Do audiences really want to know how you're using AI?

Do audiences really want to know how you’re using AI?

By Colter Hettich

April 11, 2024
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4 tips for knowing what to share — and how to share it

Some recent headlines (exhibit 1, exhibit 2, exhibit 3) make a compelling case for “AI’s not there yet,” and public trust in AI isn’t on solid ground — all of which begs the question: Just how much should you share about your company’s use of AI?

Assuming no legal or ethical mandates, how do you calculate the risk/reward of broadcasting your use of — or abstinence from — artificial intelligence in your products or services? (Let’s ignore tech/AI-driven platforms since they must talk about their use of AI.)

It’s a big question, and the answer depends on your audience.

Suggestions for talking about AI for audiences: B2B, B2c, Employees, Shareholders

Public perception of AI and its potential implication

Audience’s assumptions, fears, and expectations vary wildly. In some cases, it depends on the industry. Fifty-nine percent of B2C consumers agree that companies should be legally mandated to disclose AI use. However, that same 59% said they were primarily concerned about AI use in healthcare, and far less concerned about retail.

A lack of understanding drives some of these concerns. Pew Research found that Americans are largely aware of the ways they might encounter AI in daily life — but when presented with a sample of examples, only 30% of U.S. adults were able to correctly identify the actual examples of AI use. Forty-six percent of U.S. adults expressed “an equal mix of concern and excitement … about the impact artificial intelligence is having on American life,” a further testament to a lack of true understanding of the technology.

When broken down by education and age, however, a divide appears. Those with higher levels of education and family income are more likely than those with less education and income to say they interact with AI at least daily, according to Pew’s research, and younger Americans are more aware of — and less bothered by — the presence of AI in their daily lives.

So what can you do today to ensure AI-related communications don’t go awry?

1. Know your audience

Market research is as important here as in any other marketing effort. Whether your audience is B2B, B2C, employees or shareholders, combined with their likely perceptions, will largely determine what you share and how you share it

2. For B2C and B2B, lead with the benefit — not with the AI

It’s all about “what’s in it for the customer?” Efficiency is a common AI benefit to the company, but audiences don’t care about your process. They care about the end benefit for them.

3. Don’t brag about table stakes

You and your team may be proud of your adoption of an AI, but that doesn’t mean your audience will be. Hyping use cases that are commonplace or unimpressive could read as overcompensating or worse: out of touch.

4. Be clear. What exactly do you mean by “AI?”

In common parlance, the acronym AI is used to describe everything from product recommendations to personalized promotional emails to generative AI such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini. Audiences will react differently to each of these, so don’t leave it up to chance. Clearly and succinctly identify how you’re using it, and say only what’s necessary.

If you’re just starting on your AI journey, we can help

At Imprint we help clients develop custom AI roadmaps. From positioning and business opportunities to training to internal processes, we can help your team get on the same page and get rolling. We’d love to talk — please send us an email at imprint@imprintcontent.com, or contact us here.

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