2023 has been a busy year for AI. From the continual release of ChatGPT features, to more companies and marketers now actively pursuing and investing in Generative AI projects and process augmentation, what we have seen so far is only the beginning of a much broader transformation that will impact brands, marketers, and consumers in the next decade.
AI is a fast paced and fascinating field, a technology with the potential to open doors to endless possibilities. But it is also a fast-moving technology that can be overwhelming for marketers and brands trying to decipher what would be helpful for their business.
For marketers planning to start, or deepen their AI journey next year, there are a few areas that should get their attention, particularly when it comes to how AI and other data-driven technologies overall will impact digital experiences (DX):
- Conversational interfaces & AI – AI will serve as the catalyst in the rapid evolution of chatbots, transforming them from script-based utilities to intelligent conversational agents. Natural language understanding, context-awareness and personalised user journeys will be the new benchmarks for chatbot excellence.
- Embedded AI – AI will transition from being a “gimmick” or “me-too” feature to becoming a genuine value-added element in software products. Companies will need to thoughtfully integrate AI to solve real problems rather than just follow market trends.
- Frictionless Experience – With AI becoming a hot topic, consumer tolerance for friction is expected to decrease. The drive for seamless experiences will accelerate.
- Content Personalisation – Content personalisation will graduate from basic demographic targeting to real-time, context-aware content adaptation, necessitating agile content workflows that can keep pace.
- Ethical Considerations Around AI – As AI takes on more roles in communication and decision-making, ethical governance will transition from a niche concern to a mainstream requirement for corporate responsibility.
- Regulatory Challenges & Customer Data – As global data privacy regulations intensify, the adoption of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) will surge, with a premium placed on solutions that offer built-in, robust compliance frameworks—turning regulatory adherence into a competitive advantage.
- Evolution of CMS – The shift away from developer-intensive, monolithic CMS architectures will gain momentum, as companies recognise the pitfalls of overinvesting in systems that are cumbersome to manage and slow to realise value. Agile, low-code solutions will emerge as the go-to options, spurred on by successful re-platforming projects.
- Remote work impact – The continued prevalence of remote work will blur the lines between digital and physical interactions. Businesses will need to re-strategise their customer journey maps to integrate new forms of digital engagement that can effectively replace or complement traditional physical touchpoints.
- Edge Computing – Will continue to be the ultimate enabler for ultra-personalised content delivery and seamless real-time experiences, driven by cost-efficient data processing and the integration of machine learning.
Creating a virtuous data cycle in 2024
Core to all these trends and technologies is one thing: data. More specifically, rich, properly governed data is a pre-requisite.
But similarly, to AI, data can be both incredibly helpful and overwhelming for brands and marketers that don’t know how to collect the most relevant sets of data, how to prioritise which data to use in which context, and how to use it for AI-driven purposes, particularly in the context of digital experiences.
Here are four things to keep top of mind to help prioritise investments next year:
- Data Mesh, and more importantly Data Fabric will continue to demonstrate the improvement in both data quality, operationalisation, and economics.
- Data stewards and data citizens are rising in the employee base of many organisations and are starting to be recognised and form active communities. After the rise of the CIOs and CDOs / CDAOs a few years ago, we are witnessing the same data centric evolution at departmental and team levels.
- Data governance and knowledge management practices which until now were treated as a regulatory cost, are starting to be perceived by leading organisations as an opportunity cost to drive better decision making (especially when it comes to integration of non-relational data in operational decision making).
- The spiralling costs of operating complex point-to-point data integration systems are pushing organisations to review their app-centric data architectures and embrace data-centric architectures.
Data is what will underpin whether the digital experience strategies and AI-driven projects of the next decade will succeed or not. Brands that learn how to create a virtuous cycle of knowledge management in 2024 will be the ones that lead the way and reap the benefits of these new technology advancements, while others slowly drown in an exponential sea of data sets, unable to follow the quick evolution and expansion of AI-driven digital experiences.