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Hello and Happy New Year to everyone! As we like to do every January/February, we bring you the most important trends affecting the world of marketing, digital, and business in general.

The last few years have been relatively de-stabling for the United States and the entire world. As Google put it so well…after years of one crisis after another, we find ourselves in the “never normal” – a state of continuous evolution, turbulence and instability. This backdrop requires that businesspeople become truly agile and respond faster to evolving economic context and new customer needs.

As we come toward the beginning of 2024, we are witnessing huge turmoil in the Middle East after Hamas murdered over 1300 innocent Israeli civilians. Inflation has cooled a bit, but interest rates are still relatively high, the Southern border is unsecure and we’re seeing many geopolitical risks across the globe…Ukraine, Iran, China to name just a few. Lots of turbulence, that’s for sure. And it’s an election year to boot!

With this as the backdrop, as we’re now both feet into 2024, let’s have a look into the ‘crystal ball’ to see where the marketing and business world is trending. I’m pleased to provide the 11 marketing/business trends and predictions I believe all businesspeople need to keep in mind, and to integrate into their 2024 planning and execution. In addition, these can help answer the question on everyone’s minds… What can I do right now from a marketing and sales perspective to grow my business despite the turbulence? 

Yosi’s Crystal Ball – 11 Marketing & Digital Predictions for 2024! 

And here they are….

  1. The emergence of Generative AI (including ChatGPT) and its influence on the business world clearly makes it the most important trend to watch right now – It clearly dominated global business conversation in 2023. As everyone knows, Generative AI (which stands for ‘artificial intelligence’) can make any business stronger by writing content, automating tasks, reducing costs and opening up new sales opportunities for growth. 

McKinsey says that Gen AI has the potential to generate between $2.8 and $4.4 trillion in value, and the biggest impact is likely to be felt in software engineering and marketing and sales. In fact, 9 out of 10 business leaders around the world agreed that Gen AI would benefit their company.

And according to Forrester, 8 in 10 marketing executives are already using – or at least seriously exploring using Generative AI, so if you haven’t started integrating Gen AI into your marketing and sales process, you’re already behind the eight ball. Indeed, according to a survey from Salesforce, 88% of marketing executives and 78% of sales leaders say they’re worried that their company is missing out on Gen AI’s benefits. Whereas 2023 was the year of “trying out” Gen AI, 2024 will be the year of broad Gen AI “experimentation”….experimentation across every function at almost every well run company; big or small, B2C or B2B. 

So what’s your 2024 plan to leverage Generative AI to make people’s lives easier, cut costs, grow sales and increase revenue?

  1. AI powered profits! Many mainstream companies – both big and small – are starting to really cash in on Generative AI technology. Is your company cashing in yet?– So far, most people have tried Gen AI, ChatGPT or Bard to help make their lives and their employees’ lives easier and more productive by automating routine work. For example, to write written content, create images, and automate customer communications. 

But the real opportunity here is to “monetize” the power of Generative AI to drive incremental revenue or lower internal costs. For example, you can use chatbots to provide customers with answers to common product questions…which would require less people costs, and often make customers happier because it is instant and available 24/7. To increase revenue, you could use it to automate your lead generation process and find new potential (and more relevant) customers much quicker, driving more sales. 

Many companies are also “training” their own data. AI “training” is the process of teaching an AI system to perceive, interpret, and learn from your own large data sets, so it can later make decisions, answer new questions, provide opinions, solve problems or take actions based on that data. For example, to automatically write quarterly board of director reports or predict when an assembly line is close to shutting down.  

And one of the newest frontiers that started in late 2023 is finding ways to integrate Gen AI directly into your products or services themselves so you can substantially raise the price of that product or service…as it does so much more than it did before!

We’re already working with clients to identify ways to integrate Generative AI directly into products/services, and help them to develop plans that leverage Gen AI and automation to make their employees’ lives better, serve customers at a much lower cost, and create new revenue streams.

Schedule a call with us today if you need help planning and integrating these amazing innovations into your sales, marketing, manufacturing or the people leadership infrastructure of your business.

  1. Inflation is down a bit, and we might even get lucky with a “soft landing” that could boost the economy – Inflation is a bit lower, but the labor market is still tight and real estate is somewhat stagnant (no one can afford an 8% mortgage!). Nonetheless, the stock market had a terrific year (with the S&P up +24%), and the general sentiment is getting a bit better. Hopefully the Federal Reserve will be able to balance all of this into a soft landing and avoid a recession. Let’s hope for the best!
  1. Bite sized engagement: Video is still the most influential form of digital content, but short form video is now starting to become new king of content – And no wonder…According to OneIMS, on average, people watch 17 hours of online video content every week, and 89% of people say that watching a video convinced them to make a purchase (70% in B2B). In fact, video marketing has helped businesses increase sales (87%), increase traffic (91%), and increase brand awareness (95%).  

And in terms of short form video, an amazing 90% of companies using it will increase (or at least maintain) their financial investment in short form videos. In reality, videos on landing pages increase conversion by 86% and shopping cart sizes by 125%. And it’s not just TikTok and Instagram reels targeting millennials and Gen Z, but all ages across the demographic spectrum. 

So are you participating in the video revolution yet?

  1. “Influencers” really picked up steam in 2023 as a truly powerful selling tool…when they are leveraged properly – In fact, influencer marketing grew by +29% in 2023, becoming a $21 billion industry. This is a topic I talk to every one of my clients about these days. The trick is to figure out which niche bloggers write either about your category (e.g. plant based foods) or the benefits you offer….and then engage with these influencers to use them somehow as a brand ambassador. The rewards here can be amazing! And the cost? It can often be zero or close to zero. 

As purchase decisions are more informed than ever in history, online influencers and niche bloggers (even small ones) can help brands reach targeted global audiences. That’s because most influencers seem like “regular people”, so customers trust them.  Even B2B and small businesses can get in on this act as the cost can be very low. No wonder 95% of marketers who use influencers believe that they are very effective, and 89% of marketers who currently engage with influencers plan to increase that investment in 2024.

Do you have a 2024 plan in place to properly leverage influencers at low or even no cost? 

Yosi’s Final Predictions for 2024: 

As there is so much to say, and we’re out of room here, please join me in a few weeks for the second half of this report when I’ll lay out a second set of 6 additional marketing predictions. We’ll discuss some of the other hottest topics and trends of the day including user generated content, social commerce, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, voice search, sustainability, and more.

So until next time, good luck and good selling in 2024…and please stay safe!

Yosi