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Top marketing trends for 2024: value propositions, loyalty and challenger brands

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By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

January 5, 2024 | 8 min read

Marketers have a lot to contend with in 2024, with the cost of living crisis continuing into the new year, AI’s acceleration and data and privacy changes forcing new marketing tactics.

Robots, Gen Z and a money tree

Marketers offer their 2024 predictions / John McCarthy

The year ahead will see a multitude of key advertising events, including the Olympics, the men’s Euros and two big elections (UK and US), as well as increased activity around the Superbowl and Eurovision.

Away from key moments, marketers’ days will be consumed with balancing the budget, getting to grips with AI and pushing their brands into new spaces like TikTok and social commerce.

Here, we find out from experts from Kantar, Reddit, Asana and more about the challenges and opportunities they expect from the year ahead.

1. Brands will need to adapt to a value mindset

Sam Richardson, CX consultant at Twilio, says: “In a tough economic climate, consumers have been conditioned to think about value. Whether it’s products, services or experiences, people are focused on getting maximum benefit and satisfaction for every penny spent.

“The question of value will become an existential one for customers – it was always there to some extent, but it’s now arguably the most important factor in many buying decisions. In adopting any new technology, whether AI or otherwise, brands shouldn’t forget about the bigger picture and purpose behind what they’re doing. Ultimately, the key lies in establishing a full understanding of who customers are and how they can deliver value. This could be anything from an unexpected reward to an engaged customer community.”

2. Enhanced loyalty programs

Stuart Russell, chief strategy officer of Plinc: “Next year, more and more retail marketers will fix shaky foundations to drive retention at a critical time. Quickly understanding and reacting to customer interactions with the brand and easily anticipating behaviors will become the top priority. As a result, more businesses will invest in getting their customer data foundations in a strong place to uncover and leverage insights.

“Similarly, enhanced loyalty programs will continue to play a huge role not just in retention but developing richer customer data sets that can help the wider business become more customer-centric. In this context, reporting tools too will help marketers extract key insights to create more personalized campaigns.”

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3. Challenger brands will break through

Gonca Bubani, global thought leader for media at Kantar: “The FMCG/CPG industry has seen challenger brands driving disproportionate growth as they seek to challenge established concepts, ideas, consumer needs, and occasions. With 1 in 2 global shoppers preferring to buy smaller brands where possible, we will see these continue to succeed. Large brands need to work on agility, speed to market, consumer-centricity and data-driven decision-making to keep pace.”

4. Time for the ‘anti-trend’

David Trencher, senior managing director, large customer sales for EMEA & Australia at Reddit: “In recent years, we have seen the authenticity of influencer marketing being called into question, as well as a growing ‘anti-consumerism’ movement driven by both retailers and consumers. This mentality is partly driven by the cost of living crisis and rising inflation, as well as the negative impact overconsumption has on the environment.

“This does not mean that people are not purchasing, but rather that there is a trend to encourage more mindful and considered shopping - and we anticipate that this will accelerate through 2024.

“With this, it’s important that brands become more conscious and aware of how, when and where they are ‘showing up,’ demonstrating a thoughtful approach. Recent research from the ASA showed that ‘bombardment’ was the number one negative driver in building public trust in advertising. Advertisers must take a more intentional approach in 2024 to drive impact, listening to their consumers and tailoring their messages according to what they’re hearing.”

5. Investment in AI training steps up a gear

Shannon Duffy, chief marketing officer at Asana: “AI training and guidance will improve customer outcomes. Next year, AI will play a key role in how marketers work, from customer interactions based on personalized AI experiences to better collaboration with other teams in their organizations using AI-based tools.

“However, only 6% of marketers are completely confident in their organization’s ability to use AI effectively in 2024. To address these fears, marketing leaders must invest in AI training and development initiatives to help marketers become more familiar with the technology – and confident in how to leverage AI to save time, increase productivity and improve outcomes.”

6. Addressable advertising gets more creative

Stef Jansen, business development director at GroupM Nexus: “As an industry, we have spent the last 15-20 years optimizing the media placement by using data and tech to target the delivery of the ad message. Despite creative being a leading factor in driving advertising effectiveness, it has often been overlooked as a performance driver.

“Addressable TV allows us to re-evaluate this trend and deliver on its promise of the right person, right message, right time. In 2024, we expect more brands to start looking at ways of enhancing their ad creative to drive performance.”

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