In a recent Gartner survey, half of consumers projected to scale back or abandon social media interactions due to platform quality deterioration.
According to Gartner, an investigation encompassing 263 consumers revealed that 53% perceived a decline in social media standards over the past five years. Factors contributing to this downturn were cited as the proliferation of misinformation, toxic user environments, and the prevalence of bots. With concern mounting over the integration of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) into social media, over 70% of respondents expressed apprehension, fearing a detrimental impact on user experience.
Senior Principal Researcher at Gartner’s marketing practice, Emily Weiss, highlighted the paradoxical landscape where social media remains a primary investment channel for digital marketing while consumers actively seek to curtail their usage.
“While social media continues to be a key digital marketing investment, consumers are striving to limit their involvement. Many report a decrease in sharing personal content compared to previous years,” Weiss commented.
The survey also revealed that 72% of consumers harbor concerns about AI-driven content generators perpetuating false or misleading information. Additionally, consumer perception regarding AI-powered capabilities surpassing human abilities is on the decline. This skepticism and lack of faith in AI’s capabilities are pushing some consumers to gravitate towards AI-free brands and interactions.
Weiss emphasized the emerging trend of brands distancing themselves from AI reliance, opting for a more human-centric approach. This shift towards “acoustic” branding aims to counter the impersonal perception linked to AI-powered businesses.
Gartner’s study also pointed out the transformative impact of GenAI on creative roles within marketing. While GenAI offers potential gains in productivity and cost-efficiency, it will enable senior creative professionals to redirect their focus towards more strategic endeavors. This shift will emphasize leveraging GenAI for product and service innovation.
Furthermore, Gartner predicts a significant downturn in organic search traffic for brands by 2028 due to the rapid integration of GenAI into search engines. Consumers are increasingly open to AI-enhanced search results, signaling a paradigm shift in SEO strategies for marketing leaders.
CMOs are urged to diversify their approach, testing alternative channels as they brace for the impending disruption in organic search strategies.
The study highlights an impending transformation in consumer behavior and brand strategies, foreseeing a considerable evolution in the digital marketing landscape.