Manesh Swamy
Guest Article

7 digital marketing trends that brands should not ignore in 2024

Our guest author dissects the top trends shaping 2024's marketing landscape.

The marketing landscape is evolving rapidly, with new tools launching almost weekly and consumer behaviour constantly changing. So, what does the next year look like through the marketing and communication lens? I am betting on several trends that I believe will shape the realm of 2024.

AI: The hot cake

A 2023 AI Marketing Benchmark Report by Influencer Marketing Hub has shown that over 60% of marketers have used AI in their marketing activities, and more than 40% have used it for content production.

Expect more experimentation in AI marketing automation, collaboration, and bold yet responsible initiatives. Giants like Google, Facebook, and Adobe heavily investing in AI set the tone for the marketing industry, incorporating a mix of bots, voice, and predictive analytics.

Hyper-personalization: The basics

Hyper-personalization will become the norm. A Deloitte report on hyper-personalization has stated that 90% of customers find personalized advertising appealing and 80% are more likely to buy something from a company that offers such experiences. 

Analyzing past consumer data, engagement patterns, platform suggestions, browsing behaviour, and curating highly personalized and recommendable content and offers will be crucial.

For Gen-Z, providing more value for experience and sustainability, along with a personalized content strategy, will yield results. Clearly communicate data collection methods, ensure transparency, and obtain consent for campaigns. Also, check copyright perspectives with your legal team and the brand.

CGI outdoor takeover: New debutant on the grid

CGI videos are the new rage in the social world. The Maybelline mascara ad in the UK is a prime example. A viral video showed huge eyelashes on a subway train and an outdoor bus coming into contact with a massive brush installation. It turned out to be CGI wizardry.

Many FMCG, fashion, auto, and entertainment brands have experimented with and will continue to do so, but only those offering surprising and refreshing takes will stand out in marketing decks in the coming year.

Influencer Marketing: Season 2

Influencer marketing has matured, with consumers seeking more validation and authentic interactions with brand influencers. Going forward, there will be a greater focus on micro- and nano-influencers with highly engaged audiences.

However, this will require brands to adopt a more data-driven approach, so they can filter effective niches, and target specific audience segments for more authentic interactions.

Video: The king

After cinema, digital videos top the spending list and continue to grow. Videos will dominate all platforms, with the length and format changing as per brand needs and viewer behaviour. Both short and long-form formats will dominate platforms, becoming a significant trend in the coming years. When creating video campaigns, brands will need to prioritize a mobile-first approach, utilize 16:9 formats, and incorporate extra digital reality around content for a more immersive experience.

Share-worthy, compelling, and engaging content, including BTS and live-streaming, will connect with audiences on a deeper level for both B2C and B2B marketing.

User-generated content: The underrated

User-generated content (UGC) is a gold mine, providing the right mix of social validation and engagement. Genuine customer testimonials attract credibility and customer loyalty. Brands should creatively experiment with UGC content, as its success will encourage more adoption in the coming year.

Social commerce: Back to business

Social media platforms are shifting towards providing entertainment and e-commerce opportunities. Globally, there are an estimated 4.5 billion social media users, and purchasing behaviours are shifting towards integrated social experiences, where customers prefer engaging over a social channel of their choice.

This is a direct result of the booming creator economy. Web design agency Scandibweb estimates that the global social commerce market will be worth US $1.95 trillion by 2026. This is an incredible opportunity for brands to capitalize.  

In 2024, leading platforms will incorporate more shopping features, enhancing product discovery and immersive experiences. This shift will lead to increased conversion rates and new customer acquisitions. Brands that embrace this trend early will establish a solid base of engaged consumers.

The year ahead appears challenging yet full of opportunities. As brand custodians blend technology with a human-centric approach, relationships with consumers will become closer and stronger. In order to succeed, businesses must learn to embrace the fear, adopt the new, be willing to navigate through multiple permutations, ‘challenge the now’, and harness the full potential of 2024. 

(Our guest author is Manesh Swamy, Chief Creative Officer and Senior Vice President (Creative, Social and Design) at LS Digital)

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