In a time when Generative AI (GenAI) is regularly touted as the answer for everything, it’s time we take a step back and consider where marketing really stands and how it’s going to look in the future. In 2024 specifically, will people still be turning to GenAI to write their content, design their campaigns and even weigh in on their strategies? Here’s my take on B2B marketing predictions for the next year.
1. Quality Dethrones Quantity
To understand how buyers interact with marketing, it’s important to first understand how people are feeling today. In general, all of us, especially marketers, are feeling overwhelmed, both professionally and personally. They have great demands on them at work, with many leaders expecting them to do more with fewer resources, and when they do get any downtime, they’re also faced with a barrage from advertisers. These days, you can’t even do a quick Instagram browse without being inundated with content, ads and targeted campaigns.
GenAI is only adding to this firehose by making it easier for organizations to quickly develop content and direct it at buyers. So, while buyers are already overwhelmed, businesses are actively adding to the noise because technology has made it easier for them to do so. But in the iconic words of Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, people have been “…so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
Perhaps the future needs to be built around fewer, better approaches. In 2024, it’s going to be preferable to do fewer things more intentionally rather than spreading yourself thin and trying to do everything. This means being more thoughtful with your marketing channels, as well as making your communications more personal, relevant and human.
2. Demand for Human-to-Human Engagement Increases
Tying into the section above will be the need for people to know they’re talking to other humans. After all, if everyone is using the same tools (e.g. ChatGPT), their output will all become a blur, as it will all come from a similar cookie-cutter source. The obvious example of this is asking a GenAI tool to write something for you rather than simply using it to streamline your creation process. If you do this enough, you’ll quickly be able to spot when others have used the tool to do their writing as well, and your audience will learn to do so as well.
Because of the oversaturation and reliance on such technology, people may become disillusioned by this type of outreach in the coming year. No one wants to feel like the conversation they’re having with a business is actually just an enactment of a script created by AI. Instead, conversation and engagement should remain human to human. The marketers who acknowledge this and take a more mindful approach to their content and campaigns will benefit. While it may not be especially novel, perhaps the best way to stand out is being authentically human.
3. The Reality of AI Will Sink In and the Wow-Factor Will Wear Off
Of course, none of this means that GenAI isn’t useful. To the contrary, it has a place in handling some of the menial tasks that humans don’t need to spend time handling, serving up templates or forms, or in sparking ideas when our own personal wells have run dry. But even when it’s used as a starting point for communications, it will always need to be polished by people and have their human touch. Without it, buyers stand to feel alienated—the opposite of what they need to feel in this buyer-driven, customer experience-centric world of ours.
As the New Year comes into view, marketers have a lot to look forward to. They can stand out in the coming year by taking a more considered approach to content planning strategies, content development, content deployment and more. And, they can achieve this by prioritizing quality over quantity, increasing human-to-human interactions and using technology (including GenAI) in more thoughtful ways.
Jason Dea is SVP of Product at content experience platform Uberflip.