Upskilling, personalization & adaptability: AI trends to expect in 2024


Jan 4, 2024 | by: Alok Arya

Do you remember when leaders in the tech industry were signing an open letter by the Future of Life Institute calling for a six-month pause on all AI experiments? 

The letter published in March 2023 warned about the risks these advanced systems pose to the world, by presenting questions like ‘Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us?’

Well, AI automation has already begun. As per reports, tech giant Google is planning to lay off 30,000 employees from its ad sales unit after making some advancements in Artificial Intelligence. It said that new AI innovations in its AI-powered campaign planner ‘Performance Max’ can automatically suggest and create ads that will perform well for customers, requiring no human intervention and turning the ad sales unit redundant.  

Closer home, Paytm has announced a reduction in its workforce within operations and marketing due to AI-led automation. While the advancements in the technology in the previous year have led to innovations and experiments across the marketing domain with AI-based social media creatives and campaigns taking over the ad world, how will AI affect the A&M industry in the year 2024? 

Experts highlight the AI trends that are expected to evolve advertising and marketing within marketing departments and agency workings. 

Upskilling taking over roles & responsibilities

A new survey by Cheil India notes that six out of 10 people realize the transformative powers of AI and are eager to see and experience its full potential. Among the current workforce that largely makes up millennials and Gen Z, the former anticipate AI streamlining tasks for a more fulfilling life, while the latter seeks AI to customize their experiences, enabling them to live life on their terms. However, seven in 10 Gen Z are afraid of job loss due to the emergence of AI, as per the survey. 

With one of the biggest concerns related to AI being the threat to jobs, Kunal Aman, Head of Marketing and Communications, SAS India previously told Social Samosa that there's going to be a complete reskilling and a huge amount of investment required across departments, including marketing in the long term to get that competitive advantage in the near future. 

Staying abreast of trends and technologies, and exploring AI tools that are available in public in the marketing department is therefore important.  

Unmisha Bhatt, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Tonic Worldwide predicts that AI adoption will make things faster, productive and relevant in 2024.

When it comes to AI’s impact on roles and responsibilities, Bhatt suggests, “The biggest skill set required unlike popular belief around 'Prompts', is the 'Adaptability and adoption of change'. Our goal is to extend the specialization beyond the existing team and make it an organisation-wide skillset - we have been training people to adopt and adapt because rest will follow.”

AI, for its part, not just helps with content curation, but also customer service, ad placements and more. This is possible due to organizations’ ability to use customer history, preferences and context to deliver more relevant ads. Hence, an important factor influencing AI innovation is its ability to combine and sort unlimited data from consumers. 

Prashant Jain, Senior Director, Marketing, HP Inc believes, “One area where marketing departments will have to change is the integration of marketing data science. So, marketing-led data science becomes fundamental to how brand managers or programme managers think of their audiences.” 

Jain continues that they will need to not only know their customer but also their first-party database a lot more. Following this, they need to know what they can practically use in their campaign. 

Taking a step further via Personalization

As per a report by Gartner, AI-generated content is projected to compose 20% of business content. Considering its role in automating tasks and a quick turnaround time, AI is capable of handling multiple responsibilities. 

Kunal Aman, Head of Marketing and Communications, SAS India states, “AI could really transform marketing and envision not only delivering personalized ads but also becoming a content creator. This would allow a marketer to create narratives that are very unique to each and every individual. That's personalization at scale. It's already happening to some extent, but not in terms of the content piece.”

In the near future, Aman maintains that the industry might have very uniquely tailored narratives based on demographics and behaviour patterns that truly change the way we as consumers perceive and engage with brands. 

According to a report from Accenture Song (previously Accenture Interactive), 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.

While the role of AI in marketing has evolved from its focus on segmentation using tools and technologies to personalization, followed by hyper-personalization, Prasad Kothari, Head of Data Science and AI, Hansa Cequity notes, “The conversation now revolves around the verification of loyal segments through blockchain, reflecting a growing hunger for data and AI. This is likely to result in a paradigm shift, especially in the realm of hyper-personalization.”

Kothari mentions that loyalty segments are already defined, and the question becomes, How can we leverage the power of AI to cultivate numerous loyal segments and customers, thereby building loyalty chains? 

Citing an example, he talks about Harley Davidson, which positions itself as a social network. This strategic branding fosters brand recall, collaborating with various industries, including the automotive sector and FSA industry customers, to drive loyalty segments. Loyalty, in this context, almost becomes a chain reaction, as per Kothari.

Alok Arya, Chief Marketing Officer, Equentis Wealth Advisory comments that AI’s ability to generate high-quality, tailored content at lightning speed will help scale marketing campaigns in 2024. 

“Personalization will continue to evolve. However, personalized consumer experiences are key. Navigating through these regulations while offering seamless customized experiences is a challenge the industry must prioritize.” 

Apoorv Sood, Vice President Of Global Business Development and Partnerships, WebEngage states that AI's role illustrates how tailored approaches can drive significant revenue growth in the marketing landscape.

For example, Nike's AI-driven hyper-personalization transformed its customer engagement. By leveraging data insights, they tailored experiences, suggesting products matching individual preferences and saw a 40% sales increase from personalised recommendations. 

In 2024, Sood highlights the trends that will shapes marketing.

  • Democratization: AI tools become accessible to businesses of all sizes, democratising their use. 80% of enterprises will deploy AI in marketing by 2024, according to Forrester.

  • Emerging tech like neuromarketing and conversational AI augments this landscape. AI isn't just a tool but a partner, driving a data-rich, emotionally charged marketing era. Businesses embracing this shift usher in a new age of personalised, generative, and democratised AI-powered strategies.

AI’s impact on client briefs

Sood goes on to suggest that personalization is now a core aspect of briefs, demanding tailored messaging for specific audience segments.

“AI is reshaping client briefs by prioritizing data-driven insights. This technology is introducing new opportunities and nuances to communication strategies. One notable shift is the emphasis on data-driven insights, where briefs prioritize analyzing market trends, competitor strategies, and customer sentiment,” says Sood.

Further, he states that the future involves deeper AI integration, suggesting creative formats and predicting ROI.

Rashi Agarwal, Founder, Megalodon - AI Marketing & Communication Company explains that clients now expect their briefs to reflect a deep understanding of AI capabilities and how they can be leveraged for personalized marketing strategies.

With the need for automation of tasks, she highlights, “Briefs often seek AI-driven automation for marketing processes. This could involve automated A/B testing, real-time optimization of ad placements, and the continual refinement of campaigns based on AI-driven insights.”

Alongside this, Agarwal remarks that dynamic AI and CGI content is anticipated.  This involves personalized product recommendations, tailored promotions, or even dynamically changing website content based on user behaviour.

Further, she elaborates, “Clients increasingly want to see measurable results from personalized campaigns. Briefs often include expectations for AI-driven analytics that track the performance of personalized content and its impact on key performance indicators (KPIs).”

Adding to this, Tonic Worldwide’s Unmisha Bhatt says that exploring personalisation with AI is still in a nascent phase, but a lot of education and handholding is being done to showcase use cases of personalisation.

When it comes to changes observed in the client briefs, Bhatt mentions, “Clients are looking for cost-effective solutions and quicker turnaround times given those are the biggest advantages of AI. It is upon the agency partners to enable brands by showcasing the best use case scenarios for their category.”

While job concerns loom, the A&M industry is gearing up for a paradigm shift, focusing on upskilling, personalization, and leveraging AI to enhance customer experiences in 2024. However, the key lies in adapting, adopting change, and staying at the forefront of evolving AI trends.

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