We made it to 2024! Welcome to a year that we predict will be full of exciting changes in the world of digital marketing. This year, we're going to see a big shift in how we use technology like AI, how we protect our customers' privacy, and what consumers expect from brands.
Despite some economic uncertainties, there are plenty of ways to adapt and succeed. We’ve laid out some of the points we think will be most important this year to help you understand these trends and use them to your advantage. So, let's dive in and explore how to make your marketing strategies stand out and be successful in this dynamic environment and set up your accounts for success in 2024!
Embracing AI and Automation
Understanding AI's Role in Digital Marketing
You've probably heard a lot about AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the last year. It's being called a magic tool for all kinds of jobs, especially for marketers, and AI is indeed really impressive. But it's important to remember that despite its impressive capabilities, your active involvement is essential to harness its full potential.
Cookie depreciation, browser restrictions, and regional regulations add complexity to the ad privacy landscape for marketers. Navigating these challenges becomes more manageable with the assistance of AI. AI can aid in building customer trust and ensuring business success by utilising first-party data, which forms the basis for leveraging AI-powered tools. Google AI, for example, enables reaching relevant audiences and uncovering profound insights while prioritising customer privacy.
Amid the AI-driven transformations, your role as a marketer becomes increasingly crucial. It is your thinking, creativity, and empathy that will effectively harness AI for the benefit of your business. These distinctively human abilities will always drive exceptional marketing results.
Integrating AI into Your Account Strategy
Getting started with AI can seem daunting, but it's all about baby steps. Begin by implementing AI in simple ways, like using AI tools for analysing customer data or automating routine tasks. Gradually, you can move to more complex uses, like personalised ad targeting or content creation. The key is to blend your unique human touch with AI’s efficiency. This combination can lead to more creative, personalised, and successful marketing campaigns, giving you an edge in the competitive digital landscape.
If you need a little help on where to start with your baby steps, then Google has made a really handy checklist for you to go through:
Google Ads Help: AI Essentials
Here at Mabo, we use AI in lots of different ways to increase our efficiencies. For example, we use a powerful tool called Optymzr, and it does what it sounds like it does. This tool streamlines our workflow by setting up advanced rule-based automation, allowing for more precise control over campaigns. With Optymzr, tasks like bid management and reporting become more efficient, freeing our account managers to focus their talents on the creative and analytical aspects of your campaigns. This means they can dedicate more time to crafting unique strategies and insights that truly make your marketing stand out.
So see? Using AI doesn’t mean taking a back seat. It compliments your efforts and strategy, not take away from it. If you want to keep ahead of your competition, then it’s essential to integrate AI into your account strategy.
Navigating Privacy and Trust Challenges
The Growing Importance of Privacy in Marketing
Privacy has become a priority in the last few years for consumers with so much data going around, so businesses are going to have to adapt to the new changes within Google to stay ahead of the competition. With economic uncertainties looming, brands are focusing on building trust through solid privacy practices. A small percentage of consumers feel in control of their online data, making privacy a crucial factor in driving customer loyalty and growth.
43% of people would switch to a brand that offers a better privacy experience. This highlights the increasing need for brands to get their privacy strategies right, not just for compliance but to build meaningful relationships with their customers.
Building Consumer Trust Through Privacy Practices
Building consumer trust starts with transparency and responsible data handling. Clearly communicate how you use customer data and ensure you're following all privacy regulations. For example, if you're using AI in your marketing strategies, it's essential to be transparent about how user data informs these tools. This can improve marketing messages and overall site experiences. You should also consider adopting privacy-preserving ad solutions as third-party cookies phase out. Investing in these solutions can lead to more robust measurement methods in the future and demonstrate to your customers that you value and protect their privacy.
As we move towards a cookie-less world, it's increasingly important to adapt your digital marketing strategy. This includes setting up Enhanced Conversions in your Google Ads account. With the previously mentioned decline of third-party cookies and individual identifiers, leveraging first-party data and machine learning becomes vital. First-party data consists of information willingly provided by customers, such as email addresses or phone numbers, which your business directly collects and owns. Implementing Enhanced Conversions will help you utilise this valuable data effectively, ensuring that your marketing strategies remain resilient and focused in a changing digital landscape.
Adapting to Economic and Market Changes
Micro-pivoting to an Evolving Economy
In the current climate of continuous change, termed the 'never normal' by Peter Hissen, marketers need to embrace agility and adaptability. This means rapidly responding to changes such as economic shifts and evolving consumer needs. Instead of rigid long-term plans, focus on fluid strategies that allow for quick adjustments based on real-time data and consumer feedback. Embracing this approach, coined “micro-pivoting”, ensures that your marketing strategies are relevant and responsive to the dynamic economic environment.
Balancing Growth and Sustainability
Sustainability is moving from being a mere consumer trend to a core component of marketing strategies. In 2024, sustainability efforts are expected to scale up significantly, with major brands and agencies committed to net zero goals and reducing carbon emissions in operations and supply chains. This shift is partly driven by new mandatory sustainability reporting for companies in Europe. So if you haven’t before, we really recommend you focus on the wider impact of your advertising, and how marketing can be a force for positive environmental change. Not only does this align with the broader corporate responsibility, but also resonates with the increasingly eco-conscious consumers of today.
Diversifying Search and Ad Strategies
The Rise of Alternate Search Methods
Going into 2024, search methods have become more varied than ever. People are using voice commands (with 8.4 billion voice assistants predicted to be in use) and images (with Google Lens handling 12 billion searches monthly) to find information.
Even the traditional text-box format is changing, integrating generative AI and new filters like 'perspectives' to enhance user experience. Marketers need to optimise their content for these diverse search methods, ensuring clear, direct responses across all channels, including voice and visual searches.
Adapting PPC Strategies for 2024
Adapting PPC strategies in 2024 involves embracing tools like Google's Performance Max and recognising the growth potential in other platforms such as Bing. Performance Max, which simplifies ad creation and placement, is becoming more popular, especially among new advertisers. With Microsoft’s integration of ChatGPT into Bing, there’s a potential increase in its usability and reach. Marketers should consider diversifying their PPC campaigns to include Bing, alongside Google, to enhance their reach and competitiveness.
As you leverage the capabilities of Performance Max and other automated strategies, the quality of your shopping feed becomes increasingly important. A well-optimised shopping feed ensures automated strategies have accurate and relevant product information, which is key to optimal campaign performance. Incomplete or imprecise product details in your feed can lead to your ads not showing up or requiring higher bids for visibility. Google's automation relies heavily on the product data provided, so detailed and comprehensive feeds are crucial. Our account managers, with the aid of tools like Data Feed Watch, are experts in feed optimisation, ensuring our clients' feeds are fine-tuned to meet these demands.
Aligning with Evolving Consumer Values
Understanding the New Frontier of Value
Consumers in 2024 are redefining value beyond just price and quality. Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, are considering sustainability, experiences, and even the value of sharing their data for a better service. This multifaceted approach to value is leading consumers towards more responsible and mindful consumption. Marketers need to understand and align with this new value framework, considering the broader impact of their products and services on society and the environment.
Incorporating Value-Based Marketing in Your Strategy
To connect with consumers on a deeper level, your marketing strategy should reflect these evolving values. It's not just about promoting discounts and offers; it's about showcasing how your brand's values align with those of your consumers. This could mean highlighting your sustainability efforts, creating more experiential marketing campaigns, or demonstrating transparency in data usage. By aligning your marketing with these emerging consumer values, you'll be able to build stronger, more meaningful relationships with your audience.
To wrap it all up…
The landscape of digital marketing in 2024 demands agility, creativity, and a deep understanding of evolving technologies and consumer values. Remember, the key to success lies in your ability to adapt and innovate. By embracing AI, prioritising privacy, adapting to economic changes, diversifying search and ad strategies, and aligning with new consumer values, you can set your account up for success in this dynamic environment. Keep evolving, keep innovating, and you'll not only keep up with the times but lead the way in the digital marketing world.