Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Challenges and opportunities for marketers in 2024

by Sam Richardson, Customer Engagement Consultant at Twilio

In 2023, tech innovations, such as the widespread emergence of generative AI, promised exciting new capabilities for marketers, while the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, rising inflation, uncertain global politics, and environmental concerns created a challenging landscape for marketers to navigate. 

In 2024, brands will need to work hard to ensure they understand and appeal to their customers, and will also need to work strategically to leverage emerging technologies to their advantage.

With this in mind, here are my predictions for how brands will successfully cut through the noise in 2024.

Brands will need to adapt to a value mindset 

In a tough economic climate, consumers have been conditioned to think about value. Whether it’s products, services, or experiences, people are focused on getting maximum benefit and satisfaction for every penny spent.

The question of value will become an existential one for customers – it was always there to some extent, but it’s now arguably the most important factor in many buying decisions. In adopting any new technology, whether AI or otherwise, brands shouldn’t forget about the bigger picture and purpose behind what they’re doing. Ultimately, the key lies in establishing a full understanding of who customers are and how they can deliver value. This could be anything from an unexpected reward to an engaged customer community.

Big picture thinkers will drive more engaging experiences

Success in 2024 will be less about technical capabilities, but an organisation’s ability to know where the pain points are and creatively solve them.

It’s more important than ever for brands to have a ‘dot-connecting’ leader at the helm. These individuals should know what’s happening across the breadth of the business and be able to identify opportunities to escape the ‘sea of sameness’ we often see from brands.

Big picture thinking will make sure the organisation is moving in the right direction, but this needs to be backed up by speed of action. Customer expectations are changing at a rapid pace and they are starting to outstrip brands in terms of their own digital-savvy. For example, we know that many consumers want to use WhatsApp to engage with brands, but adoption and effective usage of this channel is not moving as fast as customers would like it to. 

Even small changes can have an immediate impact on customer experience, so decisiveness and speed of action will become the cornerstones of company success.

AI will get back to creative problem solving

AI is by no means new, but the likes of ChatGPT and generative AI meant that 2023 was the year that we saw a heightened focus on this technology. AI technologies are indeed worth the investment, but this investment will not yield the right business outcomes if organisations don’t get their data in order first. 

As a result, we’re starting to see a renewed focus on getting ROI from tech spend. Businesses are re-directing their attention towards creative problem-solving to improve customer engagement, efficiency and value to customers. Looking ahead to 2024, there will be a more mature understanding that AI is one tool to support a well-considered engagement strategy, not the silver bullet to success without a strong tech stack more broadly.

While it is unclear exactly what direction 2024 will go in, brands can take learnings from 2023 and channel them into their plans and approach for the year ahead. Either way, brands will need to remain cognizant of evolving consumer needs, agile in an increasingly competitive landscape, and primed to take advantage of innovations that will assist them in their marketing strategies.