This time of year is full of traditional challenges. Last-minute shopping, travel planning and dodging weird Uncle Clifford to avoid his stream of super-personal health details at the family holiday gathering.
On a professional level, marketers are trying to figure out how to apply what they’ve learned (heard of generative AI?) over the last year to the next 12 months. Your resident Look Left smartypants have gleaned some insights to give you a running start in 2024.
Adjust B2B marketing and PR KPIs with evolving buyer personas
Jennifer Tanner, vice president, infrastructure practice lead: “In 2024, we’ll see radically transformed buyer personas across nearly every industry, and B2B marketers will need to account for these dramatic shifts. Especially in tech, the savvy buyer has a tighter budget and will be more concerned with how brands add value and solve problems. Smart, optimized content and focused event programs will be key to generating high-quality leads for your pipeline.”
Embrace AI and people smarts for B2B content marketing and media relations
Bryan Scanlon, principal: “Human AI editors, creatives and communications pros who produce quality work will shine — if they can break through the flood of sloppy AI content jamming search and streams.”
David Sprague, senior content and media strategist: “If 2023 was the year you experimented with AI prompting, 2024 needs to be the year you perfect it. Once you’ve cracked the prompting code, the efficiencies you’ve already found using the tool will expand exponentially. You’ll save tons of time with fewer prompts and edits. Most importantly, don’t gatekeep. Your entire organization will benefit from what you’ve learned — especially for those who aren’t content pros.”
Chris Poisson, senior media strategist: “More media relations pros will incorporate generative AI into their daily work for enhanced efficiency. Initial reservations about GAI will fade with technological advancements. Expect widespread adoption of GAI for tasks like writing press releases, refining pitches and subject lines, building targeted media lists and generating ideas for contributed articles or pitch angles.”
Keep human messaging front and center
Liesse Jayalath, director, creative and content strategies: “Contributed content will be a more significant part of 2024 PR strategies than ever before. But this isn’t a license to mass-produce generic articles. To get published in tier-one outlets, content must have a strong point of view, a fresh take and teach readers something new. If you’re regurgitating stale talking points, there’s limited ‘thought’ and zero ‘leadership.’”
John Moran, vice president, producer: “Those that prepare statements and materials for C-level executives will lean on AI to help draft material for their bosses. That’s fine as a starting point. But the most effective leaders will always fine-tune their messages with simple, direct and personal language. Audiences respond to leaders that are genuine and are turned off by spin — whether a person or machine generates it.”
Scrutinize awards and speaking submissions as budgets tighten
Geena Pickering, account manager and media strategist: “As companies continue to deal with stringent budgets, the value of awards and speaking are being evaluated closely. Map these programs to the company’s 2024 strategy and goals; that way, you will streamline the process and won’t be ambulance-chasing every relevant opportunity. Trying to hire? Look to best workplaces awards. Want to connect with users? Prioritize developer conferences. The careful planning will save valuable time and resources.”
Practice empathy and patience with your media contacts
Amy-Gabrielle Bartoloac, media relations strategist: “We’ll continue to feel the strain of journalists’ short bandwidth as newsroom staffing shortages endure. Media relations pros will need to invest more time in keeping stories and clients top-of-mind. Story-building timelines will be longer, leading to slower turnaround. Keep pursuing a story already promised by a journalist, even if it’s taking time. Checking in to glean a sense of timing doesn’t hurt.”
Keep up with AI’s impact on SEO performance
John Masserini, senior digital strategist: "Last year, we saw Google start the behind-the-scenes process of cracking down on the blatant use of AI to create and steal content. In 2024, search engines will be more forthcoming about how AI can play a role in your tool stack, without it hindering your SEO performance and expanding the wealth of content you can create."
One final tip: Just nod and smile until Clifford finishes his “latest bout with gout” report and enjoy the rest of the holidays. Awkward family moments are all part of the festivities.
Want to create some marketing and PR magic for the New Year? Shoot us a quick note.