How to Incorporate AI into Your 2024 Annual Planning

This AI annual planning guide will help you tackle how your company can incorporate AI and a rapidly changing field into your 2024 strategy.

Published on Sep 19, 2023

Ah, annual planning. It's as synonymous with fall as pumpkin spice lattes, and requires even more caffeine. Every year, annual planning leaves marketers faced with a unique challenge: Keep steering the ship for Q3 and Q4, while shifting your mindset to 2024.

This year is even more challenging because the winds are shifting, so to speak, in the world of marketing. AI has already had a major impact on the way we produce content and the way consumers discover companies and all signs point to 2024 bringing even bigger changes.

So, let's take this planning season on head-first and tackle how your company can incorporate AI and a rapidly changing field into your 2024 strategy.

In this guide:

  • AI in your 2024 strategy
  • AI in your team structure
  • AI standards for 2024

You can also download our the full in-depth 2024 Annual Planning Guide & Kit for more info, templates, and resources to help you incorporate AI in to your strategy and team.

Let's get started.

Your 2024 Strategy

AI is a transformative technology, but it also requires a transformation in strategy to really live up to its potential. Companies have to not only keep up with this rapidly advancing field but also think ahead to how their strategy can best leverage artificial intelligence in 2024.

This means that marketers need to be aware of the potential for AI-powered digital transformation, as well as any new threats and opportunities that may arise over the next few years.

1. Finding your AI use case

If you're planning to incorporate AI into your 2024 marketing strategy, the key question is where. There's no sense in just using AI for the sake of it. Look to your team and try to figure out where the heaviest lifts are in your strategy.

Here are a few popular AI uses cases for marketing teams

Content Strategy:

Run a pilot where you test AI assisted content within your always-on content strategy. See how it affects time-to-production, search ranking, and organic traffic. Make sure you're setting editorial reviews to ensure your quality standards.

Account Based Marketing:

Use AI to adapt content, emails, landing pages to different industries, roles or companies much more quickly than ever before. See if it enables you to extend the number of targeted accounts you can pursue or improves conversion rates through higher relevancy.

Performance Marketing:

Use AI to spin up search ad variations or caption copy variations in seconds. Start with your key messages and use AI to create test versions to optimize conversions.

Campaign Marketing:

Similar to product marketing, start with a creative brief on a campaign you're running for an editorial focus.

See if AI helps you extend the offering of a campaign to include assets you wouldn't have had time to produce otherwise. (PS. We're using AI to help us with this annual planning campaign right now.)

To get the full list of potential AI marketing use cases, download our 2024 Annual Planning Guide & Kit.

A photo of the cover of our annual planning guide, Annual Planning in a Time of AI
Click to download

2. Preparing for changes in search

In the first half of 2023, both Bing and Google gave a sense of the ways in which they'll be integrating AI and chat-like interfaces into their search engines.

Organic traffic from search engines is so central to modern marketing strategy that marketing teams everywhere stopped and took a major gulp in response. Now that we’ve all steadied ourselves again, let’s get practical. 

Beginning with changes to Google

Google is a major driver of traffic and revenue to most businesses. Whether through paid search or organic, we rely on Google as one of our key acquisition sources. In 2024, changes to how the search engine results page at Google is structure will certainly impact the traffic we get from the mammoth site and the ways in which we structure our strategies.

AI-Results: To begin with, Google is going to introduce AI-assisted answers in its results page. The inclusion of this may keep users on the results page longer, absorb a lot of the search intent and reduce real estate for organic links.

Traditional organic results

Traditional organic results, represented by blue links on Google search engine result pages, are not going away, but they are going to get harder to secure. For starters, there will be fewer of them as AI results and other search vehicles take up real estate on the results page.

Secondly, it may be harder to break into them as the top results will favor established brands. Harder, but not impossible.

Traditional optimization guidelines remain the same, but it's worth noting that Google is putting increased emphasis on what it deems to be helpful or original content.

"We’ve also worked to improve how we rank review content on Search – for example, web pages that review businesses or destinations – to place greater emphasis on the quality and originality of the information. You’ll now see more pages that are based on first-hand experience, or are created by someone with deep knowledge in a given subject.”

Krista Doyle, head of onsite content strategy for Jasper calls this the shift from "how-to" content to "how-I" content. As content production gets easier through AI, you may want to reposition some of your writers to do more original story development, incorporating more expert interviews and original research into your content to increase its quality.

For information on how AI is changing and evolving search, download our 2024 Annual Planning Guide & Kit.

3. Tapping into the rising influence of people 

As it stands today, AI is a trade-off: Speed for trust. We can trust AI to deliver us results quickly, but not necessarily with the best guarantee of accuracy. It's why more and more people are relying on friends and family for opinions before buying something.

Word-of-mouth marketing, and its more recent lovable mutation, influencer marketing have been around for awhile and underscored the role that trusted advisors play in purchase decisions. However many companies still assume influencer marketing is only a fit for consumer brands and instagram stars.

That is just the start of influencer marketing, moving forward in 2024 all companies will need to map the influence within their communities and learn to leverage those channels for acquisition.

Mapping influence in your community

Take stock of your broader community. This can include traditional and easily recognized influencers in your space - thought leaders, analysts, journalists, creators with large followings - but it should also include taking stock of the varying levels of influence of your employees, investors, happy customers, and partners.

Don't just judge influence by size of audience, judge it by specificity and impact too. You may find that a junior employee has a big public reach or a certain customer has a small reach but key contacts at a target company of yours. Understanding the flow of influence in your network is key for 2024.

Organizing your channels of influence

The last few years have brought Slack connect, LinkedIn Creator Mode, SubStack-like newsletters, and a plethora of community forums across industries.

Choose a handful of channels to leverage in 2024 to activate the latent connections in your network. As you choose channels to pursue set up tracking links to be able to measure impact across them and build up their health as a distribution and acquisition channel.

Activating your community around a message

AI can make a big difference in activating your community in a way that ties back to your key messages, the brand and its core values. Create a source document with the key message and brand voice you want to preserve, then use AI to spin up variations of content based on that source material.

Activate your entire company around a launch campaign, not with canned "lazy tweet" content, but with an AI tool that can turn a source positioning doc into an infinite amount of original posts that are on-message.

AI and Marketing Team Structure

Up to this point most marketing teams have been structured to reflect workload, with the largest volume of people pointed toward production.  AI changes the dynamic of marketing teams and agencies to bring the production workload down so you can reinvest that time in strategy, quality, and distribution, things that are going to be more important than ever with the ways in which information flow and product discovery are going to change.  

Note: While you'll find efficiency through AI, we strongly recommend against trying to replace any roles fully with AI. AI-assisted content is impressive, but it's nowhere near a replacement for the judgment and lived experience of a member of your team. Consider AI to be an accelerant for your marketers to help improve alignment and speed up execution, akin to what the cloud did for collaboration.

New AI-influenced marketing roles

The new roles of AI within your marketing department are going to be far from what most of us have been led to believe.  While a lot of discussion is happening now around the idea of prompt engineers, we believe that may be a short-term bridge specialization as the technology ramps up.

Instead of hiring specialists, invest in upleveling the AI literacy of your entire marketing team and hiring roles that complement AI. These are the roles we'd suggest exploring as you deepen your adoption of AI and build out your team.

1. Managing Editors

Managing Editors in the age of generative AI will be the driving force in leveraging AI technology for content production. They will oversee the application of AI in creating, editing, and refining content while maintaining the brand's voice, tone, and standards. Their role extends beyond traditional editing and supervision to bridge the gap between technology and creative content production. They will ensure AI-generated content aligns with the brand's messaging and goals. The Managing Editors will also train and guide the team to effectively use AI tools, enhancing content production and efficiency. They will blend the benefits of AI with the creativity, cultural understanding, and strategic thinking of the human mind.

2. Editors & Fact Checkers

As we leverage AI to accelerate content production, editors and fact-checkers to counter inaccuracies in AI and ensure quality content are going to become key. It's no longer enough to make editing a step owned by the source author, having an independent set of eyes on your content will become more important.

3. Researchers and Data Scientists:

AI is trained on existing content but can't create anything new. This places a premium on content that includes new and original research, data and insights. Build out the research arm of your team to develop new knowledge and leverage AI to help package that research for your audiences.

Skill Development

As a technology, AI is almost magically easy to learn. But as a strategy, the learning curve is much steeper.

Experimentation is going to happen on your team whether its formally organized or not, so heading into 2024 it's a good idea to work on a skill development plan to increase AI literacy across your team.

This includes lessons in understanding the limitations of AI, learning about your company's security standards, and developing skills in prompting, individual copilot or AI tool functionality, and how to choose the right parts of your strategy to enhance with AI. Jasper has an academy program users can join for free.

To get the full list of potential new, AI-influenced marketing roles and how they can impact your team, download our 2024 Annual Planning Guide and Kit.

AI Standards for 2024

Staying grounded during times of immense change requires having a strong set of standards by which you work. 

When it comes to adopting AI, taking a moment to set and educate your company on these standards is imperative for security, brand integrity, and future success.  

Security and Privacy Standards

With the increased usage of AI and automation tools in marketing, it's essential for companies to set security and privacy standards that keep up with the advancements.

As data security threats continue to evolve, companies must be proactive in establishing policies that protect their customers' information while also not limiting the potential of leveraging AI-driven solutions.

Moreover, customer privacy must be respected at all times, with companies having to remain compliant with the latest regulations.

Brand Standards

Your company's brand is a reflection of your values and principles, and AI solutions need to be developed with an understanding of how they will fit into that narrative.

The rise of AI-driven content has enabled marketers to expedite the process by which they provide insights for their customers, but free tools like ChatGPT don't reflect that brand.

Make sure you choose an AI tool that can be securely trained on your style guide and brand voice.

Standards of use | The AI Policy Template

Ahead of 2024, we recommend making developing a company-wide AI Policy a priority.

To help businesses navigate the roll-out of AI and establish guidelines for security, privacy, ethics and quality, we’ve created this template for companies in developing a responsible AI usage policy.

The template can be found here for download.

Our AI Policy template covers:

  • Introduction: Understand the importance and purpose of an AI policy.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Learn the key principles of responsible AI usage.
  • Privacy, Security and Tool Selection: Tackle bias, privacy, security, and ethical considerations head-on.
  • Employee Training: Get guidance on how to educate your team about AI.
  • Bias and Editorial Review: Statements on how to minimize the risk of bias and inaccuracies in your content. 

Remember, this is just a starting point and shouldn't be used without adaptation and review in partnership with your company's legal and security teams, as well as people operations. But hopefully it's a good head start.

Incorporating AI into you 2024 plans can be an incredible catalyst for your business, but it should be done intentionally and with your strategy at the foundation.

It's no longer sufficient to have just a few individuals experimenting with automation or content creation. As we step into 2024, it becomes crucial for companies to consider their team structure, strategy, and standards holistically when it comes to harnessing the power of AI.

With a thoughtful approach, the year 2024 holds enormous potential for significant progress and achievement for your team and objectives.

Download the full 2024 Annual Planning Guide & Kit to get started.

Meet The Author:

Meghan Keaney Anderson

Meghan Keaney Anderson

Head of Marketing for Jasper AI

Meghan is a marketing executive with twenty years of experience at the intersection of digital marketing, brand development, creative leadership, and product marketing. She's interested in tech, social impact and just about any action movie from the '90s.

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