With only 56 days until the new year, what's happening in the world of digital marketing strategies for 2024? It's clear that it'll be another year of continuous innovation and essential adaptability as technology keeps evolving, and consumer behaviour keeps changing. So what considerations are marketing leaders making going into the new year?

1. Brand Storytelling

In a world becoming increasingly automated and digitally driven, the importance of storytelling through brand building cannot be overstated. It is necessary to communicate to your customers why they should choose your brand and to share the story behind your products. Brand awareness campaigns have evolved from being a nice-to-have to an absolute necessity, although measuring their impact can be challenging. (Which is a complete nightmare for any marketer who places Brand above all else and explaining ROI on those campaigns to C-Suite level executives). As we transition into and out of 2024, short storytelling through videos should form the foundation of your marketing strategy, with the aim of creating an unforgettable brand presence, nurturing a dedicated following, and building brand advocates.

2. Contextual Advertising

Contextual advertising isn't a new concept, but its placement within digital strategies is becoming more prevalent. Contextual advertising offers a cost-effective method to engage with a highly targeted audience, placing advertisements on web pages relevant to the on-page content. This approach not only increases your audience reach but also enhances web traffic, visibility, and conversion rates. The advantages of contextual advertising include affordability, relevance between ads and content, precise audience targeting, real-time optimisation, fostering positive brand associations, and maintaining compliance in the face of increasingly stringent data regulations.

3. Generative AI and Ethical Use

Generative AI is revolutionising the marketing landscape, but its implementation comes with a complex web of legal, financial, and ethical implications. As we discussed in a recent roundtable, the risks associated with AI-generated content include inaccuracy, offensiveness, potential leakage of company intellectual property, and individuals' personal information far outweigh the benefits especially if you work in areas like finance or health. Salesforce’s Generative AI Survey compiled earlier this year indicated that 67% of IT leaders are prioritising Generative AI for their businesses in the next 18 months. However, ensuring that all employees are well-trained and equipped to use AI safely and responsibly is also imperative for the coming months.

4. Accelerating Digital Accessibility Programs

Digital accessibility has taken on an increased significance. A survey conducted by Infosys in 2021 found that only 3% of businesses across Australia and New Zealand consistently met digital accessibility standards for both customers and employees. The impact of COVID-19 has undoubtedly accelerated the need for accessibility, but opportunities remain for brands to learn and enhance their accessibility efforts. If you haven't embarked on this journey yet, an excellent starting point is to understand digital accessibility guidelines and best practices where you are. Actions speak louder than words, brands that incorporate these practices into their marketing strategies will without a doubt gain a competitive edge over their peers.

5. Humanising Chatbots and Personalised Journeys

It's essential to consider the human touch in your customer interactions. Creating chatbots that mimic natural, human-like conversations is crucial. Avoid making it difficult for customers to interact with your brand, as this can be frustrating and counterproductive. When crafting personalised customer journeys, it's equally important to prevent sounding robotic. Striking the right balance between automation and a human touch is indeed a challenging task, but it's a necessity. The aim is to provide customers with efficient and personalised experiences while maintaining the warmth and authenticity of human interaction.

In 2024, being adaptable and resilient to change will be your secret weapon for boosting Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) by offering unforgettable customer experiences. All the trends mentioned above can support your customer retention strategies, enabling you to elevate the omnichannel experience through consistent messaging and experiences, emphasise sustainable practices through brand storytelling, and leverage data for positive impact and community building.
And finally…

There's no denying it – marketing leaders are exiting 2023 with a dose of digital and change fatigue. Meeting the relentless demands of C-suite executives, ever-shifting customer trends, and the constant flood of new technologies has left them all a tad exhausted.

So, if you're a non-marketing leader reading this, and you haven't taken a moment this year to give your hardworking marketing team a big thank you for their relentless efforts in outshining your current competitors, I suggest you do so pronto. It's the best way to ensure they return, fresh and ready to roll, after the festive Christmas break.
Cheers to a successful 2024!

This blog was written by Celena Masters, Director of Communications, Marketing & Digital at Reo Group.

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