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The 2024 Marketing Predictions Guide

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Marketing Predictions for 2024

2024 is here, and it’s clear that marketing technology is evolving faster than ever before. With major shifts brought about by generative AI, Apple iOS privacy nuances, and tighter data regulations, yesterday's strategies may not cut it tomorrow.

When planning a digital strategy for 2024, marketers must take into account the anticipated trends that may influence future strategic decisions. That’s why I’ve collaborated with Movable Ink’s vertical strategists and thought leaders to compile a 360 view of the year ahead. In this guide, you’ll find specific, tactical predictions for every industry, along with a broader outlook for the martech landscape as a whole.

Table of Contents

Martech Industry Predictions

Zero- and First-Party Data Remains Prominent

With the gradual depreciation of cookies, brands will increasingly rely on zero- and first-party data to personalize experiences for their customers. This holds especially true for zero-party data, where  customers willingly share their preferences in exchange for optimized marketing communications. Ulta Beauty leverages both data types to power their email campaigns. On the left, the beauty brand deployed a recently browsed trigger that drove an impressive 316.67% increase in CTR. On the right, a poll retargeting email drove a 20.8% lift in clicks.

Ulta Beauty first- and zero-party data powered campaigns

In response to customers’ growing hesitation to part with their data, brands will need to find innovative ways to form relationships with their customers and move beyond purely transactional communications. One likely avenue is the adoption of loyalty or retention programs, where customers are rewarded for sharing their data. This approach not only incentivizes data sharing, but it also increases customer lifetime value.

Marketers Must Incorporate Diverse AI Models

Generative AI made significant strides this year, offering the potential to automate various marketing processes. However, its adoption comes with a level of risk, including privacy concerns, potential inaccuracies, creative restrictions, legal considerations, and biases within AI models.

Despite these initial challenges, we're likely to see more enterprise-level brands experimenting with generative AI, primarily to increase workflow efficiency and eliminate manual tasks. Beyond this,  marketers will also consider incorporating multiple AI models for an ensemble approach. With this approach multiple types of AI models—such as a predictions model that governs content management, vision and insights models to garner deep insights, and a generation model to produce content—work together to provide operational efficiency along with engagement and revenue lifts.

Email Marketing Will Need a Balanced Approach

Triggered emails are known to drive ROI, making them a tried-and-true approach for marketers. But 2024 will likely call for a recalibration. Over-dependence on triggers doesn’t nurture the larger audience segment and can make brand interactions feel too robotic. In the coming year, marketers will aim to strike a careful balance between personalized batch sends and triggers to ensure that messages resonate authentically with audiences.

Mobile Marketing Will Surge in Adoption and Sophistication

Mobile marketing will remain a powerful channel as consumers continue to increase their smartphone use. Mobile drives 60% of global eCommerce sales, meaning that if brands don’t optimize their marketing strategies to accommodate it, they risk falling behind. 

In 2023, the majority of mobile marketing relied on either generic, batch-and-blast messages with little to no personalization, or basic triggers such as abandon cart notifications. Whether mobile marketing has been overlooked due to technology limitations or strategic misalignment, it’s likely that we’ll see more brands attempt to course correct and invest further in their mobile marketing execution for 2024.

HSN is ahead of the curve with their sophisticated omni-channel campaigns. The retail brand creates seamless, ultra-convenient experiences that customers love with personalized recommendations populating across in-app and rich push.

The Integration Imperative Continues in 2024  

According to a study by MarTech Today, businesses are expected to increase their marketing technology integration budgets by up to 30% next year. One-size-fits-all tech stacks are out, and brands will be hunting for specialized solutions that cater to specific challenges. 

This includes data—while CDPs continue to take up significant market share, they will only be one piece of the puzzle. With data integrations rising in prominence, it’s clear that marketers need to hone in on mastering and activating the data, not just collecting it. Consequently, integration capabilities and partnership potential will be at the forefront when considering martech tools in 2024. 

The NBA scores a slam dunk when it comes to data mastery. Here, the marketing team creates real-time email banners that keep fans up-to-date on teams’ total wins and losses, team leaders, upcoming game info, and scores from previous games. To ensure the utmost accuracy and relevance, Studio leverages real-time data from the NBA’s internal API.

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Retail Industry Predictions

Retailers Will Lean into AI-Powered Personalization

With the help of machine learning and AI technologies, marketers will understand user behaviors and preferences with even greater precision.

AI powered personalization will transform mobile and email to create individually tailored campaigns that go above and beyond previous efforts, skyrocketing engagement rates and conversions. It’s a blend of human experience and machine learning that unlocks a fundamentally new type of personalization. 

Privacy-First Marketing Will Span into Retail

With growing concerns about data privacy and the implementation of stricter data protection regulations worldwide, there will be a shift towards transparent and privacy-focused marketing strategies. As a result, marketers will need to be more cautious about how they collect and use customer data, and personalization efforts in mobile apps and email marketing will rely more on opt-in data and less on third-party data sources.

As this becomes the norm, consumers will seek tangible value in exchange for data sharing, such as hyper-personalization and an improved UX. Retailers will take a page from more regulated industries like financial services as they navigate uncharted waters.

No-Code Platforms Will Revolutionize Efficiency

The no-code movement, which emphasizes the ability to build software without writing any actual code, will be further integrated into digital marketing tools and platforms. With retailers facing squeezed margins and the fallout of a tumultuous economy from the prior year, they will look to shore up operations through automation.

This will empower marketers to test and iterate their campaigns rapidly, leading to more effective and engaging marketing strategies. It will become increasingly important for retailers to quickly adapt to new customer demands as their tastes and expectations continue to evolve. Using no-code platforms, retailers can integrate data from various touchpoints to create personalized shopping journeys based on customers’ unique behaviors.

Retailers Will Double Down on Omni-Channel Experiences

Retailers will further integrate online and offline shopping experiences. We'll see enhancement in table-stakes features like "buy online, pick up in-store" (BOPIS), virtual fitting rooms, and digital in-store experiences. The lines between eCommerce, mobile commerce, and brick-and-mortar will blur, with consumers expecting a consistent and personalized shopping experience across touchpoints.

Media and Technology Industry Predictions

Growth and Monetization Strategies Will Define Video Streaming Success 

While the growth of video streaming will persist at the expense of traditional TV, streaming services won’t go unchallenged. The competition for consumers’ divided time, attention, and subscriptions will only intensify in the years to come.

As a result, streaming platforms will increasingly prioritize ad-supported plans and bundled offerings. They'll also invest significantly in sports content and explore strategies to maximize revenue per user, such as mitigating password sharing. These brands will also attempt to address subscription fatigue by becoming super-aggregators. In a comprehensive entertainment offering, streaming brands will offer personalized user experiences that include both third-party studio services and their own content. 

“Super Gamers” Will Be the North Star of Video Gaming

“Super gamers” represent almost a quarter of US gamers (39M), and spend an average of $38.03 per month—8x more than casual gamers. In the midst of layoffs, similar to Bungie’s recent decision, and squeezed revenue, video gaming organizations will focus more on delivering personalized experiences for casual gamers with the aim of pushing them down the “Super gamers” funnel. 

Live Service Games Lead in Strategy

Live service games—games that act as a service with continual updates in features, content, and event—are dominating the market. As a result, Triple A titles are pivoting to fully supported and regularly updated live service games. If this approach proves to be successful, these brands will develop a new steady cash flow while reducing the risk of creating new IPs. 

Gaming publishers will also follow suit to combat the decline of PC and console titles that reach at least 50k lifetime players. These brands will focus on building a community for their players and doubling down on hyper-personalization, whether it’s catering to the gamers’ needs, creating leaderboards, or forming a gamers’ hub.

The Rise of In-Play Betting

Betting has had a massive influence on the entire sports ecosystem. In the last five years alone, $25B in revenue was generated for the US Sportsbook. This growth is set to continue, and the sports betting industry is forecasted to reach $186B by 2027.

In-play bets will play a pivotal role, enticing casual betters to bet more, especially for deals that are quicker to settle. To capitalize on in-play bets for rapidly paced games, Sportsbook will need to deliver personalized experiences for both winning and losing scenarios, as well as preferred type of bet and wager amount.

Telco to Expand Beyond Connectivity

An increase in video consumption will result in more data usage, and streaming brands will attempt to create long-term partnerships with telco companies.

As of now, the majority of telco companies have to rely on a partial view of their customers' behavior with only minimal data on hand—with this approach, most companies don’t have access to understanding users’ behaviors or preferences.

To mitigate these issues, expect telco companies to create streaming services and own all of the attached data to build out new avenues for revenue beyond connectivity.  As a result, telco companies will be able to deliver truly personalized content, increasing customer lifetime value (CLTV) and loyalty.

Financial Services Industry Predictions

Consumer Spending on the Decline

With high-pressure macroeconomic factors like rising interest rates and the return of student loan payments, consumers will continue to shrink their discretionary spending. Businesses, especially credit card companies, will follow suit by focusing on loyalty, retention, and reinforcement marketing to gain more wallet share and combat customer churn, rather than costly acquisitions.

Product Diversification Will Continue to Grow

Product diversification will continue slow-but-steady growth. Companies will add secondary products to their core offerings to become a one-stop shop for customers’ financial services needs.  

Customers who take advantage of these new offerings show high satisfaction rates, but only a small percentage are aware of their existence. As a result, the majority of marketers will be tasked with driving awareness and cross-selling customers while senior-level executives evaluate the feasibility of each diversification strategy. 

Verticalized diversification, such as credit card companies partnering with travel brands, will continue its trend of high growth.

AI-Powered Personalization Will be Used Across Functions

AI in financial services will move beyond customer service and security measures to driving account growth.

AI will be leveraged for scaling marketing endeavors, which will streamline workflows and ultimately increase profit margins. These benefits will be especially prominent in the investment space, such as for asset managers with large portfolios. Given the shrinking profit margin on trades, the ability to scale personalization will be a key performance-driver. 

Evolving Value Propositions From Credit Card Brands

While credit card companies have seen great success with straightforward cashback options, customers’ expectations will increase as branded reward systems continue to develop. Some issuers are already introducing strategies like Cashback Calendars, where customers earn a higher percentage on a different spend category each quarter. Customers in this new program are reporting accelerated use, but credit card brands will need to drive awareness around this new value proposition.

The financial services space will also see a paradigm shift as brands test subscription models, following the lead of TD’s credit card, Clear. This subscription-based credit card will have customers pay $10 towards their principal every month to access a $1000 credit limit, avoiding late fees or interest on their outstanding balance. If Clear proves to be scalable, competitors will quickly follow suit.

Travel and Hospitality Industry Predictions

Tighter Budgets Need High-Value Loyalty Strategies

While global travel performance continues to climb, travelers’ spending power is shrinking and brands’ overhead costs are rising. Brands that want to remain competitive will need to find fresh new ways to deliver more value without slashing prices. 

Loyalty innovations will be a key pillar in this effort, especially as nearly half of loyalty members prefer rewards and perks to discounts. Additionally, loyalty members are intending to travel twice as much as non-loyalty members in 2024, making this demographic a strategic target for travel brands.

High Value Remarketing Will Heavily Influence ROI

Before taking the final plunge and booking, these travelers will visit over 140 sites to compare their prices and options. Customers taking this approach to landing the best deal is what makes remarketing so crucial for brands in 2024. By reminding customers of their recently abandoned pages, travel brands ultimately see higher conversion rates—especially when real-time imagery, live pricing and reviews, and availability are looped into the marketing message.

Travel brands can supplement their remarketing tactics with value-added offerings. Even the most price-conscious customers are unwilling to sacrifice activities and experiences in their travel plans, making these offers a key ROI driver. Marketers looking to get ahead next year will bundle dining options or additional experiences to entice customers to book. 

High Intent Customer Segments for Travel

Brands can expect high travel intent from the affluent, families, and bleisure workers. While a relatively newer segment, bleisure travel is here to stay and set to grow. These travelers will specifically be looking for extended stay options, perks for adding on additional nights, hybrid work and meeting spaces, as well as wellness offers to supplement their down time. Marketers can also expect this segment to opt for upgrades that they would not normally choose, such as airline WiFi, seat upgrades, and shorter flight times. 

Additionally, any customers from regions that had drawn-out Covid restrictions are also expected to make a strong return to travel this year, releasing years of pent-up demand.

Holiday Season, Don’t be Late

During the busy holiday travel season, marketing tactics like personalized, real-time updates will be paramount. Especially as customers recover from some of the snags in the global return to travel—flight delays, cancellations, and over-bookings—keeping customers in the loop will be crucial to how successful their overall brand experience is.

Marketers who want to further enhance their messaging will look to gamify their travel experiences, adding data-driven, contextual elements to catch customer attention and offer optimal convenience. 

Enter 2024 With Confidence

The martech landscape is in constant flux, and 2024 promises to be no different. As brands adapt to shifting consumer behaviors, emerging technologies, and evolving regulations, staying ahead of the curve is essential for success. As we venture into this new marketing era, let's remember that while technology is the tool, nurturing genuine relationships with customers remains paramount. By taking into account these predictions, you will be well positioned for success in the coming year. 

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