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By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

February 8, 2024 | 5 min read

What’s in store for marketers in 2024? As part of The Drum’s Predictions series, we hear from Skyscanner, Lottie London and Kantar about what to expect from the year ahead.

According to Hannah Walley, head of media UK at Kantar, generative AI for ad creation, attention, TikTok, and retail media will be the biggest topics on brand marketers’ minds this year.

“Gen AI will be used more for ad creation, to create ads at scale more efficiently, and the way people measure those will change as well,” Walley says. She adds that ‘active attention’, which measures emotion and facial coding will also become more important in 2024. “And Retail media networks, it’s a question we are getting so much by clients, what is it, who is using it and is it effective.”

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In the beauty space, Nora Zukauskaite, global marketing director at Brand Agency London (which owns make-up brands Lottie London and I am Proud), has observed the “explosion” of brands developed purely for social commerce, with TikTok Shop leading the way. “Within beauty, we will see more and more brands being created this way versus traditional long-term brand building purpose-led style,” she says.

The brand-building tactics are completely different from the traditional strategies the big multinational companies have been employing for decades, Zukauskaite explains. There is a big unknown, however, over how these brands will fare in the long-term.

For Brand Agency London, TikTok Shop will become a bigger revenue stream in 2024. “We are on the next stage of our TikTok journey, which is through social commerce. [That] is becoming a really big revenue driver and revenue stream for us [and] in some months can be 30% of DTC revenue in the UK,” she says.

Aoife O’Toole, global head of marketing, display, and digital media at Skyscanner, says the travel site was “called” to join the TikTok bandwagon because so many customers were mentioning the brand by sharing tips and tricks on how to use the platform. “It quickly became obvious that it was natural space for us to be in,” she says. Skyscanner’s TikTok content is a blend of booking advice, travel hacks and destination inspiration.

For the year ahead, O’Toole says marketers still must figure out ways to get people to leave the TikTok experience, especially to “bring in the likes of mid or lower-funnel objectives.”

In-house content and showing the behind the scenes at a brand are going to be more of a focus for both O’Toole and Zukauskaite. “Gen Z are really curious,” Zukauskaite says. “They want to know what you stand for, what you represent and what your ethos is, so it’s helpful letting your community come inside and see the other side of the brand, [not only] the perfect Instagram picture.”

Last year saw high-profile brand crises like the Adidas Yeezy debacle and the Bud Lite scandal which has made some marketers nervous about handing over control to celebrities and influencers.

This is pushing influencers and brands closer with O’Toole explaining that creators and marketing teams are more intertwined than ever before. “Due diligence comes with working with different creators and building a relationship over time,” she says. “Rather than having just a one-and-done video, how can you find someone who truly is an advocate for you?”

Walley acknowledged that while those instances have made brands nervous, that hasn’t changed the fact that consumers still think of social influencer content as their most preferred digital ad platform. “And we know from a recent survey that we did have marketers called Media Reactions that 59% of marketers are going to invest more in influencers this year – so it’s not going away,” Walley says.

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