2023 has been quite the year! Marketing underwent a major transformation, marked by one of the biggest surges in technology that we’ve seen in some time. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) reached new heights, changing how businesses create content, engage with their audiences, and more.
Meanwhile, major platform overhauls, such as Twitter’s rebrand/evolution into X, and TikTok’s rapid rise, reshaped the way brands connect with consumers.
These are just some of the big new changes happening to Inbound Marketing. All the while, the momentum of existing trends like short-form video and personalization in marketing continues to grow.
As we prepare for 2024, marketers need to anticipate the next trends that will shape the industry. Just like Maverick and his team pushed the limits of aviation in the movie “Top Gun,” we can find inspiration in their boldness as we explore the marketing trends that are set to take us to new heights in the coming year. Are you ready to dive in?
1. Personalization: Navigating the “Danger Zone” of Data
In “Top Gun,” Maverick had to navigate the “danger zone” with precision. In 2024, marketers will find themselves in a different kind of “danger zone” – one where data privacy and regulations take center stage. The trend of personalization continues, but it will be essential to strike a balance between personalizing content and respecting consumer privacy. In Hubspot’s marketing report, The State of Marketing Marketing Trends in 2023, from AI to Z, it states, “Eighty-three percent of customers are willing to share their data to create a more personalized experience, but creating hyper-personalized experiences sometimes feels easier said than done. The effort is well worth it, though, since brands that use dynamic content generate an ROI of 42:1. For reference, that’s 100% better than the 21:1 ROI for brands that don’t use dynamic content.”
For example, personalization can be used in some creative ways without crossing the line on data privacy. For example, using a customer’s previous purchase data to serve up custom product recommendations is a great way to use personalization. “Hi [Customer], we thought you might be interested in our new [specific item or category based on past purchases].”
2. Video Content: Soaring with Visual Appeal
Maverick’s daring aerial maneuvers were visually captivating, just like the power of video content in marketing. In 2024, video will remain a dominant force in marketing, with a particular focus on short-form video, live streaming, and interactive video experiences. In Hubspot’s marketing report, The State of Marketing Marketing Trends in 2023, from AI to Z, it states, “One in five (21%) marketers plan to leverage short-form video for the first time this year, the highest of any trend.”
A great spot to utilize video content is with your customer testimonials. Instead of written testimonials, bring them to life by creating a video featuring satisfied customers sharing their experiences.
3. Sustainability and Purpose-Driven Marketing: Embracing “Blue Skies”
The movie’s theme of “blue skies” resonates with the sustainability trend in marketing. Consumers increasingly care about the environmental impact of the brands they support. In 2024, expect to see more brands adopting sustainability practices and aligning with social causes.
Many companies use Donation Initiatives to tie purchases to a cause. For every item sold, the company donates a portion of the proceeds to a relevant environmental or social cause. This gives customers a sense of purpose in their purchases, knowing they are contributing to a greater good. For a good example of this in action, check out our friends at Garden for Wildlife.
4. Influencer Marketing: “You Can Be My Wingman”
Just as Maverick had Goose as his trusted wingman, influencer marketing involves partnerships with trusted figures who can help promote products or services. Influencer marketing will continue to thrive in 2024, with a shift toward micro-influencers who have smaller but highly engaged and loyal audiences. In Hubspot’s marketing report, The State of Marketing Marketing Trends in 2023, from AI to Z, it states, “The #1 highest ROI of any marketing channel are blogs, social media shopping tools, and influencer marketing.”
One example of Influencer Marketing we see a lot is Unboxing and First Impressions. In this example, influencers create unboxing videos or posts, sharing their genuine reactions and first impressions of a business’s products. This provides an authentic review of the brand’s offerings.
5. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
The Sky’s the Limit – Maverick’s flights were filled with excitement, and so are the possibilities of AR and VR in marketing. These immersive technologies will offer new ways to engage consumers, from virtual try-on experiences for fashion brands to augmented reality product demos.
Some retail brands have developed mobile apps that allow users to virtually try items. For example, the glasses company Warby Parker has an app that lets you virtually try on glasses. Wayfair has a feature that will allow you to see what a piece of furniture will look like in your living room. Customers can use their smartphone cameras to see how different products look on their faces or in their homes in real time.
6. Ephemeral Content: “Talk to Me, Goose”
Ephemeral content, like stories on platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, captures the essence of real-time communication. Just as Maverick and Goose communicated in the heat of action, ephemeral content allows marketers to connect with their audience in the moment, creating a sense of urgency and authenticity.
Ephemeral marketing involves creating short-lived, temporary content that captures attention quickly and encourages immediate engagement. A prime example of ephemeral marketing is found on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram Stories. A great example is a Behind-the-Scenes teaser. Maybe you have an event or product launch that you’re looking to tease out. By sharing these short-lived updates, you’ll build anticipation for the final reveal.
7. Data Analytics and AI: “The Need for Speed” in Insights
Maverick and Goose needed speed in their fighter jets, and marketers need speed in insights. In 2024, data analytics and AI will enable marketers to process and analyze vast amounts of data quickly, making real-time decisions and adjustments to campaigns. HubSpot believes that “data-driven marketers will win in 2023. After all, some of the biggest advantages marketers get from using data to inform their marketing strategy are that data helps them reach their target audience more effectively, create more effective marketing content, understand which marketing strategies are most effective, increase the ROI of their marketing efforts, and prove the value of their marketing and activities.”
A/B testing is a basic example of using data analytics. Test two versions of an email communication or landing page – then publish both and let the data tell you which version is best!
There you have it. Just as Maverick and his team pushed the boundaries of aviation, these 2024 marketing trends will challenge marketers to reach new heights and explore uncharted territory. As we navigate the marketing landscape, let’s be bold, innovative, and adaptable, just like the fearless pilots in “Top Gun.” After all, in marketing, like in aviation, the sky’s the limit, and we’re all looking for our wingman to help us achieve our goals.