Artificial intelligence (AI), crowned the word of the year by Collins Dictionary, made seismic waves across the marketing landscape in 2023, and at Buxton, we’re predicting that AI will continue to transform marketing workflows, as well as usher in a new era of highly personalized marketing.
In this article, we’ll look specifically at how AI will reshape content and SEO strategies, increase 1:1 marketing, and result in more data privacy protections in 2024 and beyond.
1. AI Advancements Require a New Content Strategy
Most marketers are already implementing AI. In Hubspot’s State of the Marketing report, 64% of marketers are already leveraging AI in their roles because it increases efficiency and productivity. However, marketers should be careful about relying solely on automation, as authenticity is quickly becoming an attribute consumers look for in brands with video showing to be the number one form of content.
Authenticity Leads the Way
Ranked as the third most important value among U.S. consumers, authenticity emerges as the cornerstone of effective marketing strategies alongside AI. In fact, both AI and authenticity-driven marketing are necessary with balance being key. According to the Hootsuite Social Media Consumer 2024 survey, 62% of consumers express reluctance to engage with AI-generated content, emphasizing a desire for genuine, human-driven interactions. Gartner's foresight further accentuates the shift, predicting a 50% reduction in consumer use of major platforms by 2025, fueled by concerns over GenAI disseminating misinformation on social media.
Dominance of Video Content
In addition to authentic content, video content is set to dominate digital platforms in 2024, especially since individuals on average spend 100 daily minutes consuming video content. Despite the medium’s popularity, brands are not meeting their consumer’s demand. Oberlo's findings reveal that 54% of consumers crave more video content from their favorite brands. Moreover, Shopify reports that half of consumers credit videos for aiding their product and brand decisions, underscoring the profound influence video content is expected to wield in shaping consumer preferences and purchasing behavior.
Not only is there a demand for more video content, but the type of video content may take a different form in 2024. For the past few years, 15-30 second video reels dominated on TikTok and Instagram with an emphasis on trending audio. However, we may see a return of long-form video content as consumers demand more authentic, original content from brands due to AI.
2. AI’s Search Engine Evolution Leads to More Focus on Mobile Touchpoints
AI is not only impacting the way consumers interact with content, but it is also revolutionizing the way people search for information. As the most popular search engine, Google's SGE roll-out in 2024 will cause monumental changes to content marketing and SEO. And while this may generate new opportunities to be discovered, brands may need to rethink their SEO and content strategy for the new era of AI search, particularly as it pertains to organic site traffic. Gartner predicts that brands will see their organic site traffic decrease by 50% or more by 2028 as consumers embrace GenAI-powered search.
Brands may need to rethink more than just their SEO and content strategy. Until now, the primary focus has been on web personalization. However, as AI continues to change the way people interact with search engines, brands will need to consider other touchpoints, i.e. mobile. According to a survey by Quantum Metric, 73% say mobile is the primary way customers engage with their brand, making mobile commerce one of the biggest trends in 2024. With mobile commerce on the rise paired with a consumer’s growing demand for a customized experience, personalization remains key in the mCommerce domain.
3. AI-Driven Personalization Increases 1:1 Marketing
In the increasingly competitive landscape, brands must make a lasting impression on customers to stay relevant; in fact, consumers demand it. In the recent State of the Connected Customer report by Salesforce, nearly two-thirds of customers expect companies to adapt to their changing needs and preferences, making personalization a big priority in 2024, more specifically, AI-driven personalization.
When it comes to personalization, companies have been using AI to enhance the customer experience for years. One common use case is showing product recommendations based on a customer’s previous transaction history. However, as AI continues to advance in 2024, organizations will look to scale their AI-driven personalization efforts to not only react to customer behavior but to anticipate each customer segment’s needs.
This predictive approach will help organizations go beyond the traditional use case to provide a truly personalized, one-to-one experience. One-to-one account-based marketing used to be reserved for enterprise customers only. But thanks to AI, advancements in personalization may make marketing to the individual at scale possible like never before.
4. AI and Personalization Mean More Data Privacy Protection
As AI and personalization continue to shape the marketing landscape in 2024, data privacy emerges as a paramount concern, and with good reason. Anticipation is building around the need for comprehensive AI regulations, particularly following the implementation of the EU AI Act in December 2023. The surge in AI development has spurred concerns, prompting a call for guidelines. Quantum Metric reveals that 61% of executives foresee significant impacts on their investments due to impending AI regulations, underscoring the growing recognition of the necessity for a regulatory framework in the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence.
In addition to the rise in AI policy, another data privacy trend shaping 2024 is Google’s phasing out of third-party cookies. The death of third-party cookies, accelerated by Google's recent decision, significantly impacts marketers worldwide. While Safari and Firefox had already abandoned these cookies, Google Chrome's dominant 63.47 percent global market share as of August 2023 makes this move pivotal. Google's phased approach involves blocking third-party cookies for one percent of Chrome users in Q1 2024, escalating to a complete block for all users by Q4 2024. This shift forces marketers to reevaluate their targeting and tracking strategies, necessitating innovative alternatives in data collection.
In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, embracing AI is not just a choice but a necessity for staying competitive in 2024. As the demand for AI continues to surge, the growing need for comprehensive data cannot be overstated, especially in the post-cookie era. Beyond the confines of first-party data, marketers are increasingly recognizing the indispensable value of third-party data.
Third-party data serves as the missing link in marketing’s AI evolution, enriching an organization's understanding of its audience and providing a holistic, 360-degree view of customers. First-party data enriched with third-party data is the key to achieving genuine 1:1 personalization, filling gaps in insights, and enabling marketers to craft hyper-targeted campaigns. In the age of digital marketing, where precision is paramount, the relationship between AI and third-party data is poised to redefine strategies and elevate the effectiveness of personalized advertising, marking a pivotal shift in the way businesses connect with their audiences.
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