Marketing is an exciting field, in part because of one core element – it never stops moving. Trends change at light speed, and staying up to date can be a real feat for those who are time-challenged.
We're passionate about empowering marketers to succeed at The International Bunch – that means ensuring you know what's happening in our industry and in marketing as a whole.
We keep up to date with developments and make sure we are experts in our industry, so we can help you to stay informed. We’re helping you to stay up to date this year through regular blog posts, and today, with a deep dive into the trends likely to play a huge role in marketing this year.
How can you get 2024 off to a good start? Keep reading to discover some of the top 5 marketing trends to stay aware of to succeed in 2024.
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to dominate marketing
What's the most popular acronym we've seen this year? Hint: it starts with A and ends with I.
AI dominated marketing through 2023. It shows no signs of slowing down either. It's played a key role in marketing through 2023, with marketers using tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard to help generate content, tools like You.com for research and so much more. In fact, 61% of marketers have used AI for their marketing, and 88% believe that their organizations should increase their use of AI and automation to stay ahead of the curve.
‘Using AI to write content is nothing new. There are numerous examples of companies using AI for a few years to write content, too. For instance, in 2016 the Washington Post used its artificial intelligence tool, Heliograf, to write its social media post coverage of the Rio Olympics. It was also found that CNET was using AI content tools without anyone noticing. It's just the volume of organizations now using tools that are much more accessible and sometimes free.’
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AI may not be for everyone, but one thing's for sure: marketers will need to adapt to changing technologies or risk being left behind. AI is likely to become even more prominent in the coming years.
If you haven't already, try playing around with some AI tools in 2024 – they can be helpful for inspiration, accessibility and more. Also, be prepared for the Google SGE roll out this year – prepare for AI in search and remember to create authentic, human content.
'AI has a lot going for it. But, due to the nature of it being a robot, it inherently lacks one thing: A perspective.'
Sustainability at the centre
We all are responsible for protecting the planet – marketers can play a major role in establishing a brighter future. Sustainability isn't just a trend; it's a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour transforming the marketing landscape. More people care about the world around them, which is apparent in beloved celebrities like Taylor Swift coming under fire for their environmentally harmful behaviours.
Consumers want to know that brands are playing their part in creating a better future for the next generation, with 63% expecting companies to speak up about the sustainability of their services and products. Yet, 49% of marketers hesitate to work on sustainability-related projects, fearing that their work will be seen as 'greenwashing.'
Transparency about sustainability will remain key in 2024, with more brands taking strides towards net zero emissions. Brands can make a start by making media more sustainable – reducing ad wastage, driving behavioural change, and buying media more efficiently. Getting started on sustainability doesn't need to be complicated either – companies are already making significant leaps towards better sustainability.
'Acting responsibly, respecting diversity and reducing environmental impact aren't medal-worthy endeavours anymore – they are table stakes.'
New ways of experiencing the world through emerging technology are being developed every day. Brands must stay aware of emerging technologies that they can incorporate into their marketing.
Throughout 2023, marketers and businesses were experimenting with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). They don't just live in your video game console anymore! Virtual and augmented reality create immersive experiences for consumers everywhere, and they certainly convert. Brands like Snap and Inspirit have implemented AR technologies to elevate student learning in STEM. More new possibilities are emerging for creatives too, with the Snap Lens Studio 5.0 now available in beta to 'allow people to collaborate on AR creations.'
If you want to create immersive and interactive experiences for your customers in 2024, it's worthwhile to consider virtual and augmented reality.
Video marketing will keep having a hold on consumers
In 2023, video marketing was the trend most leveraged by marketers, closely followed by mobile-friendly web design and content that reflected brand values. Not only that, but it's also the marketing trend with the most return on investment, according to marketers. 44% of marketers used short-form video in 2023 due to its highest ROI (31%), outranking images by 9%. 26% of marketers intend to invest most in short-form video in 2024.
Short-form videos on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels will continue to be popular, so harness the opportunity to share your brand's unique personality and offerings this way. Don't be afraid to play around with things like livestreams either – 27.6% of people in quarter 2 of 2023 watched livestream content every week. Interactive videos are also helpful if you have products or services that could benefit from this content.
Continued use of voice search
1 in 4 people use voice search on mobile, and the number of digital voice assistants is expected to hit 8.4 billion in 2024. It's simple and effective. Thanks to devices like Amazon Alexa and other voice recognition software, voice search will continue to be popular. Make sure that your content can be accessed via voice search.
Keep this mindset in view as you head further into 2024 and ensure your content is optimized for voice search. Explore how you can optimize your content for voice search in 2024 with Hubspot's useful guide.
Marketing is evolving, but one thing remains true: authenticity and creativity are still vital. As marketers, we have a great sense of pride in what we do, but it's still important to ensure that we stay current and create content that resonates. Keep these trends in mind as we head through the year – we certainly can't wait to see how our marketing and our clients' changes through 2024.
Staying current on marketing trends is a big priority for us at The International Bunch, but don't worry – we realize it's important to you too. We publish a round up of news and developments in scholarly communications and marketing on our blog. Why not subscribe to our mailing list to ensure you're the first to hear about any news?