The world of marketing is moving faster than ever before — just ask the average consumer.
In our constantly connected world, it’s estimated that the average person receives 10,000 marketing messages per day. We are immersed in marketing from every angle — from a simple Google Search to driving down the highway on our morning commute.
The momentum will only increase as technology advances and new venues for ads appear in 2024.
Looking into our marketing crystal ball, we know several factors will be at play in 2024. Here are the marketing trends you should watch this year.
Your shiny new product, sold by AI
If you could have a conversation with any celebrity, living or dead, who would it be? In 2024, this question will venture beyond the hypothetical dinner party conversation with AI chatbots.
In October, Meta unveiled an AI chatbot named Billie, a dead ringer for Kardashian fam model, Kendall Jenner. The name was just about the only thing that separated Billie from its real-life celebrity inspiration. In fact, users had a hard time telling them apart. The chatbot allows Meta users to casually strike up a conversation with the bot as it provides natural-feeling, realistic dialogue specific to each user.
In a social media world where pretty faces with authentic messages reign supreme, AI chatbots show massive opportunity. Is that really Kendall Jenner selling you her favorite perfume, or is it just a chatbot recording?
Right now celebrity chatbots are a fascination, but there is a future where AI records ad reads on behalf of the busy celebrities themselves. Plus, marketers can code the celeb doppelgänger to deliver their message in the celebrity’s voice, highly tailored to each customer’s needs, in a conversational tone.
Custom tailored ad experiences
Are you feeling like you’re living in the future yet? Just wait until the world feels like it literally revolves around your tastes and preferences.
As AI advances, so will marketing’s ability to create highly tailored ad experiences. Internet data and analytics are already widely available to marketers — especially in the world of social media, where users’ posts and actions already capture a majority of their preferences, wants and needs.
As big data and its algorithms evolve with AI, it will be difficult for consumers to get away from products that aren’t relevant to their needs on their social media feeds, in Google Ads and beyond. Speaking of algorithms that are a little too good…
TikTok for all
TikTok’s all-knowing algorithm still remains a mystery to the masses, including many marketers. One person’s FYP (“For You Page”) can be filled with rap battles and cat memes, while another person’s FYP is filled with crafting videos and comedy skits. Those two people may never have crossover when it comes to their content.
Over the years, Facebook has seen its popularity plummet, primarily with a younger demographic. According to Pew Research, 71% of American teens in 2014/2015 reported having an active Facebook account. Today that number stands at only 31%, particularly due to the rising popularity of emerging platforms like TikTok.
As teens mass migrate from Facebook, parents and adults catch on to the “next big thing.” Once resigned to being “that dance video app,” TikTok’s popularity has expanded wildly in 2023, hitting 3.5 billion downloads, with the rapidly expanding 39+ demographic making up 19% of its user base.
With changing demographics, TikTok provides incredible opportunity to reach nearly any target demographic with authentic content. Beyond the FYP, TikTok Shop was launched in 2023, directly selling users the products most likely to pique their interests.
A focus on sustainability and longevity
Continued economic uncertainty is leading to consumers rethinking their purchases. While consumers still want to indulge in the well-memeified “little treat,” the number and frequency of those purchases remain in question.
Rather than focusing on quantity, consumers will continue to shift to quality. Instead of having 1,000 wardrobe pieces from fast fashion retailers like SHEIN, consumers are focusing on high-quality, long-lasting goods that outlast the trend cycle… and don’t fall apart in the wash cycle.
In 2024, expect to see marketers shift their messages toward investing in quality. The idea is that a product might not be the least expensive on the market, but it will prevent future repurchases that will cause frustration to the consumer in the short term and add up in the long run.
Brands standing for a cause
As world events continue to evolve, consumers will keep brands under a microscope and spend their hard-earned (and under inflation, harder to hold onto) dollars with companies that align with their values, ethics and personal politics.
Millennials, today aged 27 to 42, are the largest generation in the marketplace, surpassing Baby Boomers with a population of 72 million-plus in the U.S. According to USC University of Southern California, 91% of Millennials prefer brands that align themselves with a good cause.
That means that brands will need to make difficult decisions to take a stand on hot global topics — and they might even need to reconsider some of the causes they support with direct or indirect investments.
And since the cultural conversation can become derailed quickly in the media and on social media, brands would be smart to invest in public relations and social media professionals who can help them navigate those public-facing messages.
Author: Christina Caldwell is public relations account supervisor at The James Agency, Scottsdale’s integrated strategic marketing agency specializing in all facets of advertising, public relations and digital. To learn more, visit thejamesagency.com.