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Should You Go Acoustic Too?

Artificial intelligence (AI) serves multiple functions for marketing: generative creative content, data analysis, and even personalization. While the convenience of content creation saves time, and the laser-sharp personalization makes scaling customer interaction possible, many dislike the homogenization of ideas. Used with intent (and great editors), AI tools streamline workflows like never before. So why are some companies shying away from these new, shiny AI tools?

The concept of going “acoustic” in marketing refers to a strategic decision by brands to distance themselves from AI-powered technologies and prioritize more human-centric approaches. This trend stems from concerns over the potential negative impacts of generative AI on authenticity, trust, and user experience.

A recent report from Gartner suggests that a growing number of brands are choosing to go “acoustic” by avoiding the use of AI as a point of differentiation. Generative AI comes into question as inauthentic; a cookie-cutter approach to information. The increasing demand for creatives to master and advance AI skills is tempered by the need for marketing managers to balance the use of AI with fact-checking and genuine messaging.

It is predicted that by 2027, one-fifth of brands will position themselves as “AI-free” to differentiate themselves from perceived impersonal and homogeneous businesses. These brands will leverage an absence of AI as a way to build trust with consumers who are wary of the potential negative impacts associated with generative AI. One concern is the association between AI and disinformation. This lack of trust in AI’s abilities could drive some consumers to seek out brands that prioritize human interaction over AI-powered experiences.

The rise of generative AI adoption is also likely to decrease organic search traffic, starting as early as 2028. As top platforms like Google and Microsoft integrate generative AI features into search algorithms, users may visit fewer websites directly, impacting brand visibility and driving marketers to explore alternative channels for reaching their target audience.

And yet, marketing leaders are not abandoning AI. By 2026, 60% of CMOs are expected to use tools like content-authenticating technology and user-generated content to protect against AI-related pitfalls. This approach allows brands to strike a balance between leveraging the benefits of AI while also addressing concerns around authenticity and trust.

Using AI in marketing has a distinct advantage, utilizing tools to analyze vast amounts of data, personalizing at scale like never before, and making dynamic content that adapts to user behavior in real-time. It is the ability to process such a large amount of information, spotting patterns and behaviors, that makes these advances in data-driven reporting invaluable.

AgencyAnalytics 2023 reported that 91% of agencies will use AI in marketing. There has never been the ability, until recently, to use predictive analytics (or data automation) with both efficiency and even further room for development. As these AI predictions evolve, so too will AI customer experiences, expanding marketing to virtual reality and augmented reality. Customers are already enjoying the benefits of AI with personalized suggestions and messaging. The convenience of new technology has already impacted the customer experience, albeit in the background. The race to use AI seamlessly is only mitigated by the oversight needed to ensure privacy and accuracy.

Going acoustic doesn’t mean completely abandoning technology or innovation; rather, it involves striking a balance between leveraging technology where appropriate while maintaining a focus on human interaction. Brands can invest in strategies that prioritize authentic customer experiences through personalized interactions, empathy-driven marketing campaigns, and transparent communication.