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Marketers optimistic despite AI-driven content challenges
Thu, 21st Dec 2023

New research suggests growth potential for the marketing content industry in 2024, though creative professionals should brace for several possible challenges. Three-quarters of content creators predict an increase in content production and an augmented budget to facilitate this growth. Despite this optimism, concerns around plagiarism and quality threaten to dampen enthusiasm as artificial intelligence (AI) continues to dominate marketing conversations.

The survey, conducted among marketers in the UK and the US, revealed that Brits in particular have a sunny outlook on the year ahead. A total of 24% of UK marketers expect a significant increase in marketing budgets compared to 15% in the US. In terms of content, one quarter of British marketers anticipate a substantial increase in volume compared to 15% of their US counterparts.

While AI remains an attractive solution for expanding content needs, it is also a source of concern for some marketers. Worryingly, issues with quality and plagiarism rank as top concerns for two-thirds of respondents when it comes to AI-generated content. Other apprehensions include the need for human moderation (50%), an overload of content (30%), and a lack of creativity and personalisation (30%). That said, most respondents believe AI will play a crucial role in content management in the next two years, although human oversight will still be indispensable.

Canto's VP, Andrew Hall stated, "With markets steadying in both the UK and the US, this research indicates brands' increased confidence to invest in more content production. However, these reported budget increases may still not be enough. 43% of those we surveyed said having adequate budget and resources to create, manage and distribute content is a top challenge."

Furthermore, the study exposed a significant expectation gap between marketers in non-managerial roles and those with management responsibilities. 80% of non-managers foresee the same or an increased level of content output, whereas content production expectations rise to 93% among decision-makers.

As content volumes surge, efficient management becomes increasingly essential. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents find it frustrating to search for digital assets, such as images, video content, documents and other digital brand content. During a working week, a quarter (25%) of teams spend over 5 hours searching for digital assets, and 41% waste 3-4 hours. Respondents agreed that being able to promptly locate the right content is key to meeting strategic goals.

The biggest hurdle confronting marketers involves dealing with the increasing demand for content across different channels. This is a specific apprehension among UK professionals, with 58% citing this issue compared to 47% of American respondents. In conclusion, Hall emphasised that the burgeoning content marketing sector offers marketers and agencies the opportunity to excel, provided they operate effectively and consistently. Half of the British marketers surveyed acknowledged that the continuous distribution of outdated or off-brand assets had negatively affected their company's reputation. "So, in 2024 it's not only an opportunity to do more, but to do better with more," Hall added.