Top 5 marketing predictions for 2024

It’s that time of year when everyone rolls out their predictions for the year ahead, and we would hate to be any different! And we have to say, it looks like this year could be a bit of a doozy. With the rise of the machines (sorry AI!), new regulations coming in, and a changing social landscape it has the power to turn marketing as we know it on its head.

So, without further ado, here are our predictions for 2024

1. Let’s get personal

Christmas is a distant memory. You thought 2024 would be different but all the petty annoyances are still hanging on for dear life. It’s cold outside. You take a look longingly at holidays in the Maldives and dream what could but won’t be. And then every website you visit keeps showing you ads for holidays in the Maldives whether you like it or not – talk about kicking someone when they’re down!

Well, the good news is that is all about to change. Google is phasing out third-party cookies, which are the little bits of data which follow you across the internet and are responsible for showing you those annoying ads. Obviously, this is great for the end user, but for marketing departments, not so much. As well as losing the ability to build detailed visitor profiles, they won’t be able to target consumers with relevant ads specific to their needs across a range of different websites. It’s hardly surprising then that 41% of marketeers think this loss will be their biggest challenge over the next few years.

But we predict, it will actually change marketing for the better. First-party cookies (the ones unique to a specific website) aren’t going anywhere (yet!) and provide valuable information on demographics, user experience and a user’s browsing and buying habits. As you know exactly where the data has come from, it tends to be more accurate than that from third-party cookies and as you will own it, you won’t have to worry about your competitors having the same data.

And we can’t help thinking the demise of third-party cookies will prompt marketing departments to start actively gathering first-party data through tactics such as email sign-up forms, newsletters, surveys, or even direct mail, things they might have put off in the past.

And all of this means one thing – the ability to segment audiences more accurately and provide personalised messaging. Given 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from brands offering personalised experiences, that can only be good for business as well as the end user who will only see stuff they are 100% interested in rather than Maldives holiday ads.

2. Copycats beware

A charity needs a new logo but doesn’t have the funds for a design agency, so what do they do? Turn to AI of course. But is it really that easy? In a word, no.

For one thing, copyright around AI generated artwork is complicated. Normally copyright only applies to something created by a human, but the UK (unlike the US) does allow copyright for ‘computer-generated works’ but hasn’t agreed yet who actually owns it. Currently, the UK government is favouring giving the right to those who use the AI, but the work must also be ‘original’ to get copyright protection. Given originality is normally attributed to a human’s creative choices and should exhibit their ‘personal touch’ can AI generated art every really be copyrighted?

And there is the bigger issue of copyright infringement as any artwork used by the generator’s algorithms is likely to be owned or attributed to real artists. Getty Images is already suing an AI art generator for infringing their intellectual property rights and using images without the proper licences.

So, one of our marketing  predictions is this is going to start to be a major issue in 2024, especially if smaller companies aren’t aware of potential copyright issues and just see AI generated art as a quick win. It’s going to be fascinating to see what the first legal disputes make of all this. 

3. Rise of the anti-scrolling movement

Just last week Joe Wicks announced he is going to cut back on his screen time, and we predict this is going to be a growing trend this year. Currently, people worldwide spend on average 44% of their waking hours looking at screens averaging 6 hours 37 mins a day on their phones. The result is disrupted sleep, eye strain, obesity, a drop in work performance and mental health issues. It’s hardly surprising then that 71% of parents with children under 12 worry about their child’s screen time habits.

And when celebs start jumping on this particular bandwagon and the UK government considers a crackdown on under-16’s social media use, you know it’s something that’s going to start having mass appeal.

And that’s not necessarily bad for brands. Given they already need to start producing more personalised content (see prediction one!), it just gives them the added incentive to make sure everything they produce is super valuable, relevant, and timely, which translates into, yep you guessed it, good marketing!

4. The explosion of Deepfake

Watch this video and tell us it doesn’t complete freak you out! It’s meant to be Morgan Freeman but is actually a deepfake but would you have known that if you weren’t told?

Whilst deepfake is currently being used mostly for laughs such as Deep Fake Neighbour Wars featuring everyone from Greta Thunberg to Idris Elba, and this whole Tik Tok account dedicated to Tom Cruise deepfakes, we predict this is going to change in 2024.

After all, the technology is only getting better and more realistic so the chances are it will be easier to fool people, which sadly means some will want to use it to spread disinformation or for other malicious purposes. It probably means all of us will need to start questioning more deeply what we see online.

5. Neurodiversity gains traction in marketing

Around 15% of the UK population is neurodiverse and over the last few years, there has been a wider understanding and acceptance of what that actually means, something which has started being reflected in advertising.

Vanish won an award for their ad ‘Me, My Autism And I which aimed to broaden public understanding of autism, while Clear Channel, Heineken and Arla adapted their OOH ads to make them more neurodivergent-friendly. This included simplified artwork, more dyslexia-friendly typography and creating an e-reader tool for neurodiverse people in the creative industry.

We predict this will be a continuing trend in 2024 with brands either including neurodivergent people in their campaigns or tailoring their marketing strategies to be fully accessible to neurodiverse individuals. Fingers-crossed it just doesn’t turn into yet another tick box exercise.

So, that’s our marketing predictions for 2024 and if they all come true, it’s really going to be a year to remember.  Now, where’s that holiday in the Maldives!