In the world of marketing, the saying "change is the only constant in life" couldn't be truer.
Over the past two decades, we've witnessed a incredible transformation in the marketing field. From the proliferation of "MarTech solutions" to the fusion of mobile and online channels, the birth of social media, and the introduction of AI, marketers have navigated through a sea of innovations.
As we look back on the past year and ahead to the next, one thing remains certain: change is inevitable.
Marketing technology, or MarTech, is a term that refers to the various tools and technologies that businesses use to automate, streamline, and optimize their marketing efforts.
In our article, we'll explore the top marketing trends to watch for in 2024, as predicted by industry experts.
1. Doing More with AI—With Empathy:
The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing is on the rise. According to HubSpot's State of Marketing report, 64% of marketers are already using AI in their roles. AI is being harnessed for content creation, market research, administrative tasks, and enhancing user experiences. In 2024, we can expect this trend to continue growing.
Sean Downey, Google's President, Americas and Global Partners, emphasizes the importance of AI in marketing. He suggests that AI offers marketers the tools to navigate evolving consumer expectations and changing media landscapes effectively. AI is not just about technology; it's about what marketers can do with it. Marketers are becoming growth drivers for their companies, leveraging AI to achieve better business outcomes.
Google is reinventing its core product, search, using the latest AI techs. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, emphasizes the continued evolution of Search, adding AI to make the experience more natural and intuitive. With faster AI-generated snapshots, the SGE provides quick topic summaries and connections for deeper research. Ads play a vital role in this new search experience. Google is trying out various ad placements and formats using generative AI.
2. Harnessing Generative AI for Messaging Performance:
Generative AI is changing the game when it comes to content creation. 46% of marketers report that AI tools assist them in content creation. Christy Marble, a 3X CMO, predicts that marketing's adoption of generative AI will accelerate. This technology presents a transformative opportunity to enhance brand and messaging performance. By using messaging frameworks as core parameters, empowering teams with messaging rubrics, and focusing on context, marketers can leverage generative AI to create messaging that's on-brand and resonates with their audience.
Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce various types of content, including text, imagery, audio and synthetic data.
3. Crafting Unique Branding with "Human Intelligence":
As AI becomes more prevalent in content creation, there is a risk of generic and low-value content saturating the internet. To stand out, marketers need to continue producing high-quality, human-led content that reflects their brand's voice and values.
Holly Bowyer and Julie Neumark, Partners at Media & Marketing Minds, emphasize the importance of human intelligence in anchoring brand messaging to a uniquely human voice. While AI can assist with research and refinement, authenticity and human creativity remain paramount.
4. Owning the Customer Experience:
Marketing leaders are poised to expand their scope, taking ownership or influencing every aspect of the customer experience. From the initial moments of awareness to acquisition and product usage, marketing will play a crucial role in influencing customer loyalty. The end-to-end customer experience will be a primary focus, aligning brand-consistent experiences throughout the customer journey.
5. Making More Decisions with Less Data:
Marketers are facing challenges with declining click-through rates and changing data privacy regulations. Andy Crestodina, Co-founder and CMO at Orbit Media, advises marketers to adapt to a low-data era by emphasizing fundamental strategies such as creating videos, publishing research reports, engaging in PR, and collaborating with influencers. Despite limited data, marketing fundamentals still apply.
6. Preparing for Generative AI in Search:
Google's SGE (Search Generative Evolution) rollout in 2024 will bring significant changes to content marketing and SEO. Marketers will need to rethink their existing SEO and content strategies to focus on personality-driven content, something AI cannot replicate. Planning for the potential impact and updating strategies will be essential to stay ahead of the game.
7. Streamlining Day-to-Day Marketing Tasks:
Sarah Franklin, President and Chairwoman, former CMO at Salesforce, highlights the significance of AI in automating routine work to help marketers focus on more creative and revenue-driving tasks. Research from The Work Innovation Lab reveals that 25% of employees already use AI for administrative tasks, with 57% expressing a desire to leverage AI for such purposes. Marketers are eager to adopt AI technology to streamline day-to-day tasks, such as assigning work, crafting messages, and synthesizing campaign information.
In 2024, AI productivity improvements include:
- Automations that help marketing teams instantly kick off, assign, and hand off work.
- Virtual assistants that assist in crafting messages, drafting status reports, and synthesizing campaign data.
- Enhancements to generative AI tools like ChatGPT for drafting content, creating images, videos, and more.
To seize these opportunities, integrating AI tools into the marketing tech stack and investing in training to overcome AI fears are essential steps.
As we step into 2024, the marketing landscape continues to evolve rapidly. While technological advancements and AI-powered tools are transforming the industry, the core principles of marketing—understanding customers and delivering authentic, valuable content—remain unchanged. Marketers must embrace change while staying true to these foundational principles to thrive in the dynamic world of marketing.