By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
To write a 2024 trends-in-marketing report, one only needs to turn to a trend that exploded onto the scene in early 2023: The rise of generative AI, which included businesses and marketers embracing a newer, certain tool known as OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Uses of GenAI in marketing are now proliferating no less than a year later, helping companies analyze data, personalize customer experiences and optimize their campaigns.
In 2024, it’s anticipated that such AI-powered marketing tools as chatbots, voice search optimization and predictive analytics will become even more widespread, Lomit Patel, chief growth officer of Tynker, a leading K-12 edtech platform, recently wrote for Forbes.
“Immersive technologies like AR and VR can help to create immersive brand storytelling and consumer engagement avenues,” Patel said. “In 2024, I expect these technologies to integrate with strategic marketing efforts more deeply. E-tailers can improve their brand value and customer experience, for example, by offering virtual try-on experiences.”
Richard Yao, strategy and content manager at IPG Media Lab, agrees that generative AI will continue to dominate headlines in advertising and marketing as 2024 arrives.
“The general excitement and confusion around how to implement generative AI beyond automation is a defining trend for the ad world this year, and it’s a trend we expect to continue as the AI arms race continues to heat up,” Yao recently told AdAge magazine.
Yao said that though AI tools can offer such benefits as light-speed data analysis and content, one challenge has been adapting to the newer tech within the existing ways of working within the ad landscape — while also weighing the ethical considerations centering on privacy and potential bias that AI presents, to some wariness.
“Brands and marketers alike are eager yet cautious about harnessing its full potential,” Yao said.
Influencer Marketing: Another Trend to Roll Onward
AdAge in its recent report asked a number of marketing executives about the trends they foresee for 2024, and influencer marketing was another common theme among the execs.
Tiffany Borland, director of strategy and project analytics at HireInfluence, noted an Influencer Marketing Hub benchmark report that showed 71% of respondents spent more than 40% of their marketing budget on influencer marketing, proving it is becoming an integral part of today’s marketing.
“Prior to this year, brands traditionally worked with influencers on one-off projects, but with the increased need for authentic content, brands are choosing to extend their partnerships with influencers to collaborate on long-term activations,” she said.
Meanwhile, social marketers will “continue to shift away from overly branded influencer content to drive better engagement and audience reception,” said Alyssa Stevens, director of PR, social media and influencer marketing at Connelly Partners.
“Authenticity will remain key, and influencers who seamlessly integrate brand messages into their content, maintaining a genuine audience connection, will see better results over overtly promotional approaches with heavy branding and scripted voiceovers,” she said.
For some platforms, such as TV and streaming, the fact that 2024 is a presidential election year will be a key 2024 trend, especially for the sales folks.
“The latest figures predict a $12 billion year for political advertising in 2024,” Kristin Wnuk, senior VP of sales at Madhive, told AdAge.
“And local broadcast and streaming are going to play an important role, as candidates look to leverage TV’s sight, sound and motion to connect with potential voters in specific geo-regions.”