Trend 1: AI as a search alternative
One of the most noteworthy developments in recent times is the partial substitution of traditional search engines by AI-powered chatbots, particularly in specific use cases. The introduction of ChatGPT, an advanced AI chatbot, witnessed remarkable success, attracting over one million users within just five days of its launch, with its user base now exceeding 100 million. Notably, ChatGPT's capabilities are constantly improving. Recently, ChatGPT can browse the internet and provide users with current information – which means no more data limit until September 2021 – including direct links to sources.
Google has long since launched its own chatbot, called Bard, which has a couple of powerful features enriching the search experience. For example, Bard can connect to Google apps and services like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Maps, YouTube or Flights. Like this, information stored in a user's personal Google account (like e-mails and documents) can be matched to public information (like flight times or driving routes) in order to find solutions for very specific, personal challenges. Furthermore, Bard and ChatGPT as well, are able to analyse images.
Trend 2: AI-backed search
Google is redefining the concept of search with the integration of Generative AI (the type of AI capable of producing various forms of content including text, imagery, audio etc.). The introduction of the Search Generative Experience (SGE), an AI-backed search engine results page (SERP), aims to provide users with highly personalized and real-time search results. The rise of AI-driven chatbots is accelerating the trend toward streamlined, "zero-click" internet search. This marketing trend poses both risks, as companies may lose search visibility and traffic, and opportunities, as businesses can directly engage with their target audience within the SERPs.
That means that content creation will not become less important, as one might expect, but more important. Highest quality content will be more crucial than ever – there needs to be a shift in strategy from easy information snacks to in-depth articles that provide more information than can be displayed in the SERPs. There still needs to be a motivation for website owners to create content with which in-depth questions can be answered and Google cannot afford to burn bridges if they don’t want to compromise on the quality of the answers they are providing. SGE for sure will also impact paid ads – which will probably change in appearance – and social media which will continue to skyrocket and be more crucial than ever for brand building.
Trend 3: AI-generated content
The growing availability of AI has flooded Google with content generated by artificial intelligence, heightening the competition for visibility within search engines. This digital marketing trend, too, offers both opportunities and challenges: Businesses can harness AI-powered marketing tools to improve targeting and personalization, yet they also face hurdles like content saturation and ethical dilemmas. Achieving the right equilibrium is vital to unlocking the potential of AI while upholding authenticity and delivering value in digital marketing initiatives. The key challenge and opportunity is how to utilize AI to create human-like content that caters to the user’s interests – simply pushing one button in an off-the-shelf tool is and will not be enough to create meaningful content experiences. The key to success is customized solutions relying on advanced and individual prompt engineering and combining Large Language Models (LMMs) with company data.
In conclusion, AI is driving significant changes in the field of digital marketing, particularly in online search. As AI continues to evolve, businesses need to adapt to these trends to stay competitive and effectively engage with their target audience in this dynamic digital landscape.
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