2024 is going to be a year characterized by momentum. Here are the critical marketing predictions you'll need to understand and embrace to gain traction.
2024 is going to be a year characterized by momentum in business and marketing. The years stymied by the pandemic and its aftereffects meant a lot of ups and downs, but innovative ideas born of necessity are finally becoming fully realized. We're headed for 366 exceptional days.
Here are the critical marketing predictions you'll need to understand and embrace to gain traction this year.
2. Slim, augmented teams with high expectations will be the norm
2023 saw a large number of layoffs, even at big-name companies like Hasbro, Spotify, and State Street. While "slim " is a relative term when we're talking about corporate teams, we expect that all teams will be tighter in 2024, but expectations will remain stagnant or will become even steeper. This is where agency support can be an invaluable, cost-effective team augmentation solution.
3. Entrepreneurship levels will rise
Amid the chaos of big business, new companies the like of which we've never seen before will begin coming up. They'll be small, scrappy, and led by Gen Z, 50% of whom want to be entrepreneurs.
4. Similar corporations will start bundling up
2024 is going to be a year of mass mergers. It makes sense! To weather storms, small and large companies know it can be wise to join forces.
5. Companies will double down on proven strategies
As budgets shrink, businesses are trying to work smarter, not harder. For example, streaming networks are choosing to replicate the success of high-performing properties by building franchises around them. We expect to see more of this thinking at the C-level in 2024 far beyond streaming.
How will you build on your success in 2024? Will it be by looking at your legacy content to suss out winners? Revamping paid media campaigns that generated big wins? There are many ways to leverage this thinking style and a digital agency is a perfect fit to help you create a roadmap that hits all your major goals.
Collaborative: They should encourage employees to work together and collaborate in teams.
Limited: Goals should be limited in both scope and duration.
Emotional: We want them to connect emotionally to employees, meaning they should bring energy and passion.
Appreciable: Meaning, they can be broken down into smaller goals and be accomplished quickly and easily for long-term gain.
Refinable: Goals should be allowed to be refined and modified, as many things in our world.
7. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compliance will become a renewed selling point
Smart advisory firms are already promoting the changes that are being brought about by the SEC. Though some deadlines aren't being enforced until 2025, a lot of work needs to be done in advance and that means sales. We see companies that get ahead of the curve and develop frameworks to meet it as being more successful than ever next year.
8. A wave of wage transparency is coming
At present, eight states have pay transparency laws in place, but Massachusetts is not far behind. We expect many other states to follow and for the new rules to propel major changes in the recruitment industry. This will become the standard when marketing a new role.
9. AI will become integral to recruiting and recruitment marketing
Both job seekers and employers are already using AI. Job seekers are choosing to seek AI help for cover letters, interview prep, resume building, and more. Employers are using it to scan for viable candidates. There have been a few bumps along the way, namely a lack of consistent policies on its use, but we expect in 2024 those will begin to smooth out with humans and robots coalescing almost seamlessly.
10. Nearly every resource-forward company will integrate AI
Per Hubspot, "86% of marketers report that data privacy changes have impacted their overall marketing strategy." As a result, many are exploring universal identifiers, contextual advertising, the Google Topics API, collecting first-party customer data, and using targeted social media ads.
12. Advertising attention will be measured differently
Kantar Media recently noted that facial coding and eye-tracking techniques are coming into view as new ways to measure creative and media efficacy. We expect client-facing KPIs to change as a result of this.
13. Brands will try to boost their innovation reputation
According to 2023 data, 3 times more growth is earned by brands that are deemed "innovative." We will see more brands attempting to prove that they fit that bill in 2024.
14. Influencer marketing will continue to climb
"The global influencer marketing market size has more than doubled since 2019. In 2023, the market was estimated at a record 21.1 billion U.S. dollars," –Statista
The people have spoken – they want authenticity. Many seek that sort of genuine experience through influencers, both macro and micro. We see this market growing even more in 2024, possibly even competing for budget dollars with traditional performance marketing.
15. Content marketing will remain human
The Content Marketing Institute stated emphatically that they expect humans, not AI, to lead content marketing in 2024 and we couldn't agree more. While it may be used as an assist, people will be doing the complex thinking required to move the needle.
16. Marketers will need to justify agency spending
While the idea of proving your worth isn't new, it is going to be vital in 2024. Costs of all kinds are skyrocketing and leaders are starting to ask more frequently what their money is buying. Dashboards, tracking, and other tools will be standard expectations of anyone hiring a digital agency in the New Year.
17. Audience research will be a priority
Knowing your audience has always been seen as important, but in 2024 speaking directly to them will be the mark of excellence. In 2023, 47% of businesses believed that audience research improved their content marketing success. That number will trend up sharply this year.
18. Brands that differentiate will win out
While it can be tempting to imitate or try to fall in line with other leading brands when projecting your value proposition, it isn't as effective. The best brands lean into their personality and signal boost what differs. Tired best practices can occasionally get in the way of this sort of revolutionary thinking, but to compete and win in 2024, brands will need to buck tradition.
Some forward-thinking brands choose to conduct competitor audits to see where they can improve and innovate. Learn about one of our clients who did that here.
19. Companies will start sharing timelines about key initiatives
Part of authentic marketing is measurable public relations. Brands have made promises to their customers, but today's customers want more. They want a roadmap. Setting the stage for accountability is Patagonia, which is targeting 2025 as its first year to build all water-repellent finishes and membranes without using PFAS. This kind of timeline-based communication will become the new baseline in 2024.
20. Digital accessibility will come to the forefront
When it comes to web standards, accessibility is already a priority. We also wrote about inclusive design in the past year as well, which goes one step beyond being "accessible", but accessibility is becoming a larger consideration in virtually all digital areas.
This is just the beginning. In 2024 accessibility strategies will need to be created for all marketing elements. When you get right down to it, it's about providing the best possible experience for customers and to do that, accessibility is important.
21. Video investments will go up
In 2023, 25% of marketers ranked video as the media format with the highest ROI. At that point, 50% of marketers were leveraging it in their marketing strategy. Given the efficacy of this method, we expect advertisers will probably shift spending to produce more video in 2024.
22. Advertisers will have to go mobile
Mobile-first isn't new, but to have a seat at the table in the modern world, advertisers must be mobile. Statista noted that "70% of total digital advertising spending will be generated through mobile in 2028." No one can afford to miss out on that much money.
23. The marketing talent landscape will change
Working parents are actively struggling to find and afford childcare in the United States. As a consequence, unless drastic action is taken, many working parents will have to leave current positions and there will be a reshuffle in the workforce.
Marketers who have to deal with return-to-work mandates will be no exception. We expect more up-and-coming talent to enter the space to replace them. As such there will need to be a period of adjustment where the younger talent has to work harder than ever to get the experience the previous professionals had already earned.
24. Risk management and offensive security will become more marketable
At one time, cyberattacks were less common and highly stigmatized. Chief information security officers (CISOs) were routinely fired to show that companies were taking action against the threats.
These days attacks are common occurrences. Risk management and offensive security have become non-negotiable and are now highly saleable. In 2024 companies that refuse to invest in the two products as well as the practice of effective post-attack public relations (PR) will fall by the wayside.
We hope you found these insights helpful. If you'd like to get into one or two of the topics in more depth, let's talk.
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