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marketing trends 2024

Marketing Trends 2024: How To Success in the Era of AI

This blog cuts straight to the chase: You’re here to find out what the best marketing trends 2024 are, and I am here to give them to you… but not with an average copy-pasted, AI-written cookie-cutter article.

This “Marketing Trends 2024” article is also not your typical Big 5 Consulting review of tons of data – these are observation from somebody who lives, eats and breathes marketing every day. From someone who sees humans and knows that history repeats, and that therefore knows something to be true: Pattern recognition is the queen of all skills.

So, without further ado – let’s get started.

#1 in Marketing Trends 2024 | Cost Saving

To nobody’s surprise, the one of the biggest marketing trends 2024 is austerity. Just as economies were coming back from the pandemic, war in Ukraine first and war in the Middle East later joined inflation to make the Four Horsemen of corporate budgets: Cost savings in the name of the game and, although marketing budgets are higher than they had been two years ago, we’re still far from 2019.

But what does this mean for companies and the marketing teams within them?
It means that your average CMO’s darling – the so-called “Brand Awareness Campaign” – might be finally finding the place it belongs… in the bin. Why? Well, because most awareness campaigns are loosely targeted and particularly useless, as I discussed in one section of our Strategy 2024 Study.

This trend sits at #1 for a reason: It lays the foundation for some of the other relevant things you’ll find out in this article.

Attention

Remember when influencer marketing used to be a fad? The old days when Mr. Beast still wasn’t a threat to Hershey’s and Logan Paul hadn’t partnered with KSI to step on Gatorade’s toes?

Those days are long gone. As social media evolved, progressed and refined, we spiralled deeper and deeper into the Attention Economy. Gary Vaynerchuck has been calling this for a while, and it comes as no surprise it became true: Attention is the ultimate currency. In this new market, it isn’t the most skilled person or the most experienced company that wins… it’s the most known one. The one with a better reputation.

And what is a better reputation if not Brand? But we’ll get there later, because there’s a bigger issue at play: Paid traffic.

Marketing Trends 2024: Organic vs Paid Traffic

Organic vs Paid

Advertising costs are increasing dramatically.
The golden era of Google Adwords ended when I was 8.
The cheapest Facebook ads were the best play when I was 12.
The TikTok ads hype started to decline just three or four years ago.

And the thing they have in common? Most of you reading this didn’t jump on those trends – just like me. And just like you, I regret it, because now ad spend is a concerning topic for marketing budgets, especially in a world where companies don’t seem to bother finding quality copywriters who write high-converting ads, or who know awareness and sophistication levels.

In this new world of marketing trends 2024, paid advertising is a hard game to play, yet you still need a way to attract attention.

You will do that through:

  • Influence & Human Connection
  • Generative AI
  • Brand

Let’s take these other trends one by one.

Influence & Human Connection

One of the biggest marketing trends 2024 is the return of humans to the centerstage. Everybody’s tired of being bombarded with ads, everyone is fed up of Big Tech trying to distribute their data left and right, and I’m yet to meet one single person outside of copywriters and brand strategists who enjoys having their YouTube videos disrupted by one ad every 45 seconds.

The solution? Influencersyes, you read that right. But not influencers ala Logan Paul. You see, 2024 will see the consolidation of two new categories:

  • The Creator Economy
  • Social Selling

The Creator Economy is an environment of people looking to earn some extra money, quit their jobs or monetise their passions by becoming a creator. “Creator of what?” You might rightfully ask, and the answer is simple: Content. And no, this doesn’t make them influencers – first, because they don’t like that term, and second because they’re too small to influence on a Paul brothers level.

Notable characters in this environment are Luke Matthews and Lara Acosta on LinkedIn, and George Ten on Twitter.

Then there’s Social Selling: In the hierarchy of influence, players involved social sellers take the third spot behind creators, but they probably take the first place in terms of earning potential. Social selling is, like it or not, the business term for something in-between an influencer and a creator. The difference? When you do social selling, you leverage tons of company assets with the goal of building trust with potential clients. It is a great tool for humanizing companies who are suffering from a lack of Brand Strategy.

Why do these work?

Because audiences are extremely sophisticated nowadays. 98% of buyers don’t trust ads. In the case of both creators and social selling, you get to build trust over time, through relatable stories and through human interaction. You will reply to comments, interact in the DMs and jump on two or three calls before doing business. It’s just easier to trust rapport.

Again, humans take center stage.
People buy from people: This is true in B2B, in B2C, in D2C and in B2G.
And here’s where our conversation must turn to market disruption and tackle Artificial Intelligence.

Generative AI

Is there even such thing as a trends article, across any industry, without Artificial Intelligence being in the mix?
Probably not, and Generative AI is one of the biggest roles when it comes to marketing trends 2024.
You see, there’s a way for this to destroy your company, and one way for it to 10x your team’s productivity.

Let’s start by the unpleasant part:

  • If your team members are packing up your blog content with AI-generated content, and if they do so without massive and in-depth editing to make it interesting… you’ll fail.
  • If your social selling people are using AI to write their social media posts, they’ll fail.
  • If you are using AI to reply to comments on other people’s content, you’ll fail.

So, how can you properly leverage AI for marketing?

From video editing and providing outlines for articles and videos to image generation and data analysis, AI is actually the one of the best weapons in your arsenal to achieve one specific goal: Providing frameworks you can use to boost your productivity, automating tasks that otherwise would keep you busy with low-impact activities.

Remember, if you use AI to replace your brain, you shouldn’t be surprised when it takes your job.
But if you use AI to augment your capabilities and become faster, you just earned a competitive advantage.

Marketing Trends 2024: Gartner CMO Survey

Brand Strategy

As you can see in the image above taken from our Strategy 2024 Study, already a couple years ago marketing leaders were placing high value in Brand Strategy, putting it even above analytics. That comes as no surprise when you realize that Brand Strategy is about influencing your customers and controlling the narrative, controlling the how they perceive you. It is the art of finding competitive advantages and stop guessing your way out of your positioning.

In the world of marketing trends 2024, Brand Strategy will be engine that’ll push all your business efforts from marketing to sales, culture, recruitment and customer relations. It allows you know exactly who your client is, which platforms they hang out in, how they speak, how they think, what they feel and where they want to go. In simpler words: Brand Strategy is your pathway to stop chasing marketing trends and focus on what matters, while also impacting your culture and revenue.

If you’re not familiar with Brand Strategy, send me a message – I offer a workshop for 2 companies each month. Strategy will become one of the key marketing trends 2024, because it’s most important ingredient is not a trend, but a key success factor for all business to keep in high regard next year:

Success Factor: Customer Obsession

If you’re not obsessed with them, you won’t win.
If your website copy doesn’t speak about them, you won’t win.
If your case studies don’t mention the transformation they will get, you won’t win.

They are your customers. The beating heart of your business, the ones who are putting food on the table for you and your employees – the ones your company was born to serve, if you built it right. Because the times of building a product and blindly trying to find someone to buy it are gone.

I could write an entire article of Business Trends 2024, but I won’t because there’s only one trend that matters: Customer obsession is and will always be the #1 driver of success across all industries, so it’s not just a marketing trends 2024 topic. Knowing your customers like close friends, knowing how they feel about your industry and what they expect to get when working with people like you. Without this knowledge, you’re just guessing.

And in business, like in chess, just guessing won’t cut it.
Strategy, from Business to Brand, wins.

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