Connect with Your Audience

Connect with Your Audience in 2024

Connect with your audience. As we approach the end of 2023, it’s hard to ignore the challenges we’ve faced throughout the year. From record-breaking heatwaves and devastating floods to increasing inflation and growing divisions in society, it’s been a year filled with uncertainties and fears. In this blog post, we’ll explore some interesting insights from Canvas8, our market research partner for all our startup and SME clients, that can assist you in formulating a strategy to connect with your target markets in 2024.

Communications: Trusting the Smaller Communities

As trust in traditional platforms continues to erode, especially with X’s (formally and still known as Twitter’s) role in this decline, people are turning to smaller niche communities that value authentic peer communication and real-world interactions to create more meaningful connections and share more credible information. In 2023, trust has become a rare and precious thing, and individuals are placing their confidence in these smaller and more personal communities.

Brands that lead with authenticity, instead of those focusing on carefully curated content that is designed to appeal to search engines as much as to audiences, are the ones gaining an advantage. By openly acknowledging their imperfections and providing consumers with unfiltered, genuine experiences that connect them with the truth, these brands are successfully maintaining trust and building loyalty.

Media & Entertainment: AI’s Creative Potential and Ethical Concerns

The role of artificial intelligence in the media and entertainment industry is a source of the twin paradoxes of excitement and anxiety. AI offers quick and easy creative opportunities for individuals to experiment with their own content and in this way it is a stimulating breath of fresh air. However, it also triggers concerns about issues such as copyright, ownership and fair compensation as well as integrity around whose knowledge you are actually sharing – yours or a computer’s. There’s a genuine fear that AI could replace human creators, leading to strikes by writers worrying about job loss and losing control over their creative output. That being said, this won’t be the first time that commercial interests laid people off, and it won’t be the last. It’s not even the first time that writers have been badly hit – the first occasion was when the internet exploded onto the scene with blogging and social media about 10-15 years ago.

Innovative tools like Midjourney, Runway, and Adobe Firefly are empowering a much broader audience to create interesting content quickly, easily and cheaply – providing ever more people with the tools they need and the opportunity they desire to express themselves freely and uniquely through visual media. However, as we witness the introduction of new products like Meta’s AudioCraft and Stability AI, which open up exciting possibilities for experimenting with AI-generated audio, it’s also important to consider concerns about biases present in AI datasets. That doesn’t mean you can stick your head in the sand. AI is here to stay, so you’d better get used to it if you want to keep up with the Jones’s.

Connect with Your Audience in 2024

Shopping: AI Personal Assistants and the Value Proposition

AI personal assistants are revolutionising the way we shop, offering personalised paths to discovering products. Nowadays, consumers have the power to use AI to create their own distinct selections of products and shopping adventures. At the same time, brands are under pressure to cut costs and reduce staff amidst a global rise in the cost of living.

With the 2023 increase in inflation rates across the globe, consumers have higher expectations while simultaneously needing to be more budget conscious. Shoppers are actively seeking confirmation that they are receiving value for their money. Brands need to partner with technology to showcase their value and maintain their competitive edge.

 Human-Based Services: Balancing Technology with Trust

When it comes to introducing new technologies into a brand, it’s important to have open and honest conversations with both customers and employees. Being clear and straightforward is essential. Customers want to know how AI will affect their experiences, especially in terms of personalisation, and they also have concerns about stepping into unfamiliar technological territory. Addressing these concerns openly is key.

Although AI can raise consumer expectations, people still rely on trusted human interactions and services for information and support throughout their customer journey. A substantial 70% of US shoppers place greater trust in human salespeople than in technology, and 74% believe that industries have become too reliant on algorithms. Therefore, dedicating resources to customer services that prioritise people’s needs and preferences will promote brand loyalty and elevate overall customer satisfaction.

Conclusion

The challenges we’re facing in 2023 have created a new reality that refocuses on the importance of trust, authenticity and meaningful human connections. Smaller communities, authentic brands, and people-centred services are emerging as reliable foundations. In a world filled with uncertainties, one thing remains clear: the human touch and authenticity are now more precious than ever.

This should not come as a surprise. We are all humans, we crave interaction with other human beings. Pretend relationships might be convenient, cheap and lead to better outcomes, but they are also soul-destroying, lack empathy and create rather than cure the ever growing concerns around overall mental health. We recommend that all brands should ensure that they are human-first rather than robot-first in their approach to AI, if they want to develop genuinely meaningful relationships.

If you’d like to chat to us about how Abacus Marketing, a world-class integrated marketing agency in London, can assist your brand in crafting a robust marketing strategy for the upcoming year, please contact Stephen Taylor-Brown, our Head of Strategy, at steve@abacusmarketing.co.uk to arrange a meeting to discuss your objectives, challenges and opportunities in more detail.