21 executive interviews reveal how PR is changing

Technology dominance, reskilling imperative, need for human creativity. These are the three top-of-mind issues most often raised by international marketing and communications executives when asked about the impact of generative AI. Ethics, sustainability, and cybersecurity add to the challenge of ensuring successful PR and marketing operations in the coming years.

The new industry outlook report “Insight Track: B2B Tech PR and Marketing in the Age of AIis based on 21 semi-structured in-depth theme interviews conducted in March-April 2024 by senior consultants at Netprofile, Finland’s leading B2B Technology PR and Marketing agency and GlobalCom member since 2023.

All respondents, representing organizations including Deloitte, Etteplan, ICEYE, IQM, Kyndryl, Salesforce, TCS, and Visma, are highly respected professionals in their respective fields within B2B technology-related industries in Northern and Central Europe.

Report findings

Report findings

The most salient perspectives shared by the interviewees include:

1. AI is not something on the horizon; the time for reskilling is now

All our respondents unanimously agree that AI will significantly influence communication and marketing success. Right now, the priority is to quickly build and enhance PR and marketing teams’ ability to use AI efficiently and ethically, in alignment with business goals. Even with AI in full use, interviewees firmly believe that human creativity, contextual understanding, and precise audience engagement remain crucial.

2. Responsibility is up to all of us

PR and marketing professionals can’t overlook or remain unaware of the increasing demands on organizations regarding sustainability and responsibility. 86% of interviewed executives believe that expectations on ethics and transparency strongly impact communication and marketing success. With the EU greenwashing directive in force since March 2024, PR and marketing teams must dig even deeper into campaign arguments and firmly oppose any unwarranted claims.

3. In an uncertain world, tactics must be more agile

While the long-term vision for any organization must be clear, tactical decisions are increasingly made on very short timelines. Data-driven marketing thrives on predictive analytics, using methods that work best right now. A significant trend emerging when asked about budget allocations is a strong increase in the weight of media relations and content marketing in the B2B domain. At the same time, none of the respondents plan to increase their investments in traditional media advertising.

4. Thought leadership is the North Star

As AI-generated product and service content inevitably becomes common and commoditized, unique insights and their compelling delivery will enable true differentiation. Building systematic thought leadership around the business core is the recipe for success that B2B technology organizations are now investing in. For insightful consultants with industry experience, strategizing and building thought leadership are obvious areas to focus on.

The Netprofile Insight Track report offers more insights, professional perspectives, and practical implications for PR and Marketing professionals. Download your free copy at https://www.netprofile.fi/en/insight-track-2024.