As we prepare to close 2023, it is clear that the world of marketing and sales is changing rapidly. Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role in both disciplines and businesses that fail to adopt AI-powered solutions will be left behind.
Here are 10 marketing and sales predictions for 2024:
Solutions, not products are what customers will look for
Your clients have a pain they want to address or a possibility they want to achieve. Although it might seem counterintuitive, consumers rarely want to buy things for the sake of buying them – they want to solve their problems.
Your customers have to see your product as a solution, and not just a product. To do this, especially in writing copy, focus on the benefits rather than the product features. This will also serve as your guide when you write prompts for ChatGPT or Bard ie “write a post focusing on X product benefits and how it will help your customer”
Prospecting will be more critical
With the many ways, you can now get leads using different strategies, sales teams have to be ready to turn these online leads into prospects. Sellers, business owners, sales professionals have to be able to turn them from being aware of the product or service to actually having the interest to buy. How do they do this? Online sellers, business owners have to maximize Conversational Commerce using Psychology or Neuro-Linguistic Programming and know how to create rapport even through direct messages.
Research, research, research.
- Going on an online presentation with a client? Check out their Linkedin, Facebook, or Instagram profile before logging in. Find out if you have anything in common. Rapport is simply “people liking people because they are like them”. Find out shared interests so you have a foot in the door when it comes to conversation topics. Your client will also appreciate the extra effort you took in knowing about them ahead of time.
- Doing a webinar or an online challenge? Check your attendees’ demographics. Are they in a common age range? Why not choose music that will fit their generation. This will get them in nostalgia mode and remind them of happier times.
- Meeting a client for the first time? Ask about them in your circle. Choose a place where you think they will feel comfortable. If at all possible, find out their favourite drink and casually include it in your orders.
Understand your buyers
Have a deep and clear understanding of your customers’ minds. This way, your digital marketing campaigns become more intentional in reaching your audience, creating rapport, empathizing and building relationships. The relationship you want with your clients all start in the brain. You have to remember the Five Magic Words, “What’s In It For Me?” Make sure you have, within your product or service, the answer to this question.
Think in terms of stories
Neural coupling allows people to relate to another person’s story. They see themselves as the characters you write about. This is why it is important to tell stories about your customer’s situation, journey, pains and problems and then position your product or service as something that solves that problems. In this AI revolution, stories will be that one thing that will humanize your communication.
Turn your video on
Whether it’s on Tiktok, Instagram Reels, Linkedin Live, Facebook Live. Youtube, Youtube Shorts, Instagram Live, Webinars, Conference and Summits. Video marketing is ON. With the advent of so many AI tools, long-form videos will be your content savior as you can reuse and repurpose this many times over.
What is a sales funnel?
The stages of a sales funnel can vary, but a traditional model follows these phases from top to bottom:
Awareness – potential client finds out about your brand or business
Interest – where a prospect signified interest or show signs of liking of your brand or business
Desire – when it becomes clear that you can provide the solution they want, potential clients start to really want your product or service
Action – this is where the decision-making happens.
The role of the funnel is to take your customers on a journey about your brand. This is included as part of the list because while the concept is pretty known in the US, Canada and Europe, its use, the function it is still not as popular in Asia. With the arrival of less expensive, but equally reliable providers, more business owners will have access to better digital platforms.
Be an active listener
We listen to the reply. Or we listen to agree. We rarely listen just to listen. 2024 will see many brands continuing polls on social media or asking questions in their emails. The data we get from these polls will help AI tools to get the pulse from customers and predict next steps based on patterns. If you want to truly understand what your audience thinks and feels, you should follow this trend.
Meet buyers where they are
Not geographically, but psychologically and platform-wise. Some of you may already know the different stages of a customer’s journey. They start from being completely unaware, problem aware, solution aware, product aware to being fully aware of your brand or business. Business owners and marketers should have different communication for each stage of the journey and adjust this according to the platform where they are at. For example, Tiktok is great for Discovery Commerce. Since this is your first touchpoint, you assume that they are still completely unaware and create an ad or material that will focus on the emotional benefits of using your product and a very short mention of your brand. Webinars on the other hand are for those who are willing to spend more time getting to know you and are therefore already fully aware customers.
“AI-Powered” will become the norm
- AI-powered predictive analytics will be used to identify and target high-value leads. AI will be used to analyze data to identify potential customers who are most likely to convert. This will allow businesses to focus their marketing efforts on the most promising leads.
- AI-powered content creation will become more sophisticated. AI will be used to create more engaging and relevant content for marketing campaigns. This will help businesses to capture the attention of their target audiences.
- AI-powered social media marketing will become more effective. AI will be used to automate social media marketing tasks and target ads to specific audiences. This will help businesses to reach their target audiences with more relevant messages.
- AI-powered sales forecasting will become more accurate. AI will be used to analyze historical data to forecast future sales. This will help businesses to make better decisions about inventory, pricing, and marketing campaigns.
- AI-powered sales automation will become more common. AI will be used to automate sales tasks such as lead generation, qualifying leads, and scheduling appointments. This will free up sales reps to focus on more important tasks such as closing deals.
While AI is poised to play a major role in marketing and sales in 2024, marketers have to remember that artificial intelligence remains just a tool in the over-all marketing campaign. Businesses that adopt AI-powered solutions will be well-positioned to succeed in the increasingly competitive marketplace, only if the communication is clear, intentionally planned and fully understands its market.
The power of AI to transform businesses is undeniable. As AI continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative and impactful applications of this technology.
Learn more about AI and how it can help your business at the AI Summit Abu Dhabi 2023. The event is slated for October 14, 2023 at the Proxperts Lifestyle Events, 2nd Floor, Life Pharmacy Building, Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi.
The AI Summit Abu Dhabi 2023 is organized by Creative Nerve and Proxperts Lifestyle Events and supported by the Philippine Embassy UAE and the Philippine Business Council Abu Dhabi.
Written by Valerie Fischer