Disruptions Everywhere! B2B Business Upheavals and How You Should Plan for 2024
2023 was a year of seismic shifts in the business landscape. I’ve sifted through news and reports to curate the ones that I believe had the maximum impact. Some things boomed while others went belly up. How do these changes impact your business and what should you do?
Watch my video on the 5 top disruptions in recent times.
Generative AI Was the Game-Changer
Launched towards the end of 2022, ChatGPT exploded in 2023, disrupting the marketing landscape by putting the power of AI in the hands of every marketer. Many expert content writers began to use some degree of AI-generated text in their blog posts, emails, social media posts, ad copies, and product descriptions. Generative AI showed some promise, although not fully satisfactory results, in image and video production as well, and could create images from text prompts. In the area of SEO, AI was applied for keyword research, to identify high-performing keywords, topic clusters, and search intent.
Looking ahead, generative AI holds promise for marketing segmentation based on data analytics. Also, personalization, a key marketing strategy, can be enhanced through generative AI, enabling marketers to deliver tailored content, customer journeys, and individualized recommendations. The influence of AI on marketing is transformative, opening tremendous opportunities for efficiency and innovation.
When it comes to content marketing, define your content strategy, key messaging, and brand voice before you churn out content using chatGPT or any other generative AI tool. Don’t use the first results that AI throws up, keep refining your prompts until you get content that matches your brand voice. Don’t discard your expert (human) content creators; rather enable them to create larger volumes of content by using chatGPT effectively. Leverage this increased productivity to publish on outbound and inbound marketing channels regularly and consistently.
Evaluate AI tools for marketing activities that require analysis of vast amounts of data or repetitive processing.
EV Sales Growing Steadily Meant Conventional Engines Declined
The growth in sales of electric vehicles corresponded to a decline in conventional internal combustion engines (ICE) vehicles. This trend had started in 2021, when the automobile industry witnessed growth for the first time since 2017, while ICE car sales continued their decline. Consumers prefer electric vehicles not just due to environmental concerns about climate change but also because they anticipate lower fuel costs, reduced running expenses, a superior driving experience, and less maintenance.
2023 saw the adoption of electric cars, buses, and two-wheelers growing worldwide. The sales of ICE vehicles are projected to decline every year, with some reports estimating that by 2040, EVs would account for nearly all new car sales.
This shift reshaped the automotive supply chain as major components essential to internal combustion engines, such as exhaust systems, fuel systems, and transmissions, were no longer needed. This is leading to business challenges for manufacturers of these components. EVs have radically simpler mechanical structures, and their electric motors comprise far fewer components than ICE engines.
If you have a small or mid-sized business that’s part of the automotive supply chain, you may not have experienced declining sales yet, and may believe that you are insulated from the fall in ICE vehicle sales. But it’s high time you started planning for a future where ICE vehicles may hardly be produced. Do you have products for EVs or other market segments? Start your research, design, product development, and marketing investments now.
Airlines in India Were on a Shopping Spree
India’s leading airlines are reshaping global aviation with an unprecedented buying spree, placing orders for about a 1,000 jets this year. Despite a prevailing reliance on trains, with 20 rail journeys for every air trip, India is rapidly transforming its aviation sector. Air India has made a monumental move by ordering 470 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, a substantial investment of USD 70 billion. Simultaneously, IndiGo, the nation’s largest budget airline, placed orders for 500 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, marking not only its largest-ever procurement but also the largest aircraft purchase ever with Airbus. Akasa Air expanded its Boeing 737-8 order at the Paris Air Show, to own a total of 76 aircraft.
In the past nine years, the number of airports in the country has doubled, reaching 148, and the government has announced plans for 230 airports by 2030. The government has invested over $11 billion in airports over the past decade, with an additional commitment of $15 billion. Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi aims to become the world’s second busiest, with an annual capacity of 109 million passengers.
These developments indicate tremendous opportunities for employment and business ventures in the Indian aviation sector in the near future.
IT services, regarded for long as a solid sector for financial growth and employment opportunities, went through a slowdown this year.
IT services, regarded for long as a solid sector for financial growth and employment opportunities, went through a slowdown this year. Leading companies in this sector reported flat or declining revenue growth, largely attributed to a macroeconomic slowdown and a reduction in IT spending by clients. This slowdown has impacted major companies in the sector, with cautionary guidance from key players such as Accenture and weaker-than-expected revenue reports from industry giants like Tata Consultancy Services. The reluctance of clients to invest in discretionary projects amid economic uncertainties, inflationary pressures, and high interest rates has contributed to the slowdown in the sector.
The Metaverse Died a Quiet Death
The concept of the metaverse, heralded as the future of the internet by tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg, faced challenges in finding applications that add value to businesses. Many of us haven’t bothered to experience a virtual environment, and those who have are often disappointed – nothing to ‘wow’ us there.
Despite the hype, the metaverse remained a nebulous concept, with projects ranging from VR social platforms to user-generated video games, failing to meet expectations. The marketing hype surrounding the metaverse faded away quickly, as generative AI captured our imagination. With widespread adoption appearing unlikely, and seamless integration of VR and AR technologies still bumpy, the metaverse seems to have died a quiet death.
If you had created a product for the Metaverse, pivot or perish. Discard the virtual environment and come back to the real world. What was the problem you wanted to solve, or in what way would you add value, and for whom? Find new channels to deliver that value.
Success in B2B marketing in 2024 and beyond will depend on our ability to adapt as the business, social, and economic environments evolve. We need to watch these and other changes closely and create our marketing strategies aligned to new realities.