competitor A] and [Competitor B] craft narratives around [key value, e.g., 'sustainability' or 'innovation'. 2. Take some time to think about how their brand stories make customers feel? 3. Now, revisit our brand's core mission. What untold emotional story can set us apart? For example, if we stand for 'empowerment', how can every touchpoint—from ads to packaging—make customers feel truly empowered in a way competitors don't? 4. Write up a 500-word competitive analysis that summarizes your findings. The audience is executive management, so be sure to be professional and source your findings.

Influencer Marketing Brief


Develop a content strategy for an influencer campaign to promote a new [product line] on [YouTube, Instagram, TikTok etc.] targeting the [age group] demographic.

 Generic goals, not tapping into influencers' and audience's emotional world.

"Your new [eco-luxury skincare line] is about 'Healing Earth, Healing Self'. For your TikTok campaign, we're partnering with influencers who've openly discussed eco-anxiety and self-doubt. Prompt: 'Share a time when [your biggest insecurity] made you feel disconnected from yourself and nature. How did finding harmony in one help the other? Our [seaweed-infused serum] symbolizes this unity. Script a heartfelt TikTok story—your journey from inner conflict to peace, with our product as a gentle guide. End with a challenge: #EarthSelfHarmony, inspiring Gen Z to share their own stories.' How can this vulnerability-driven campaign turn skincare into a movement?"


Compose an Instagram post caption that showcases the benefits of [product/service] in a compelling way."

Focused on surface-level engagement, not deep emotional impact. Don’t forget audience and CTA!

Compose an Instagram post caption (max 250 characters) for our new eco-friendly water bottle, 'AquaGreen.' Target young, environmentally conscious adults who feel frustrated by single-use plastics. Use an upbeat, friendly tone that conveys a sense of hope and empowerment. Highlight how its durability and BPA-free material make users feel good about reducing plastic waste. End with a CTA that encourages them to join a community of change-makers by visiting our website.

Magnet Leads

I'm interested in creating an email lead magnet that would resonate with [target audience], who are primarily [demographic descriptor] and interested in [topic], as well as [related topic/related topics]. What are some effective lead magnet ideas that you can suggest, ChatGPT, that align with [target audience's] [interests/hobbies/needs], and motivate them to sign up for my email list?

Not deeply empathetic or trust-building.


Start with an idea anchor, and ask the LLM to copywrite around it.

Your target audience is female entrepreneurs over 40, who feel tech is passing them by. Create a lead magnet email: 'From Overwhelmed to Overachieving: A Late Bloomer's Tech Survival Guide'. Include personal stories from successful women who once felt lost. How will this guide validate their struggles, boost confidence, and position you as an empathetic mentor? Lastly, articulate why your email will drive new customers to our company, which does [product/service.] Then write a CTA that adds value to her experience.

Persona Writing

What type of lifestyle would someone have if they were in the market for [product/service]? What are the common pain points, values, interests, and hobbies of the individuals who would buy [product/service]?"

Too generic, missing emotional depth and specific scenarios.


Sometimes it’s useful to split it into two tasks.

Envision Sarah, a 28-year-old ambitious professional in [city], who's just been promoted. She's seeking a [product/service] to celebrate her success and maintain her edge. What are her deepest fears (e.g., imposter syndrome) and dreams? How does [product/service] become a symbol of her achievements, helping her feel confident and inspiring her colleagues? Your first task is to describe a day in her life, focusing on emotional highs and lows where [product/service] makes a difference.


Now, based on this narrative, please write up a single page persona for Sarah that outlines her lifestyle, pain points, values, interests, and hobbies.

Product Placement


 Can you provide some ideas on how to showcase [product] in a [type of scene] that captures the [essence/tone] of my project, while also resonating with my [target audience] and staying true to the [storyline/plot]?"

Superficial integration, not aligning product with story's emotional core.


Give the LLM a role and a goal. “Money” also works.

You are my product placement executive and we need to integrate [product] into a [movie/TV show/web series] in a way that transcends mere visibility. How can [product] become a symbol or metaphor that mirrors the protagonist's emotional journey? For example, if the story is about [overcoming fear/finding identity/rebuilding trust], how might [product]'s features or usage reflect those themes? Consider scenes where [product] could silently communicate the character's inner state or growth. The goal is for viewers to see [product] and instantly connect it with the story's heart, making both more memorable. Describe five of these scenes.


Now that you’ve described the scenes, generate five distinct pitches, 1000 words each. If we sell one in, we’ll be able to make a big bonus, so make sure and think this through completely.

Survey Writing

What are some key questions to ask in a customer survey to gauge [product/service] satisfaction?"

Too functional, not engaging customers emotionally or personally.


Give context clues and specific number and type of output.

We've just launched our [product/service], a [brief description], targeting [target audience]. After 3 months of use, we want to conduct a satisfaction survey. What are 8-10 key questions to ask, covering aspects like ease of use, customer support, perceived value, and likelihood to recommend? Include a mix of rating scales (e.g., 1-5 or 1-10) and open-ended questions. Also, suggest one question that subtly gauges emotional connection to our brand. Keep questions concise and jargon-free.

TikTok Content


How can I spot and capitalize on upcoming trends on TikTok to [goal/mission]? I want to take my [idea] on TikTok to the next level, can you give me some tips?

Tactical approach, not diving into cultural and emotional undercurrents.

As a sustainable fashion brand, 'GreenThreads,' you want to use TikTok to shift attitudes towards fast fashion. But trends here aren't just outfit hauls; they're reflections of cultural values. Today's task: 'Become a TikTok trend forecaster for ethical fashion. Here's your process:

  1. Look beyond viral aesthetics to underlying consumer shifts. How are users discussing 'outfit repeating'? Do 'thrift flips' and 'capsule wardrobe' videos signal a move away from disposability? Note which posts about a garment's origin or longevity get the most engagement.
  2. Predict: What unspoken eco-anxieties will Gen Z and Millennials address next that align with our mission? Will we see a trend of 'fashion footprint confessions'?
  3. Lastly, give me eight unique ideas for how we can catalyze a #SlowFashionRevolution trend. Think of authentic, relatable content that makes people feel empowered to change their buying habits. How can we make sustainable choices feel cool, not preachy?



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