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These are the major trends driving marketing in 2024

These are the major trends driving marketing in 2024

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In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, it can sometimes feel that as soon as one strategy begins to pay off, trends and algorithms change, leaving your campaign to underperform. But as you go back to the drawing board, it’s important to consider the broader technological landscape as well as the signals social media and digital platforms have given about their priorities.

By examining algorithm updates, considering technological advances, and staying on top of feature releases from different social media networks, it is possible to glean upcoming trends for the year ahead.

As brands lean into social commerce, social-based customer service, subscriptions, and AI, social media will continue to play an enormous role in digital marketing—but in ways that are more nuanced and insight-driven than in years before.

Here are three major considerations for marketers in 2024:

The complicated road of value-based marketing

Today, value-based marketing is already part of many companies’ social identity. The idea, which incorporates key messages that cater to or are inspired by prominent social values amongst a brand’s target audience, is one that has been strongly supported statistically to reach and resonate with Millennials and Gen Z. Consumers from these generations want to forge meaningful connections with brands that embody their values – usually inclusivity, sustainability, and social responsibility.

But this past year has shown that in an increasingly partisan world, value-based marketing can be a slippery slope. People want to see meaningful commitments from brands, not just lip-service; and brands that do not walk the talk of allyship are often slapped with accusations of greenwashing and rainbow-washing, for example. Recently, we’ve seen several major brands lose revenue and brand reputation when their value-based marketing backfired, angering wide swaths of people who disagree with “woke” culture.

For brands, this means that value-based marketing must be deeply considered and discussed at the C-level. Businesses need to be firmly committed to the values they showcase through marketing campaigns, ensuring that they are also included in the fabric of the business as part of the corporate values and mission statement. Doing this will make it easier to define the brand’s target audience and respond to regulations, policies, and global events with value-based marketing efforts.

The wider world of influencer marketing

Although influencer marketing started largely in the beauty and fashion spaces, it has since expanded into every other sector, including B2B marketing. In fact, LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing Benchmark Report found that 67% of B2B brands in Asia Pacific plan to increase their use of influencer marketing in 2024.

Despite its rising popularity, there are plenty of cautionary tales to prove that influencer marketing is no silver bullet. This is where authenticity comes in – and finding people who love your products and solutions enough to co-create brand narratives. Moving away from scripted brand narratives and allowing influencers more freedom for personalisation is particularly powerful considering that many social algorithms today prioritise user-generated content and engagement, making it important for influencer marketing to hit the right notes with an influencer’s established audience.

Further, many social media platforms have introduced features that emphasise the importance of influencers as brand ambassadors. Instagram rolled out broadcast channels, which are similar to WhatsApp groups and allow users to share messages with a group of subscribers; TikTok launched an “eligible for commission” tag that helps creators promote products and demonstrate influence; and Snapchat introduced Creator Collab updates that help facilitate influencer partnerships.

When working with influencers, it is still crucial for marketers to find the right partnership, ensuring it fits their brand values and resonates with their target audience. Brands that get it right can go a long way in fostering deeper connections with their audience.

The AI-powered shift to insight-driven marketing

With digital marketing technology maturing alongside the rise of AI solutions, brands are able to turn vast amounts of data into meaningful and actionable insights faster and more efficiently. For example, social listening, natural language processing, and visual analytics are helping marketers detect trends faster and better understand customer perceptions in real time – an enormous asset in the fast-moving world of social media and digital marketing.

The power of social listening came into sharp focus recently, when North Face responded swiftly to a video posted by an enraged hiker who lambasted the brand’s rain jacket, flying in a new, waterproof jacket to her in New Zealand. Or when the CEO of Stanley offered to buy a customer a new car after her “Stanley cup” survived a car fire intact. These instances are testaments to how social listening can help brands tap into both customer pain points and genuine endorsements, respond in a timely manner, and be more customer centric.

Beyond reactive insights, AI tools are providing predictive insights, fuelling more accurate business projections. Crucially, this includes forecasting the ROI of marketing investments, helping marketers validate campaign strategies, providing a better understanding of where to spend budgets, and enabling robust business results – the ultimate goal of every marketing team.

By taking the time to evaluate value-based marketing strategies, influencer marketing plans, and investments into AI tools that turn data into insights, marketers can make critical decisions that can help level-up their digital marketing campaigns for 2024 and ensure marketing efforts drive real business results.

This article was written by Upali Dasgupta, marketing director of Meltwater Asia-Pacific. 

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