44 Team 2023

Our regular look at some of the top news, views and opinions from around the wonderful world of IC…

For our first ‘Month in IC’ for 2024, we’re staying close to home, asking our own expert team their views on how the year ahead is likely to shape up.

We wanted to know their hopes and fears for the next 12 months – what they think will be positive and where the booby traps might be lurking – their ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’, if you like.

Here’s what they said…

Alan Coates – Partner – Digital

Gearing up for Generative AI

The reality is that Generative AI is coming – and as communicators, it’s something we all need to understand.

According to the Gartner Hype Cycle model, it’s expected that by around summer 2025 the use of Generative AI will be business-as-usual. This means that it’s important that throughout 2024 we’re able to confidently input into how it’s set up to support our own creative outputs, as well as the colleagues and teams we communicate to.

At 44, we’re trialling a practical model we’re calling MEDIA – Message, Encode, Decode, Iterate, Analysis – that helps to frame how we use and talk about Generative AI tools. Those tools include Microsoft’s Copilot tool, which – as it’s part of Microsoft’s secure infrastructure – could quickly overtake ChatGPT as the most-commonly used AI tool for businesses.

The difference between AI heaven and AI hell is understanding what it can and can’t do, and making sure that AI works for us, and not the other way around.

Sam Docking – Account Director

We’re all ears

The senior leaders we work with are increasingly looking for creative ways to provide the best experience for employees. They understand that if an employee experience is mediocre, it will have an impact on every aspect of their business, from retention and engagement to the overall business performance.

For me, 2024 heaven will be focused on shaping and communicating the employee value proposition to attract and retain talent and help businesses reach their potential. Fundamental to this is the power of the employee voice and creating the best environment to allow your people to feel heard and be heard. This is key to avoiding the hellish HR trends of quiet quitters, high stress levels and rage applications.

Bryan Jones – Editor and Writer

How intimate is your relationship?

What clients demand from us as communications partners is changing all the time.

My take is that in 2024 it won’t be enough to just deliver something that’s fantastic. That’s taken as read. In fact, it’s a minimum requirement in many cases.

Customer intimacy is what we’ll be expected to provide this year. We need to get to know our clients so well that we really do become close friends and allies.

So it’s good that here at 44, one of our five core values is friendship.

Proper intimacy is nothing new though. According to HBR, it involves really finding out about your clients, knowing them inside-out, and totally understanding their goals, hopes and dreams. It’s not good enough to interact on a superficial level.

A great intimate relationship can be heavenly, of course.

But it takes a huge investment in time and energy – and that might be the hell.

Hannah Montgomery – Editor

Good education

Forbes is telling us workplaces need to be ready to respond to the fast pace of a changing world by treating education as something that’s ongoing rather than something that’s exclusively for the young.

In 2024, businesses need to focus on upskilling and reskilling. They need to create more opportunities and increase personal development to drive success.

Honing in on people’s talents and allowing them to progress, personally and professionally, can only be a positive – for a company and its people.

Training company FDM, meanwhile, reckons a Gen Z takeover is a workplace trend to look out for in 2024. That might mean an even sharper focus on digital and new tech.

I’m a Millennial, and a bit of a traditionalist. I love print! So the introduction of even more technology isn’t something I’m overly excited about.

That said, I’m all for a challenge. And if that means exploring more modern ways, embracing the Gen Z mindset – characterised by being tech-savvy and socially conscious – then bring on TikTok (and BeReal, and whatever else)!

Any thoughts on the big themes ahead in 2024? Drop us a line or comment below, and we’ll be back with more IC news next month.