Ethical AI Use, Product Placement Become Bigger CMO Priorities

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Going forward, marketers cannot afford to ignore combating misinformation, ethical AI use, product placement and loyalty programs, per Gartner’s report, “Predicts 2023: AI, Social Toxicity and Disappearing Consumers Forge the Future of Marketing.”

Taking a long view, Gartner predicts that AI’s role in marketing will continue to expand and that those departments with widespread AI use will be able to streamline the creative process and reduce friction. By 2025, this will enable them to shift 75% of operations to more strategic activities, resulting in more dynamic marketing organizations.

The coming year, however, could be a tough one for marketers who will face significant challenges to growing brand value and loyalty amid an economic rough patch and changing digital habits, Gartner forecast in a separate report from earlier this month. By next year, 60% of CMOs are expected to cut marketing analytics teams, while forecasts for ad revenue in 2023 have recently started to shrink.

Product placement is one trend whose impact could be more significant in the months ahead, with a Gartner survey from October indicating two-thirds of surveyed consumers prefer product placement over separate ads. Product placement could garner more of brands’ budgets as they attempt to address ad-averse consumers. Brands such as Coke and Lacoste have seen success with product placement in shows such as Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”

“Brands pay top dollar to reach high-income consumers via digital advertising, but such impressions become less meaningful as this audience figures out new ways to tune them out,” said Kate Muhl, vice president analyst at Gartner, in a statement. “Marketers who cling to traditional digital ad formats will increasingly reach an audience composed largely of digital have-nots.”

Movies and television are not the only areas getting interested from brands. Video game advertising, such as on in-game billboards, has gotten a lot of attention. Hershey found success with the method for its Oh Henry! Candy bar, increasing recall by 15.9 points.