Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
As we step into 2024, the marketing landscape is buzzing with fresh, innovative ideas. Marketers are getting creative and discovering new paths to really connect with their audiences and stand out in a crowded field.
In this article, we’re diving into ten key marketing trends that are making a splash this year.
We’ve noticed that there’s a big focus on keeping things real and personal. Brands are putting authenticity, personalisation and diversity at the forefront. Why? Because it’s all about building stronger, more meaningful connections with people.
Let’s take a closer look at these transformative 2024 marketing trends, offering insights and strategies to ensure that your brand not only keeps pace but thrives in the dynamic world of marketing.
10 best marketing trends for 2024
- Artificial automation
- Authentic impact
- Collectible aesthetics
- Social search
- Smart psychology
- Mix-and-match marketing
- DIY revival
- Micro-influencer makeover
In a world awash with choices, the ability to stand out hinges on a brand’s ability to tailor experiences, making each interaction feel as though it’s been crafted with an individual in mind. The Hyper-personalisation 2024 marketing trend allows businesses to build more meaningful connections with their consumers.
This isn’t just about crunching numbers or navigating through oceans of data. It’s about creating personalised experiences that resonate on a personal level. Leveraging AI, advanced analytics and machine learning, businesses are now equipped to deliver individualised content, product suggestions and offers across all touchpoints.
Spotify Wrapped perfectly captures the 2024 trend of hyper-personalised marketing. It blends data and creativity to craft a unique, engaging user experience. Spotify analyses a year’s worth of your listening habits and transforms it into a vibrant, shareable musical journey. The result is a custom celebration of your musical tastes and quirks. It strengthens your bond with Spotify and sparks social media sharing, making your music story part of a global phenomenon.
Spotify Wrapped 2022 personalised stats; Source: Spotify
Spotify Wrapped 2022 listening personality; Source: Spotify
Email marketing, a veteran in the digital marketing arsenal, has found a new lease of life as it becomes supercharged by AI, allowing hyper-personalisation to unfold at an unprecedented scale.
The collaboration between Intuit Mailchimp and Wix is a game-changer, offering businesses a seamless platform to fine-tune their customer engagement strategies. Wix and Mailchimp users will be able to leverage their combined customer data and use it to create marketing campaigns that are super-specific to the individual customer.
As digital marketing races ahead, driven by constant tech advancements, we’re hitting an interesting crossroads. It’s a point at which, surprisingly, the appeal of physical, tangible things is making a comeback. This trend sees marketers turning their attention back to the tangible, creating special versions of promotional items and offering hyper-personalised gifts.
The magic of this trend lies in its ability to make every consumer feel valued and appreciated. When products and services are tailored with such dedication and care, they become much more impactful tokens of appreciation and vehicles of connection.
Hyper-personalisation is closely linked to our next marketing trend: Artificial automation. The ability to analyse vast amounts of data, discern patterns and deliver content tailored to each individual user’s preferences is testament to the abilities of AI-powered technologies in marketing.
An example of a brand that went all out and made AI a pivotal part of their marketing campaign is Coca-Cola. In 2023, they launched “Create Real Magic,” an innovative AI platform developed in collaboration with OpenAI and Bain & Company, inviting digital artists worldwide to generate original artwork using iconic assets from the Coca-Cola archives. The platform uniquely integrates GPT-4’s human-like text generation and DALL-E’s image production capabilities. Participants from selected regions could access numerous branded elements for AI-powered creative experimentation, with the chance to feature their work on digital billboards in prominent locations like New York’s Times Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus.
This example illustrates the Artificial automation trend in marketing for 2024, as Coca-Cola leverages AI to fuel creativity, streamline content production and enhance consumer engagement, showcasing the balance between technological innovation and human creativity.
However, even as AI boosts our marketing with its speed and smarts, we’ve got to remember the importance of keeping things personal and human. It’s all about striking that perfect balance.
A perfect example of a well-executed 2024 marketing trend “Artificial automation”: The use of AdMobilize’s emotional AI technology to show relevant ads to the commuters on Sao Paulo Metro’s Yellow Line in Brazil; Source: Commercial Integrator
A great example of marketing that is backed by AI but still feels authentic and human is Sao Paulo Metro’s Yellow Line in Brazil. They used AdMobilize’s emotional AI technology to analyse commuters’ emotions on-the-spot through facial expressions. This allowed them to show ads that matched the commuters’ current feelings. As a result, the advertisements displayed weren’t just products of arbitrary algorithmic selections; they were thoughtful responses to the commuters’ immediate emotional context, making each ad feel personal and relevant.
In 2024, brands are marketing themselves not just as sellers, but as storytellers, activists and changemakers.
Today’s consumers are looking for brands that echo their values and contribute meaningfully to societal causes. According to research, the way consumers view a company’s social responsibility efforts influences their likelihood to purchase from that brand. When faced with products of similar quality, customers tend to favour brands that are known for their social responsibility.
For example, Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold’s “Contract for Change” initiative tackles the lack of organic farmland in the US by providing struggling family farms with a guaranteed buyer once their three-year transition to organic farming is complete, the programme removes a significant barrier to sustainable agriculture. Currently, 104,000 acres are in transition, soon to produce ingredients for Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold and other brands. This initiative not only exemplifies corporate social responsibility but also aligns Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold with consumers who value and support socially responsible brands.
In the landscape of marketing trends in 2024, brands are realising that success and social responsibility are not just parallel paths but intertwined journeys.
“Social value is a competitive differentiator – integrating it into your brand maximises the value you offer beyond mere customer satisfaction. It allows you to connect with your customer on an emotional level – fulfilling a sense of belonging, or engaging with them through their personal life experiences.”Sydney Petite, CSO of Royal Street Agency, a communications agency
The ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket” Black Friday marketing campaign by Patagonia; Source: Patagonia
Patagonia stands out as a stellar example of brands aligning seamlessly with a cause, embedding purpose into the core of their marketing strategy. Committed to environmental stewardship and ethical production, they’ve positioned themselves as pioneers in responsible business. Their marketing transcends product promotion, actively participating in environmental campaigns and championing sustainable living. The “Worn Wear” programme and their bold “Don’t Buy This Jacket” Black Friday campaign highlight their dedication, resonating with eco-conscious consumers and exemplifying the power of purpose-driven branding.
The thing about the “Authentic impact” 2024 marketing trend is that you don’t have to be a large corporation with lots of money to hop on it. As a small business, you can… start small and craft a sustainable marketing campaign using the resources available to you! For example, donate a portion of your Black Friday proceeds to support your local community or important causes.
The Transmedia trend bridges the divide between print and digital realms, using augmented reality and QR codes to create interactive and personal experiences for consumers. A simple scan of a QR code on a printed advertisement can unfold into an AR-driven journey, bringing the static to life and etching a memorable imprint on the consumer’s mind.
A great example of a brand using the Transmedia 2024 marketing trend is IKEA. It seamlessly blends print and digital media in their marketing, utilising their annual catalogue alongside augmented reality (AR) technology. Customers can visualise furniture in their own homes by scanning catalogue pages with the IKEA Place app, turning a traditional browsing experience into an interactive journey. This innovative approach not only makes the catalogue more engaging but also strengthens the connection between customers and the IKEA brand, driving sales across both channels.
“Print or digital? Well, why not both? The lines between offline and online have blurred – and that’s a great thing for small business marketing. Print assets that feature digital components like QR codes can drive traffic to valuable online real estate, encouraging greater brand engagement.”Emily Whittaker, EVP, North America and Global Marketing at Vista
Small business owners can participate in the Transmedia 2024 marketing trend by placing QR codes on print ads, posters, in-store signage and other physical marketing materials. Those QR codes can lead to all sorts of different things to enhance the consumer experience and make the interaction more memorable: music, AR filters, simple web games, etc.
In another example of the Transmedia trend of 2024, Bombay Sapphire, in partnership with Shazam, crafted a unique augmented reality (AR) adventure anchored in the product’s very own label. A simple scan of the bottle label transported customers into a world of animation, intricately designed to capture the spirit and personality of Bombay Sapphire. This immersive experience didn’t just stop at stunning visuals; it further engaged customers with exclusive video content, providing a curated selection of Bombay Sapphire cocktail recipes.
It’s a trend that acknowledges the timeless allure of print, while embracing the limitless possibilities of the digital age, crafting marketing masterpieces that are as effective as they are enchanting.
Embracing the art of storytelling, the “Collectible aesthetics” trend weaves intricate narratives into your packaging. It goes way beyond just grabbing attention; it’s about sparking the imagination and designing packaging that customers are just as excited to touch and hold as they are about the product inside.
Torrone Siciliano packaging, the 2024 marketing trend for Collectible aesthetics; Source: Sabadi
“The product or service a small business offers is just as important as the experience they strive to create for their customers. Print marketing, particularly compelling packaging design and promotional items, has become a unique canvas for storytelling, enabling small businesses to extend brand visibility and strengthen customer relationships.”Emily Whittaker, EVP, North America and Global Marketing at Vista
Packaging design, under this trend, evolves into a canvas for innovation, narrating tales of the brand’s journey or the unique essence of its products. These tactile storytellers do more than hold a product; they hold attention, inviting consumers to engage, remember, and most importantly, talk about what they’ve experienced.
Drinkable Collection of beers; Source: Granda
A simple way for small businesses to get on board with this trend is to design packaging for various products, with each item unveiling a new or different aspect of their brand’s story, enticing customers to ‘collect them all’.
Welcome to the era of Social search, a 2024 marketing trend that beautifully encapsulates the transformation of consumer behaviour in the digital age.
The tides have turned, with social media channels dethroning traditional search engines as the preferred platform for discovery and exploration. Gen Z are increasingly reliant on TikTok and Instagram for answers to their questions.
“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”– A Google exec
To harness the power of these new search giants, think about what your customers are searching for and add these ‘keywords’ to your social media captions, posts and creative. If you want to go an extra mile, you can also edit the alt text (a written description of an image that is used for web accessibility purposes).
A simple example of brands hopping on this 2024 marketing trend and making their social media publications more discoverable is adding captions and relevant hashtags to their TikTok videos.
In a time when new technologies emerge rapidly, understanding consumer desires and motivations becomes a sustainable strategy for creating effective campaigns.
By integrating consumer psychology into marketing strategies, brands can create more targeted campaigns and foster a lasting connection with their audience. It’s about connecting with the audience’s emotions, aspirations and values, which builds brand loyalty and drives business growth.
Neuromarketing (using science to understand what customers want by studying their brain activity and physical responses) exemplifies this trend, showcasing how insights from human behaviour can lead to innovative and deeply human marketing approaches.
But embracing a psychology-first approach doesn’t mean leaving technology by the wayside. Quite the opposite: integrating AI-driven neuromarketing tools becomes crucial, allowing you to measure and enhance the impact of your marketing initiatives, especially in design.
Take, for instance, the way these tools can dissect and evaluate an outdoor advertisement from Spotify. Thanks to technology, marketers are able to see which elements of the ad draw in the most attention, what viewers focus on when they see the poster and then design the ad accordingly. By leveraging this type of technology, marketers are not just guessing what works; they’re gaining tangible insights to help you fine-tune your strategies for maximum resonance with your audience.
A Spotify out-of-home ad analysed by an AI-powered neuromarketing tool; Source: Neurons
Embrace the eclectic with Mix-and-match marketing.
This 2024 marketing trend signifies a departure from the ultra-consistent marketing campaigns of the past, instead encouraging brands to experiment with a variety of styles and voices. The unifying factor in these diverse campaigns? A strong, central message that ties all the elements together seamlessly.
We’ve observed pioneering brands tapping into the creator economy, crafting ‘collage-style’ campaigns that weave together a tapestry of talents and perspectives. This creates a rich, multi-faceted experience for consumers. In these campaigns, diversity is celebrated and the sum is truly greater than its parts. It’s testament to the power of bringing together different voices and styles, all harmoniously linked by a singular, compelling narrative.
McDonald’s recent campaign skilfully embodies the Mix and match marketing 2024 trend by engaging Gen Z artists from diverse visual disciplines to reinterpret the Big Mac, showcasing its cultural influence. Artists created everything from Big Mac-inspired cowboy boots to 3D character designs and bejewelled grills, presenting a varied yet cohesive celebration of the iconic burger.
Another example of a brand that uses this 2024 marketing trend is Amazon. Its “That Reading Feeling” campaign highlighted the immersive world of books, utilising a variety of media and artistic styles. Created in collaboration with Droga5 London, the campaign employed 19 illustrators to produce 110 unique designs, each capturing the vibrant emotions and imaginations sparked by reading. The campaign also strategically extended across different platforms, featuring tailored content for print, digital, social media and even radio ads to explore the diverse reactions readers have to books, including the burgeoning field of audio storytelling.
The “That Reading Feeling” campaign by Amazon; Source: Creative Review
This approach not only captures attention but also resonates deeply with audiences, showcasing the brand’s adaptability and creativity in the ever-evolving marketing landscape.
As a small business owner, you can give the Mix-and-match 2024 marketing trend a try by working with a wide variety of creators to see how they would interpret your product or use your service in different ways. For instance, if you run a clothing company, you could get different types of people to style your fashion items in different ways and share these looks across your social media channels.
Tapping into the DIY revival wave, companies today are rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty in the world of marketing, particularly on social media platforms. It’s all about that casual, homemade vibe, and yes, it might be a tad rough around the edges, but that’s exactly the charm.
Some examples of the trend include…
- Sharing behind-the-scenes footage of the product-making process
- Sharing tips and tricks for using your products and/or services
- Letting your employees do a social media takeover and showcasing a day in their working lives, etc.
Why not fill your TikTok account with content like that?
Especially popular among the smaller business crowd, this 2024 marketing trend is an authentic, budget-friendly alternative to high-priced agency marketing.
With a plethora of tools readily available online – for instance, an online graphic editor VistaCreate, – there’s no excuse not to dive in and give it a go.
Embracing the Micro-influencer makeover 2024 marketing trend, small business owners are cleverly turning to smaller creators for their content needs.
This strategy provides a unique approach to influencer marketing, placing a higher value on authentic content rather than sheer follower numbers.
These creators, often more affordable and closely aligned with the brand’s audience, bring a personal touch and a relatability that larger influencers might lack. By speaking the same language as the target audience, this method ensures a genuine connection and more impactful communication.
Brands aiming to tap into the 2024 Micro-influencer makeover trend can emulate Aerie’s strategy, which places a strong emphasis on authenticity in their marketing campaigns, utilising influencer-generated content. In their recent Mother’s Day campaign, Aerie featured unfiltered “fit checks” from creators and their mothers, all proudly wearing Aerie products. This approach presents an effective avenue for brands to authentically connect with their audience, harnessing the power of micro-influencers to boost their visibility and engagement across social media channels.
Aerie sharing content from micro influencers; Source: @aerie via Instagram
It’s about hitting the right notes with the audience, ensuring that every piece of content feels like a direct conversation between the brand and the consumer, fostering trust and enhancing the brand’s image.
Ready for 2024’s biggest marketing trends?
As we wrap up our exploration of 2024’s marketing trends, it’s clear that the landscape is ripe with opportunities for innovation, connection and growth.
Brands can use these trends to feel more authentic, forge stronger connections with their audience and navigate the ever-evolving digital world with confidence.
From designing personal experiences for your customers to the creative diversity of Mix-and-match marketing, each trend offers a unique pathway to elevate our marketing strategies and leave a lasting impact.
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