30 Second Summary:
A new year brings new expectations, and the digital marketing world could be in for a turbulent year thanks to technological advances and changing consumer expectations. Brands trying to stay ahead of it all may be forgiven for not knowing where to start and feeling slightly overwhelmed by the sheer pace of change. But as every year brings predictions and a sense of unknowing, there are some things we know based on developments throughout 2023.
Here we’ll look at four new marketing trends in 2024 that are worth keeping an eye on, especially as they may impact your marketing strategies going forward. Generative AI, which is revolutionising content creation and customer interaction, Sustainability, reflecting a growing consumer demand for environmentally conscious marketing practices, the immersive experiences offered by Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR), offering novel ways to engage with audiences, and Hyper-Personalisation, a sophisticated approach to tailoring customer experiences.
Understanding and embracing these trends will be crucial for businesses aiming to thrive this year, so let’s take a look.
The driver of significant transformation in recent years, AI has completely changed the landscape with its advancements, predominantly driven by the advent of Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI). This cutting-edge technology is reshaping how content is crafted, how brands interact with customers, how data is analysed, and much more, marking a departure from static, one-size-fits-all campaigns to dynamic, nuanced, and hyper-personalised customer experiences.
A staggering 85% of marketers are updating their skills in response to AI’s growing influence to ensure they are not being left behind. With a transition to marketing strategies where AI is not just an optional tool but an integral part, the potential of Gen AI in marketing is vast and varied which is exactly why it is one of the 2024 digital marketing trends to follow.
AI’s capacity to mimic human language and tone is advancing all the time, making content more engaging and relevant. Tools like GPT-4 by OpenAI are leading this evolution, enabling the creation of compelling and creative ad copies, informative product descriptions, and interactive chatbot scripts.
Moreover, AI-generated images and videos are transforming visual content creation. Tools like DALL-E by OpenAI and Midjourney can create images from text descriptions with remarkable accuracy now, providing brands with a constant stream of high-quality visuals on just about anything. This technology will continue to evolve this year, assisting rather than replacing traditional content creation methods.
The personalisation aspect of Gen AI is particularly exciting for brands. It’s moving beyond basic tactics like name personalisation in emails, enabling the ability to create hyper-personalised content at scale. AI algorithms can now tailor content based on individual customer interests, browsing behaviour, and past interactions, significantly enhancing the customer experience.
However, the integration of AI into marketing is not without its challenges. The rapid change in consumer preferences demands an agile marketing response. A brand’s tone of voice and values still need to shine through to resonate with its target audience to be effective.
With the size of the Gen AI market expected to reach $66.62 billion in 2024, up from $44.89 billion last year, this upward trajectory will drive further innovation. With its integration into social media platforms and Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) on the horizon, if you’re not already embracing Gen AI, you soon will.
With consumer consciousness about environmental impacts at an all-time high, brands are having to increase their efforts to not only talk about sustainability but to embed it into their practices.
Large brands and agencies globally are committing to net zero goals, signifying a shift towards more responsible marketing. In 2024, these efforts will intensify, especially with the implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, mandating new reporting standards for companies. This directive is pushing brands to be more transparent and accountable for their environmental impact.
Agencies and brands are also focusing on reducing the carbon emissions of their operations and supply chains. According to IAB Europe, a typical ad campaign emitted around 5.4 tons of CO2, so you can see why there is a focus. Sustainability in marketing is not just about internal practices, however, but about using the power of marketing to drive positive environmental change. Marketers and brands in 2024 are looking beyond traditional metrics, considering the wider impact of their advertising. The goal is to not only promote products and services but to also advocate for sustainable practices and lifestyles.
This shift towards sustainability is redefining the relationship between brands and consumers. Customers are increasingly drawn to brands that demonstrate genuine commitment to environmental practices. 92% of consumers trust brands that are socially responsible or eco-friendly, and 81% prefer eco-friendly marketing and advertising. As such, brands must integrate sustainability into their core messaging and operations if they are not already, using their platform to influence positive change and connect with environmentally conscious consumers.
So, with sustainability becoming a key part of digital marketing strategies in 2024, it’s a trend that underscores the evolving role of marketing – from simply promoting and selling products to shaping a more sustainable future. According to Deloitte, 34% of consumers said trust in brands would improve if they were recognised as ethical or sustainable by an independent third party. It’s no longer enough to say you’re sustainable but show the proof consumers are looking for.
Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) technologies offer immersive experiences that go far beyond traditional marketing techniques. What makes these digital marketing trends in 2024 to watch out for is that they enable brands to create deeply engaging, interactive environments that significantly enhance customer interaction and engagement.
VR and AR are no longer confined to just gaming and entertainment. Their application in digital marketing can range from immersive training and education to innovative retail experiences. Brands are utilising AR for virtual try-ons and previews of products in real-world settings, greatly enhancing the online shopping experience. This trend is expected to gain further momentum as interfaces become more streamlined and user experiences more refined, with VR revenues expected to exceed $12 billion in 2024.
Collaborative working is also being transformed by these technologies, enabling remote teams to work together more effectively, replicating aspects of face-to-face communication that are hard to achieve through conventional online platforms. This is especially relevant where remote and distributed working has become increasingly common post-pandemic.
The customer experience (CX) journey will benefit most from AR and VR in 2024. From the initial engagement with marketing materials to post-purchase interactions, immersive technologies are being integrated at every step. Brands are investing in virtual environments to interact with customers and solve their problems in innovative ways. There are many examples of brands experimenting with AR and VR to immerse customers in their products and services in the last few years, so this could be a popular route to continue with in 2024. In fact, 60% of consumers are willing to try AR when online shopping, so expect to see creative uses this year.
In 2024, hyper-personalisation will be everywhere, becoming more sophisticated and integral to marketing strategies. This advanced form of personalisation goes beyond traditional methods by harnessing a variety of data sources, including behavioural, demographic, and transactional information. It means brands can go more personal than just knowing a customer’s name in marketing emails.
86% of companies have seen a measurable increase in results from hyper personalisation as it allows them to gain a complete understanding of their customers, delving deeper into their preferences and crafting messages and offers that resonate on a more personal level. The technology enabling hyper-personalisation is increasingly accessible and allows for the personalisation of content and the creation of engaging campaigns in minutes, without the need for complex coding. Using data analytics and AI as well as automation, brands can target individuals with ease, and customers are increasingly ok with their data being used for this. 22% are happy to share some data if they receive a more personalised service or product.
Customers in 2024 expect more from the brands they engage with. They demand quality experiences and are quick to move their loyalty elsewhere if they feel undervalued. The trend of hyper-personalisation addresses this by ensuring that each customer interaction is tailored and meaningful.
What these 4 new marketing trends in 2024 highlight is the industry’s evolution towards more dynamic, responsible, and immersive customer experiences, helped by advanced technology and a deep understanding of consumer expectations.
For brands, adapting to and embracing these trends will be crucial for success this year, and whilst they are just a handful of the trends that could dominate the year, they are 4 that provide plenty to get stuck in with. As always, we’ll have one eye on how things pan out throughout 2024 and helping our clients strengthen their marketing strategies further. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Absolute team today.
For more insights, please visit our blog, where you can discover why is Google Business Profile important for your business, and what customers really want from brands.