You don't need see a tree in a crystal ball for 2024's marketing predictions.
Business analysts, Gartner, have reviewed some marketing developments they think are important for the coming year. 
Amongst their predictions is a decline in the popularity of social media platforms. Up to half of users could reduce their social media activity or give it up all together. The confidence people have in social media content, known as ‘digital trust’, has fallen dramatically. The Information Commissioner’s office (ICO) has highlighted concerns about content created using artificial intelligence (AI). Privacy, data protection and individual rights all come in to play. 

Why worry about AI? 

Using AI to generate content and respond to customer enquiries, known as GenAI, is taking us another step away from the ‘social’ part of social media. According to Gartner more than seven out of 10 feel increased use of AI harms user experiences. 
For businesses, these concerns suggest customer acquisition and loyalty strategies must be refined. AI can improve productivity and save money. However, business owners need to develop new skills to understand how GenAI can contribute to customer engagement. 
AI can free up time for added value marketing, testing, and analysis that can improve measurement and business results. However, it can also present some challenges. The European Union’s AI Regulations are expected later this year. They will affect the development, sale, distribution, and use of AI systems. Like GDPR this will affect businesses outside the EU. The Regulations will prevent, limit or control AI-based practices. With fines up to €30million or 6% of worldwide turnover for serious breaches they can’t be ignored. 

Changes to online searches 

By 2028 Gartner predicts organic searches will halve as people use GenAI search tools. Google says this will take ‘more of the work out of searching’. It claims it will help people understand their searches more quickly, uncover new viewpoints and insights, and get things done more easily. 

The human alternative to AI 

Some businesses are making a point of letting customers know they don’t use AI. This is because some examples of AI-generated misinformation can have far-reaching effects
AI ‘hallucinations’ that create false information could see more customers actively looking for alternatives created by humans. There’s certainly scope for creative marketers who offer distinctive and unique content to challenge GenAI. 
Successful marketers who focus on well-defined branding and brand awareness will continue to provide value. Customers will still respond to creative brand strategies that prioritise their needs. To do this effectively the human touch has never been more important. 

Building trust in print 

Alongside the latest AI developments print publications remain popular and trusted sources of news, information, and advertising. Quality journalism attracts loyal followers so established publications acquire useful first-party data. This means they understand what their readers want. Since Google confirmed third-party cookies will end in October 2024 customer insights like these will become even more valuable. 
Bespoke printed content, created to meet customer needs helps businesses tell their stories. Engaging material in trusted publications continues to offer outstanding results for your marketing investment. 
Speak with our friendly team about building trust with your customers through print advertising this year. 
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