A marketer’s take on how marketing will look like in the coming new year with reflections from 2023 and how to create an impact in the future that awaits.

By: Saima Fatema – Director Marketing & Communications – ICT, du

It will not be wrong to say that marketing always existed even a century back. The concept of marketing originated when traders started selling goods and would highlight the key selling points for the objects being sold and pricing was based on the prime features, benefits and demand. The rarer the product the more expensive it would be. Traders travelled from one region to the other to sell and marketing was even essential at that point in time. 

I recall the simpler times and that was not long ago, when I started my career and told my father I will be working in the capacity of a brand manager, the word “brand” was Greek to him and he heard it as “branch manager” as banking industry was booming at that time. Over the time concepts and rules of marketing got more defined and it actually became a science. Awareness grew for marketing and with increasing competition and less differentiation in products being sold that were abundant and affordable with more bread earners in the family, marketing and brands became more important for the success of any business.

Whereas, today marketing has evolved to the point where bots have been trained and can help you whether it be writing copy or chatting with customers to understand their needs or comprehend the trends and customer preferences. Yes! it’s a whole new different world today with the way digital and tech transformation are changing the dynamics of every industry, marketing is also going to continue to evolve and yes, the magic of marketing will continue in 2024 to influence decisions of buyers and not only that it will create more awareness and actions for a sustainable world.

It is a no brainer that the buzz word for this year was Artificial Intelligence and it has impacted the methods of marketing in a huge way. More than 61% of marketers are now using AI in their daily routine activities. Another noticeable trend in 2023 is consumers conscious behavior in their shopping where they tend to buy more carbon-positive products. As well as the pressure on marketers to create a cookie-free digital environment was immense. 

2024 will not be any different, however these are some of my predictions on the marketing trends in 2024 that can have a significant impact. But before I delve into them, reflecting on all that has been happening this year especially with sustainability being the talk of the year and with major sustainability goals to be achieved in future as a community, as marketers I strongly believe outdoor marketing – especially printing of skins needs to be reduced and brands should make a conscious decision to stop putting their marketing budget on printing and producing huge outdoor skins. Organizations spend a huge amount of money on production of outdoors and this money can be allocated in more efficient marketing mediums. 

To start with my top predictions, social media marketing will be the top marketing channel and will continue to gain momentum, hence there should be clear strategy for different social media channels based on your target audiences and usage of formats and organic versus non-organic content needs to be properly planned which resonates with your brand and should be your main medium for story-telling whether you have a B2B or a B2C audience. Social media should be able to drive leads and contribute to revenue generation. 

Story-telling in video formats will do better for driving conversions, as consumers always prefer to have a video testimonial or a review from a customer or even a product demo video works better especially for e-commerce marketing strategies. Videos will continue to perform better than static images whether it be the landing page of a website or web search. Also, marketers need to ensure subtitles are a must for any video so the viewers can know what you are trying to communicate even if they are watching your video in mute format. 

User generated content will pick up more traction in 2024, as influencer marketing was already one of the widely used marketing strategies this year. The reason for this is simple, consumers relate more to it and the influencers if picked wisely are more authentic and create more traction than a video that is generated by an organization.  

AI will also be one of the top marketing trends in 2024, simply due to its accessibility and ease of usage for many individuals and organizations. Personally, trying Open AI for one of our campaigns this year made the entire process smooth and easy. Open generative AI will add a lot of value by automating simple tasks and also help reduce extra labor costs. It will be used more for content generation. 

Mobile optimization is something that cannot be ignored and will be trending. Everyone today uses mobile devices and being your potential customers cannot be ignored. Websites need to be optimized for mobile formats and not just desktops. Knowing mobile screen space is not as big as desktop space, so marketers need to be more creative to make sure all-important information is being captured in the mobile version. 

Usage of technology will keep on increasing and technologies like augmented reality may be used more for creating experiences for the customer that brings them closer to how the actual product will feel or look in real life and play a big role in decision making of the purchase of the product. This can be applied in retail space when buying clothing or luxury items or even furniture how it will look and feel in a room set up etc. when being purchased online. 

Voice search is not a new concept but will continue to accelerate its adoption. As marketers voice queries should be a part of the content strategy and need to be compatible to Google Home or Alexa or other voice searches. 

Companies will continue to use their employees as their real brand advocates as it is not only organic but also authentic. Usage of data analytics and personalization in messaging and digital purchase journeys from the beginning to the end will be the main focus in 2024. 

Lastly, I would like to emphasize on the point that usage of 5G and application of technologies like AI, IoT and blockchain in marketing can be a real disruptor and change the manner your audiences engage with your business, this will not only allow you to increase your customer base but also to have a competitive edge in the market. 

To conclude, we as marketers every year around this time predict what will be the marketing trends where they may not be 100 percent accurate but this exercise is important as it allows us to reflect and rethink our methods of marketing to become more efficient, effective and to have an impact through our marketing efforts especially with technology rapidly changing the way the world operates. I would like to end by saying let’s keep our thinking caps on and keep believing in the magic of marketing! Wishing all the readers a very happy new year and all the best in the coming year.