Several forces are colliding to make the remainder of the year a challenge for marketers. Most notably, we’re seeing the simultaneous rise in adoption of generative AI as we gear up for another hostile election cycle. The sheer noise alone from these two forces is enough to make a marketer sweat, as the competition for attention is going to be incredibly high.
But more than the noise, marketers need to be prepared for another major impact: the rise of disinformation, and therefore, distrust. ChatGPT has already made headlines for the falsities it has produced, and election season is known for the constant need to fact check. Yet despite this influx of misinformation, tech companies like Google, Meta and X are rolling back policies designed to cut down on the spread of false news.
With the inevitable rise of misinformation, how can marketers build trust in their brands?
- Create processes around the use of generative AI, sourcing quotes and statistics, and fact checking – and then communicate those policies clearly and publicly. The first step against combatting the mistrust that goes along with today’s disinformation age is to make sure that your brand isn’t unintentionally a part of it. That means your company should have clear protocols for when to use generative AI and guidelines on company information that may and may not be used in prompts. In addition, marketers need a process for validating all content produced. Making these processes public will help to earn your audience’s trust.
- Cite your sources, and be transparent when you are using AI– As more and more content is produced, it will be harder to find the origins of information. Brands can do their part by making it easy for audiences to follow the trails of information they are publicizing. Plus, in the absence of widely-accepted, uniform protocols on how to cite AI-produced content, brands can set their own standard with clear labels.
- Share with caution-Before sharing or linking to content, check that it adheres to your company’s standards for fact checking, citing sources and transparency. It can be time consuming to check every link, but it’s worth it to prevent the spread of misinformation.
- Report disinformation when you see it– Whether it’s something you come across at work or in your professional life, we can all play a small part in stopping the spread of misinformation by reporting it. The World Health Organization developed this list of channel-specific resources during the COVID pandemic, and they are still applicable today.
- Get creative– It’s easier than ever for generative AI to spit out repurposed, reimagined content. To stand out and build trust that your brand isn’t just regurgiating what else is already out there, embrace change and creativity in your marketing campaigns. For inspiration, check out this campaign from Myrtle Beach, which used cheeky AI recommendations (transparently) to bring new life to the classic beach town.
- Create your own communities– Relying on third-party channels like social media gives you little control on the information (or disinformation) your brand shows up next to. Putting efforts into owned channels, like Slack communities or events, gives you more ownership and control, and ensures that your audiences know that the information provided is endorsed by you. While individual brands may have little control over the media conglomerates that control the advertising market, they can divert some efforts into building their own trusted communities.
- Show what you stand for– . We’re embarking on never-before-encountered territory. The brands that stand out will be the ones that are not only transparent with how they are using technology, but are also open about how they see those technologies impacting the way we work and live. Advocating to make those impacts positive will help your audiences understand what they can expect from you and how we can all work together to make the new technologies fruitful.
The challenges B2B marketers are facing today when it comes to AI and misinformation are just the tip of the iceberg, but setting a strong foundation can help us all prepare for what’s ahead. See how we’re embracing (and not embracing) AI in our recent blog, 5 Ways Alloy Is integrating AI into Marketing Communications.