Marketing trends ’24

Capture growth through AI, brand investment and innovative marketing tactics

2023 was a tough year, there’s no getting away from it. The pressures businesses and consumers faced continue to be intense, and economic forecasts don’t exactly feel inspirational moving through 2024. But as much as there are challenges, there are also some monumental changes that are reshaping our world right now and creating opportunities. So what are the things to consider in 2024 that might make a difference to your future B2B marketing approach?

1. Technology vs creativity (the generative AI battleground)

Is the technology you use shaping – or limiting – your creativity? Following a process is easy, but you sometimes have to be bold to make a breakthrough. It might be easier to fall in line, but in a world of tech homogenisation, you should take the time to evaluate your methods and how your creativity will connect with real humans.

There’s no real slowdown in the rate of uptake in gen AI and that trend will certainly continue into 2024 and beyond. New toolsets that empower sales and marketing give great opportunities to create – but the way you unlock value is key to standing out from the crowd.

  • Knowledge. While initial adoption is high, training and development on gen AI tools tend to be limited. Taking the time to understand how you expect AI to be leveraged in your business can pay dividends. A strategy to adopt and upskill can give brands an edge and allow for creativity that contributes to brand and messaging.
  • Process. When considering the “intelligence” of AI, it makes sense to view AI as a contributor, not a replacement for expertise. Use AI to expedite production and to test and learn. Think of it as the route to rapid prototyping, not the solution to creative challenges. Your experts still need to guide iteration to improve and set your brand apart.
  • Creativity. In a space where anyone can be a creator, AI effectively delimits production quantity. Whilst it seems like an unfair playing field where AI holds all the aces, it’s not quite that simple. At the risk of making some kind of Skynet reference, when it comes to creativity and distinction, AI is still bounded by its rules. The human ability to break out of the formula could be a differentiator in a busy space. Being bold could be the alternative approach to support your plans.

Want to compare AI vs human? See which you prefer by reading this same article output from gen AI. It might be up your street, but we guarantee it’ll have no Terminator references.

ChatGPT example prompt and response text

2. Invest in brand

For a brand to thrive, a connection to real people has to be formed – and ultimately, a memory or association has to be created. Moving through 2024, individuals who buy into a brand, service or offering are going to be influenced by their human connection to it. This creates the environment for bigger-picture value from each customer or client.

  • The value of your brand. Without brand investment, you’re limiting growth. Studies have shown that brand investment effectively unlocks the next echelon of performance. It can help address some of the key factors shaking up business in 2024. With brand investment, your business can move into the world of emotional decision-making. In such a world, the parameters are different: price sensitivity is less of an issue, and you build value with your audience in the long term because of the multi-channel environment you’ve created.
  • Form a lasting connection. Extended reality (XR) can be transformative in marketing. The ubiquity of the technology required means it’s possible to deliver engaging experiences across multiple platforms. The defining factor for a brand in this respect is how the human brain processes the input information versus non-immersive solutions. An XR experience can engage the human brain in a different way from other brand or marketing activities. Studies show higher attention, emotional intensity and memory activation enabled by XR. These are all big factors in decision-making – and might support your brand vision.

3. Getting tactical in 2024

It’s not all about strategic decision-making though; there’s a continued need to make the most of all opportunities available in marketing. To lift your 2024 baseline, consider adopting some alternative tactics.

  • Influencer marketing in B2B. Whilst the power of the influencer is currently in an upward trend, 2024 looks set to see even more brands leveraging this channel. The opportunity in B2B can lie with micro-influencers and even with building brand ambassadors to align creative, audience-focused content that reaches your key demographics. You can go large and “buy” your way into an audience, but I’d definitely consider the cumulative power and volume of output you’d get from engaging niche creators with a potentially smaller following. Co-creation of content might be a way to start your journey into the world of influencer marketing, but just remember to set the expectation for realistic results both internally and with the influencer themselves.
  • ABM. As our previous series examined, focusing your efforts on a potential high-yield account base can provide great ROI in B2B. Whilst ABM isn’t something new, it should make up part of your core activity in 2024 because it’s become a staple of most businesses. If you’re looking for inspiration, we saw some fantastic results recently from this channel in a recent Volume case study (shameless plug, I know).
  • First-party data. This one sounds obvious, but prepping for the end of third-party cookies is important. I’m not here to preach about advertising tactics, but the volume, reach and ultimately data you will soon miss out on could have a big impact. Building first- and zero-party data is important to allow for continued optimisation, and guiding your wider SEM and awareness activity. Look on 2024 as a good opportunity to review your data strategy overall – this might help you identify some other tactics whose potential you’re not maximising.

2024 looks likely to be a year of transition. If you’re ready to combine creativity and create human-focused experiences, we’re always here at Volume to meet your challenge.

Want to learn more?

If you have any questions on the above or want to discuss your marketing goal, get in touch.
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