2024 Marketing and Media Industry Trends

6 Industry Trends Shaping Marketing, Media, Social and Advertising in 2024

Elan Iâl, January 2024 · 4 minute read

As we enter 2024, the worlds of marketing, media, social media and advertising are evolving at a rapid pace. Consumer behaviours and emerging technologies are reshaping how brands connect with audiences and promote products and services.

In this article we will explore some of the biggest industry trends that are expected to make an impact this year. From the death of the cookie to innovative approaches leveraging artificial intelligence, 2024 promises to bring exciting developments for marketers and advertisers across digital, print and other channels.

Read on for insights into the key trends that have the potential to transform marketing, media, social and advertising this year.

Trend 1 - Continuation of FOOH (Fake Out Of Home)

In 2023 brands like Jacquemus, Maybelline and JD Sports set up stunts that captured international attention.

Was there really a giant North Face jacket on Big Ben? Nope, it was all CGI.

When the technology is accessible, CGI brings endless opportunities for brands to capitalise on the wow-factor of OOH without actually organising OOH 

However, as with any trend, there’s value in being an early adopter. The first days of 2024 have already seen a FOOH flop (heh, try saying that out loud) with ASOS accused of copying Maybelline’s original stunt.

We should also take legal considerations into account when experimenting with OOH and be careful of depicting real-world locations, buildings or organisations in our content where those associations may not be taken favourably by the other party.

What’s really behind this trend? The need to find innovative, creative ways to snatch attention, stop the scroll and make headlines. The value is in being original.

Trend 2 - The Importance of Social SEO

SEO isn’t just for Google.

Social media is increasingly used as search engines as users adopt more active usage of the platforms rather than just passively scrolling.

In 2023, Google themselves admitted that “almost 40% of young people” don’t go to Google to search for things anymore, they go to TikTok and Instagram.

What this means? We need to optimise our content for SEO on all platforms, not just on our websites.

Trend 3 - Valuable AI usage

2023 saw AI spring onto the scene and its rapid adoption isn’t slowing down. 2024 is the year we figure out how to use it valuably.

In the creative industries, AI can be used as an ideas springboard, for copywriting prompts, for communicating concepts and storyboarding, for finding relevant research to inform marketing decisions (just remember to ask it for the source to check validity) and more.

The challenge in 2024 will be to choose a handful of useful tools for our tech stack without becoming overwhelmed by all the options on the market.

Our current favourites are Claude for large language processing and Bing Image Generator for creating visuals.

Trend 4 - The Last Cookie

On 4th January, 2024, Google started to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome. This means blocking cookies from tracking your activity across the web.

There are many technologies emerging to help advertisers improve ad targeting in a cookie-less future, such as contextual targeting.

For now though, what this means is that first-party and owned data is as important as ever, and the quality and creativity of ad content will be the prime determiner of performance.

Some people are calling this the "rehumanisation of marketing" - essentially a roll-back to prioritising creativity and context rather than detailed targeting based on user data.

Trend 5 - The New Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new, but some things are changing.

According to data from Corq, the influencer intelligence service, creators focused on specific niches drove ten times more consumer engagement on ads in 2023 than generalists.

So don’t be swayed by big numbers - a relevant and engaged audience is much more important than millions of followers.

Think also about different types of commercial relationships to have with influencers. It doesn’t have to be the standard pay-for-a-one-off picture of an influencer with their charcoal toothpaste.

Brands are increasingly exploring different ways of partnering with influencers - ambassadorship, affiliates, equity - there are many ways to go and the key is to ensure an authentic and valuable partnership two-ways.

Trend 6 - UGC or CGC?

UGC and demand for content creators isn’t going anywhere.

UGC (user generated content) has quickly become the most in-demand content type for social media marketing as consumers' dwindling trust in polished advertising sparked a need for more authentic, consumer-POV content that don't immediately look like they're trying to sell something.

However, in 2024 brands will start thinking more creatively about sourcing content.

Instead of only paying influencers and content creators for UGC, brands will start building customer generated content into their marketing flows, rewarding real customers for content featuring their products and turning genuine fans into marketable advocates

It's an exciting time to work in media and marketing. With consumers increasingly fragmented across devices and platforms, brands will need fresh ideas and strategies to effectively reach target demographics in a crowded media landscape. By understanding the top trends, marketing professionals and companies can adapt their plans to capitalize on these shifts in creative and cost-effective ways.