AI will help marketers and companies do more than ever in 2024, but it’s still best to think of it like a Tesla. It can’t operate entirely on its own. Any AI solution you integrate into your operations will require you to be in the driver’s seat to avoid devastating accidents.
There are many claims about what AI can do:
But all those claims are wild. I’m the first believer in the power of technology to transform the way we live and work in dramatic, life-altering ways. I orchestrated Gateway Computers’ Total Home solution back in the 1990s, way before the internet of things was a thing.
I believe AI does have the power to bring about a similar level of change to how we live, work, shop, play and interact with one another. I think it holds amazing ability to improve healthcare, banking, manufacturing, power and public utilities and much more.
But it’s not there yet.
As we stand on the cusp of a new year, it’s important to be realistic about what AI actually can do for your organization in 2024. Here are four ways I believe you can realistically count on AI to bring improvement, efficiency and breakthroughs in how you engage your customers this year.
#1: AI Can Help You Go to Market Smarter
AI is great at analyzing data and crunching numbers to deliver insights. Tasks that would have otherwise taken a team of humans a week to complete can now be completed in hours or even minutes. But, AI can’t help you see the big picture through all that data.
You must keep your customer front and center. Assess the insights AI delivers and act on them to market smarter to your ideal audiences. Google shared that laundry brand OxiClean used AI-powered Video Action campaigns on YouTube to create a seamless path from discovery to purchase.
The AI-powered campaign results in a nearly four-fold increase in conversions, at a 72 percent discount on CPC (cost per conversion). What can your brand learn from OxiClean? For starters, if you aren’t thinking of YouTube as the world’s second largest search engine, you’re missing out on a significant intersection point with your ideal audiences. The world is on YouTube and to market effectively, you need to incorporate it into your GTM (go to market) plans for 2024.
#2: AI Can Powerfully Scale Your Creativity
While AI cannot replace human ingenuity, it can help you scale your creative process. It can also generate new types of content and help you break into new channels with innovative ad placements.
For instance, if you are paying people to flip and trim ads, record voice-overs for commercials and spend hours animating text, you’re hamstringing your team. AI can do all those things for you faster and more cost effectively.
Marketers may be afraid to use AI in this way because they believe their team will feel threatened. The reality is that using AI for these tasks frees designers and copywriters, art directors and creative leaders, to do what AI can’t – be truly creative.
One example Google provides in a campaign is that marketers that took existing landscape creative pieces and used AI tools to turn them into vertical shorts on YouTube saw 10 to 20 percent more conversions per dollar.
AI doesn’t replace people – it frees them to focus on higher level tasks that AI can’t do now, and may likely never be able to do.
#3: AI Can Help You Build Trust With Your Customers
Trust is built little by little over thousands of tiny, mundane interactions. Consistently receiving relevant and engaging ads and offers at the right time and in the right way motivates customers trust you and want to purchase from you.
While humans must decide what to market to their customers, AI can help marketers make better decisions. AI tools can interpret first party customer insights so you can present the most relevant, next best action for every one of your customers, at every opportunity. The result is more relevant, personalized marketing messages to customers on a more consistent basis.
AI tools can do the same thing for your employees as well, who are the hands and feet of your brand and your most important asset in developing trust with your customers. AI can’t empathize with your customers, only your employees can. But the more engaged and valued they feel, the better they will interact with and serve your customers. So, look for opportunities to use AI tools in 2024 to improve the employee experience and engagement as well.
A Final Word: Prioritize Authenticity in 2024
AI will continue to advance and improve in the new year, opening exciting new opportunities for marketers. As you turn over the shiny, glittering jewel that is AI and the promise it holds in your hand, make sure you prioritize authenticity – because your customers will know it if you don’t.
The level of insight marketers have into their ideal audiences’ lives is scaringly detailed. If you reveal too much too fast, you risk a backlash from customers who feel their privacy has been invaded. If you chase after AI tools too fast and over-rely on them without keeping human creativity at the core of every use case, you risk coming off as inauthentic with your customers. And nothing will ruin your brand faster.
In the year ahead, embrace AI as a powerful tool capable of helping you interact with customers genuinely, based on your core values. Keep those and your customers’ best interests at heart as your North Star guiding every decision. Do that and you will fulfill the promise of AI and what it can do for your brand in 2024.