Marketers are accustomed to pivoting strategies to accommodate cutting-edge technology that will help them stand out from the crowd. In the coming year, companies are embracing game-changer technologies like AI and VR to connect with customers in meaningful, memorable ways.
With the advent of emerging technologies, marketing teams embrace their expanding access to innovations that help them stay competitive. By pairing expert storytellers with the right tools, businesses are primed to reach customers where they are much more effectively than ever before.
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First-Party Data Reliance
Advertisers have been hearing whispers about a “Cookiepocalypse” for years—we’re well aware that third-party data isn’t going to be a resource we can rely on in the long term.
The loss of cookie data will have a huge effect on traditional advertising processes, so teams must gear up to make things work with first-party data alone.
The cookiepocalypse isn’t just talk anymore, either. With the next year, the following cookies will be made unavailable:
- Safari (Apple) blocks third-party cookies by default
- Microsoft Edge blocks third-party cookies by default
- Google Chrome blocks third-party cookies
To avoid scrambling for a solution after these changes happen, companies must consider how they will replace this data and the guidance they receive from them. Businesses are poised to take advantage of AI tools and first-person data to accommodate the phasing out of cookies.
Through the use of AI (internal solutions or tools from outside providers), advertisers will be able to dig deeper into their own data that is directly derived from their customers.
While moving away from cookies will be an adjustment, companies stand to gain more reliable and specific data by taking time to invest in AI while prioritizing first-party data.
However, it’s important to note that shifting to first-person data will necessitate a renewed emphasis on data cleanliness and accuracy. Companies will only gain reliable results if the data they’re working with is correct and organized.
Businesses should aim for regular auditing and cleaning in their data quality management practices to avoid duplications and errors.
Connected TV Advertising (CTV)
Connected TV (CTV) should be considered by video advertisers committed to video marketing excellence. Not only is it considered a new frontier by many, but the volume of opportunities continues to grow moving into 2024.
Cord-cutting among consumers isn’t a new trend, but it hasn’t gone anywhere over the years. People have largely shifted from cable television to streaming services, hiking up demand for ad slots on CTV platforms.
Why choose CTV over other advertising options outside of a growing user base? The answer is interactivity. CTV platforms create more personalized ad experiences than TV ads ever offered, which increases ad inventory and new ways for advertisers to connect with target audiences.
Streaming now accounts for about 40% of TV consumption, and given the trajectory of all-you-can-stream models, it shows no sign of going anywhere but up and to the left as 2024 progresses. There is an incredibly vast, engaged, and diverse audience for businesses to tap into through CTV ads.
Many marketing strategies are structured around shaping and directing the narrative. After all, having control of your brand and voice is a huge component in cultivating a loyal audience. While creating a strong brand reputation with your own stories is valuable, it’s important not to overlook ways your customers can contribute to the conversation.
Creating a community-first approach offers customers the following benefits:
- Fosters a sense of belonging
- Increased brand loyalty and advocacy
- Consumers feel heard and valued
Outside of customer benefits, companies can tap into the collective intelligence of their community and leverage their insights to discover how to improve their products and services.
Successfully catering to online communities as part of a marketing strategy serves as a cost-effective but highly desirable approach. Shifting toward community marketing stands to reduce spending on paid advertising or partnerships.
Businesses that invest in building and nurturing such a community are set to thrive in the increasingly competitive and consumer-centric marketing landscape of 2024.
Conversational Marketing with AI
Conversational marketing that centers on the capabilities of AI will play a sizable hand in shaping marketing approaches in the next year. Companies have grown an understanding of how AI can support marketing efforts in the past year, and they’re ready to take this technology to new heights.
Catalyzed by the introduction of ChatGPT, conversational AI tech and chatbots are more sophisticated and widely available than ever. GPT demonstrated how effectively data can be used to mimic human conversation, but even more so, how popular instant-message environments could become with consumers.
AI-powered chatbots are now becoming the driving force behind conversational marketing plans. Companies are building their own AI chatbots in 2024 to serve as their company-specific conversational marketing tool.
For instance, ClutchAI helps buyers discover the right service provider partner for their specific budget, location, industry, and technical needs. The bot provides customers with solutions in real time, creating a personalized experience for customers.
Conversational AI like this showcases how chatbots can be used for more than customer service: they’re also ideal for guiding customers through the buyer journey in a more self-guided and personalized way. Plus, it’s able to engage with customers 24/7, which would be impossible if these tasks were performed manually.
The data-driven nature of conversational AI makes communications more valuable and accurate for companies and the customers engaging with them.
Video Advertising and Marketing Campaigns
Video advertising and marketing campaigns need to be a core part of 2024 strategies if they aren’t already. Customers generally prefer video and want to see more videos from brands than other forms of content.
Video contributes to stand-out engagement rates because of this. With platforms like TikTok and new streaming services on the rise, there are more video marketing opportunities than ever in 2024.
Some companies may be inclined to shy away from video because they feel they need expensive, high-quality production to get the desired results. This is a misconception. Take social media videos, for instance. Social media studies found that short-form videos are 2.5 times more engaging than long-form videos, and these are often videos people take on their smartphones.
So long as the video is visually interesting, has a clear message, and has good sound, it’s possible to do very well without investing in an abundance of production resources. Video content should be about good storytelling — make that the center of your focus.
Companies that commit to storytelling through video will be best positioned to demonstrate the value and personality of their brand, leading to more engaged customers.
2024 Marks a New Era for Marketers and Advertisers
Technology is taking over in 2024, more so than it has already. Marketers and advertisers must prepare plans for the roles first-party data, AI, video, and communities will play in their strategies to win in the next year.
These trends all point to an era of tech-enabled storytelling. Consumers want to see authenticity online—they’ll seek marketing content that tells real stories, is immersive in nature, and is personalized to their experiences. To balance all of these expectations, companies must embrace a fundamental shift in their interactions with customers and adapt themselves in 2024.