New Year, New Trends?

January 8th, 2024

4 marketing movements that are must-watches in 2024

Crystal balls and predictions – oh, how we love them. Pro sports leagues have pre-season projections. Meteorologists forecast the weather. And us marketing peeps? Hey, if it’s January, it must be time for a “Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2024” article.

And you’ll find that here but first, a word from our blog post writer: Marketing trends don’t matter … unless they are anchored by a human telling a story. Prove me wrong. That goes for neo-artificial intelligence, too. (More on that in a minute.)

The point is: marketing trends come and go. But human storytelling is timeless. We’ve moved from cave walls to digital screens, but we’re still telling stories. The latest social media platform still needs content in the form of storytelling. The most popular influencers (yep, even more relevant in 2024) are the ones who tell the best stories. And AI’s ChatGPT? Maybe it can tell a story, but you can bank on it being absent of affective tone, emotion and humor that leads to quality engagement.

With that caveat established, we return to our regularly scheduled program – 2024 marketing trends:

  1. Gated Content

    Still necessary? Are we ready to “tear down that wall!”? You’ve likely noticed a trend toward un-gating content in recent years, and we think that will continue even more in 2024. Consumers are getting weary of handing over their emails and other personal info because they haven’t been getting any valuable content in return. Un-gating content creates a better user experience, improves search engine optimization and maximizes content reach.

    Nevertheless, there are times to gate. Did you write an amazing white paper with new stats and findings that your industry has never seen? Gate it – at least, some of it. Did you invest in a study that sheds new light on your business? Same deal – tease us with a couple of nuggets and then gate the rest.

    Just remember: If you gate content, you better make sure it’s something worthwhile. That white paper needs fresh statistics or some kind of entertainment value. Consumers are more than willing to share personal information if they know they will receive useful content.
  2. Gamification Marketing 

    This ongoing trend is a win-win for everyone. Users get entertainment, businesses get engagement. Everyone is happy. It’s called gamification marketing, and as its name suggests, it incorporates game elements to engage with potential customers. Our crystal ball says we’re going to see even more inventive and creative ways to use gamification in marketing in 2024.

    The “games” are all about challenges and rewards and come in the form of quizzes, contests, challenges, loyalty programs – things like that. People love giving their opinions and solving problems and getting rewards for participating. Think Starbucks Rewards Program, M&M’s Adventure digital puzzles or KFC’s mobile gaming.
  3. Artificial Intelligence 

    No, AI can’t capture tone and humor yet, but there are a lot of other things it can do. Soembrace it. Use it to your advantage. Become more efficient. Those who run away from tools like ChatGPT, Adobe Photoshop’s AI tools, or Google AI Platform are the ones who will be asking you to explain it to them five years from now. Get ahead of them.

    AI is just another tool in our marketing toolbox – it can help us become more nimble and allow us to achieve more in less time. You just need to understand AI and its limitations. Provide it with all the information, insights and data you can, and – please, we beg you – read and edit the results thoroughly.

    AI can’t do “human” the way you do “human,” but it can inform, inspire and increase our efficiency for things like content generation, photo editing, sentiment analysis, audience segmentation, FAQs, etc.
  4. Influencers (aka, modern thought-leaders)

    Figure it out. This is the year. You owe it to yourself as a marketer; you owe it to your clients. Influencers represent an age-old tactic – third-party endorsements that carry weight with potential customers – and they’re all wrapped up with a shiny bow and delivered directly to your target audience’s screen of choice.

    The payoff is too good to ignore, so go to your favorite social media platform and start looking around. Let’s say you have a client who sells chopsticks. Go search TikTok, YouTube, Instagram – your choice – and search for posts on chopstick tutorials by someone with a sizable following. Search for users who post videos or photos of chopstick art. Or try someone who specializes in “life hacks” and presents videos featuring all kinds of tips to his or her legion of followers. See if you can get them to do a video on how to fix stripped screw holes with chopsticks.

    If you like their videos, and you think they are a fit with your client’s audience, message them through the app or via their email in their bio and begin the conversation. It’s really that simple. Because third-party endorsements work, and always have. Those testimonials on the cave walls started it: “Tonga got good mammoth. Tonga sloth stew the best. Eat Tonga food. Or I club you on head.” – Hunters & Gatherers Daily Times Food Critic Carl Thogsnork

    OK, so we’ve evolved. Sort of.

What’s your take? Which marketing trend do see making an impact in 2024? Leave your comment below!

Bozell is a full-service, women-owned advertising and marketing agency in Omaha, Nebraska, whose capabilities stretch across all disciplines: creative, digital, paid media, PR, social, and content. Everything we do is rooted in strategy, and we always start with a full understanding of your business objectives so we can meet or exceed your goals. For more information, see recent examples of our work and listen to the latest episode of our podcast.