StructuredWeb’s Channel Marketing Predictions for 2024

Date: December 14, 2023
Author: Daniel Nissan

2023 was most certainly the year AI jumped into our collective consciousness, and its ascent exceeded our expectations, unfolding far more rapidly than anticipated.

Typically, the adoption cycle for new technology spans five to 10 years. However, AI’s trajectory is exceptional, with its integration into consumer and enterprise sectors occurring in mere months, not years. This rapid evolution is reshaping competitive landscapes. Companies quick to embrace and implement AI tools are gaining a substantial edge. In contrast, those lagging behind face potential damage to customer and partner relationships and their financial health.

StructuredWeb has led the charge as the first channel software firm to develop a generative AI toolkit tailored for channel use. Software providers like StructuredWeb are embedding AI into every facet of their client’s systems. The upcoming months are likely to witness a surge in novel AI tools entering the market – specifically the channel. Companies proactive in adopting these innovations will secure significant competitive advantages. In contrast, those failing to adapt may jeopardize key relationships and their financial stability.

As we all look to 2024, the following insights (or predictions) are meant for channel leaders to better understand the evolving landscape of the channel as it converges with the forces of AI. It’s an exciting time for those who are ready for the next chapter.

1. AI as a Catalyst for Structural Change in Channel Operations

AI’s influence on channel operations will be profound, leading to significant changes in job roles and management practices. The integration of AI will necessitate a rethinking of traditional channel models, focusing on efficiency, agility, and data-driven decision-making.

2. Acceleration of AI Adoption and Its Business Implications

The adoption of AI will accelerate drastically, leading to an urgent need for businesses to adapt or risk obsolescence. This shift will be characterized by a decrease in traditional roles like Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and an increase in AI-driven roles, emphasizing the importance of staying ahead in the AI curve.

3. Enhanced Focus on Personalized Customer Experiences

The channel industry will see a significant increase in spending on AI for personalized customer engagement. The use of AI and big data will become integral in crafting customized marketing strategies, with a focus on enhancing both partner and end-customer experiences.

4. Autonomous Campaign Management Systems

The emergence of fully autonomous campaign management systems will revolutionize marketing. These systems will handle all aspects of campaign creation and management, allowing marketers to focus on strategic and creative elements, leading to more efficient and personalized customer engagement.

5. Industry Consolidation and Competitive Dynamics

As channel technology providers vie for leadership in leveraging AI, larger players could use this opportunity to buy their way into the AI revolution rather than build their own solutions. Plus, as vendor dynamics continue to shift, new investment opportunities will be accelerated, especially when it comes to optimizing customer experience.

6. The Decline of Direct Sales and Rise of Indirect Sales

There will be a noticeable shift from direct to indirect sales channels. The inefficiency of direct sales methods, like the traditional SDR model, will become more apparent, paving the way for more efficient and customer-centric indirect sales methods through partner

7. Significant Shortening of Sales Cycles

The deployment of AI and automation will lead to a considerable shortening of sales cycles. Tasks such as generating quotes, customer interactions, and pricing configurations will be automated, necessitating a realignment of sales and marketing strategies to these new, faster timelines.

8. Channel Marketing as a Driving Force in Business Evolution

Channel marketing, with its unique position at the intersection of technology and customer engagement, will be a critical force in driving business evolution in the AI era.

What It All Means for the Channel in 2024

These predictions and observations aim to be bold and actionable, highlighting the urgency and magnitude of the shift towards AI in channel marketing. They are intended to provoke thought, encourage adaptation, and drive strategic action among businesses, especially at the executive level.

The message is clear: adapt to the AI-driven paradigm swiftly or risk obsolescence. This is not merely a gradual shift but a fundamental transformation that could dictate the success or failure of businesses in the near future.