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ICYMI: 2024 marketing trends

In case you missed it, throughout April we have been sharing weekly updates via our social channels, looking at the top marketing trends this year.

We broke down some of these marketing trends from just a few of the many reports we’ve digested so you don’t have to (you’re welcome). We segregated these trends into the following key areas:
🤖 AI + machine learning
🚀 User experiences
🤝🏼 Consumer relationships
📲 Evolution of digital content
💡Lifestyle-related technologies

So, without further ado, let’s get into it…

🤖 AI + machine learning

  • AI-related domain traffic soared by 1,000% in 2023. While AI significantly cut costs for businesses, the emergence of this technology likely contributed to the 50% decline in job postings with keywords like “content writer” and “copywriting”.
  • 72% of consumers look for transparency in AI practices before making a purchase, emphasising the need for clear, ethical AI use in marketing. Someone should really have told the Willy Wonka experience in Glasgow then…

What does it mean?

  • There’s a sharp rise in marketers adopting AI and machine learning to support them with copywriting, but it’s not a flawless system. However, it does free up a bit more time for us to get creative!
  • Is it AI or IRL – consumers need to know the difference. Much like #sponcon on social media, will we see a rise in distinguishing content created by AI this way?

🚀 User experiences

  • The Internet of Things (aka the collective network of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication between devices and the cloud, as well as between the devices themselves) is redefining how consumers interact with their physical environments. Last year, IoT-connected devices increased by 16% with experts anticipating over 29 billion connected devices worldwide by 2027.
  • Increased connectivity in otherwise ‘barren’ spaces is powering new opportunities for marketers, e.g. augmented reality and geo-based marketing.
  • The AR + VR market is expected to hit $38.6bn in 2024 – with $2.7b projected from retail showcasing. Marketers using AR and VR to boost consumer engagement and drive conversions with e-commerce applications looking particularly promising. Research from Spotify indicated that AR experiences can boost ecommerce conversion rates by 40%.

What does it mean?

  • Alexa, play Connected by the Stereo MCs. But in all seriousness, we’re going to see a rise of ‘smart’ things being connected in the home and beyond. VR headsets will become mainstream…watch this space.
  • We’re going to be able to do more, further away. Meaning, that with increased connectivity capabilities, as marketers, we’re going to be able to create interactive experiences for customers on their home turf.

🤝🏼 Consumer relationships

  • Consumer interest in social responsibility and sustainability is growing; as reflected in their choosing brands that align with their values. In fact, a study found that 76% of consumers would choose a brand they feel connected to over a competitor and 57% added that feeling that connection would motivate them to spend more money.
  • Storytelling is key when highlighting social good and sustainability efforts in order to attract new customers – 77% of consumers are motivated to buy products from companies committed to making the world a better place.
  • There is a sharp rise in direct-to-consumer and subscription models; enabling authentic and ongoing engagement with the customer base. In fact, direct-to-consumer brands posted nearly $200b in yearly sales in 2023.

What does it mean?

  • Every company/brand out there needs to refresh its ethos and values to make sure they align with their audience circa 2024 – and mean it.
  • Rather than just saying you’re sustainable, companies are going to need to show they are through engaging content that tells a story
  • Engaged consumers don’t want to shop around. If you have a loyal following, then a subscription model might be the best way forward.

📲 Evolution of digital content

  • Audiences are continuing to move away from traditional media towards streaming, short-form video, and podcasts. Did you know that over 500 million people are expected to listen to podcasts this year? That’s quite a lot.
  • Social media is becoming increasingly vital for product discovery and purchasing with 50% of consumers worldwide reportedly using social media to find products in 2023. And 59% reported using these channels to buy products.
  • Short-form video dominates across every demographic with TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube representing the most popular platforms.

What does it mean?

  • As the consumption of digital content continues to evolve, we’ll see more marketers adopt a multi-channel marketing strategy that reaches a wide audience.
  • Content is still king; but we continue to have the attention spans of gnats. Long-form is out, sorry Martin Scorsese.

💡 Lifestyle-related technologies

  • Wearable tech, telemedicine and AI are innovations that are reshaping medical care. From the Oura Ring, or the more ubiquitous Apple Watch, to apps like Calm – are all on the precipice of significant market growth. In fact, the global wearable medical devices market generated over $20bn in revenue in 2021 and is expected to see nearly $84bn in revenue by 2026.
  • Online education presents new marketing opportunities for businesses. Following the pandemic, online education is becoming increasingly popular with non-student populations. In fact, the global corporate e-learning market is projected to reach $550bn by 2023.
  • Digital banking, crypto, and decentralised finance (DeFi) are creating access to new markets. Digital-first banks like Monzo, Starling, Tide etc saw a massive increase in traffic in 2023 – the top 70 saw a 51.5% increase in traffic volumes versus 2022.

What does it mean?

  • The strained NHS has dominated the news, even more so post-pandemic. So the shift in healthcare experts leveraging AI and machine learning to improve diagnostic accuracy and even make treatment recommendations may seem more fiction than science – but this will continue to be explored via new technologies in the hopes of improving patient outcomes.
  • Expect to see more and more companies embracing an online workforce and professional development strategies as more employees work from home. This eLearning platforms will become more affordable, making online education an investment more businesses will be able to access for their employees.
  • With three very traditional societal pillars (education, healthcare, and finance) becoming digitised, consumer awareness and access to expert advice and information will be critical.

Conclusion: key take-aways

  • As we move further into the year, it’s clear that we are going to have to be agile as marketers and communicators – trying new things is going to be important.
  • Transparency is of utmost importance. Make sure when communicating to your audiences that you are authentic.
  • Out with the old and in with the new! Just when you think the world couldn’t get any more digital – it will. Traditional forms of media are still going to be important, but not in a mass-market sense. Identifying your personas, where they hang out, how they consume their media etc. is going to be key. It will also probably save you money in the long run.

Have questions, need answers? We’re here to help and ready to get started:

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