A new year always brings an air of possibility. You're likely setting ambitious goals for the coming year, both in your personal and professional lives. As you dream up innovative marketing strategies and fresh ways to promote your brand, take a look back at the past year. Identifying what no longer serves you or your business is perhaps as important as focusing on newness. The “in and out” trend sweeping the internet is rooted in the idea of moving what isn't working to make room for something better. Naturally, we've gathered some insight into what should be believed and what should be eliminated from the marketing industry in 2024.
What you have:
Gone are the days of generic marketing strategies that target almost everyone and reach no one in particular. Casting a wide net and acquiring a small number of new customers may work once or twice, but it is inefficient. To most effectively reach, attract, and convert your target audience, you need to know who they are. Make this the year you take a hard look at your demographic data. Knowing things like your consumers' geographic location and average age group can give you insight into their lifestyles and interests, allowing you to better connect with them. At the same time, keeping your existing customer base engaged with the next best thing requires a personalized response. Of course, you can add the recipient's name to the beginning of the email, but take it a step further. Customers who receive personalized content from your brand are more likely to interact with it. Who doesn't love birthday discounts, whether it's giving a repeat customer a surprise freebie on their nth purchase, or sending them how-to content for their most recent purchase?
One-stop social shopping
According to Sprout Social, in 2022, 40% of consumers found their perfect product through a brand's organic posts and 49% discovered a brand through sponsored ads. Organic content is not dead. In fact, it's as important as ever. Social commerce isn't exactly new, but it's not slowing down anytime soon. With the launch of TikTok Shop, people are loving the convenience of consuming both content and products without switching apps. Consumer brands that want to attract Gen Z shoppers need to meet them where they are.
Utilization of AI
AI can't replace the value of human touch, but it can enhance work. Harnessing the power of AI in marketing can automate processes, better understand user data, and improve advertising effectiveness. With AI in your pocket, you can spend more time on the parts of your job you love while being more efficient. In The Brief, we explore all the ways you can leverage AI in marketing, from programs that optimize your social posts for performance to project management tools that keep you organized.
Experiential brand activation
Many argue that the digital age has brought about the slow and painful death of bricks and mortar. But what if it's just a reincarnation? According to an IBM study, 55% of Americans prefer shopping online, but 45% still prefer to visit a brick-and-mortar store to find products. Experiential marketing can be replaced by event marketing, which simply means activating and connecting with your customer base directly. There is a huge incentive for brands to engage directly with their audience. The impression you can leave on a person lasts much longer if it is actually done. By taking the essence of your brand and turning it into a tangible experience, you can demonstrate who your brand is on a level that isn't fully possible digitally.
One-time influencer campaign
The influencer marketing landscape is constantly evolving. As consumer demands change and social media channels change, so will the role influencers play in brand discovery. The saturation of the industry has necessitated regulations requiring influencers to disclose paid partnerships to their social media followers. Consumers are tired of being constantly marketed to, and it's become clear that influencers are promoting products simply because they're being paid to do so. This created a level of mistrust between influencers and their followers. A one-time paid post may draw some traffic, but due to the overtly transactional nature of the content, it may not yield many conversions. Alternatively, partnering with influencers who engage with your brand organically can seem more authentic and actually resonate with your social media community. Glynn said partnering with influencers for the long term means they share more content with their audience over time, which can lead to increased sales overall. That's it.
Check vanity metrics
The emergence of vanity metrics like follower counts can be attributed to a time when marketers were looking for some way to quantify the success of their efforts. This was quickly phased out when it became possible to purchase fake social followers. Since then, buying followers on social media has become a serious topic of discussion on marketing forums and among peers, but this deceptive practice must be abolished. While it may feel like your social accounts have more legitimacy, they are actually hurting your audience's credibility. What good does it do if all 20,000 followers are robots? Vanity metrics like this no longer mean anything. In fact, if you have 500 followers and all of them are real people who care and believe in your brand, you're probably more likely to build a better relationship with them and turn them into long-term customers. Masu. Instead of looking at less meaningful numbers, focus on retention and engagement rates, which are more likely to be indicators of your brand's performance.
Greenwashing refers to copy and design choices that make a brand or product appear environmentally friendly, when in fact it is not. As previously discussed in The Brief, it's not impossible to market sustainable products without greenwashing, but it requires being honest about your sustainability practices. His 44% of modern shoppers have purpose in the products they buy, particularly looking for brands whose environmental and social values align with their own. The environmentally conscious bait-and-switch has become obsolete, and shoppers are more aware than ever about how to spot it. Unfortunately, it makes your brand look untrustworthy and raises questions about what else you're misleading consumers about.
There are some common threads that tie this list of ins and outs together. First, prioritize connecting with your audience through personalization and shared experiences. From your influencer partnerships to the way you communicate your sustainability efforts, you need authenticity if you want to make a real and lasting impact. Stay on top of digital and technology advances. Not only will they make your job easier, they can open up new avenues for revenue growth.
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