OPINION | Five “Techolutions” for 2024 writes Musa Kalenga

This year marks a critical juncture where marketing, advertising, and technology will intertwine more closely than ever, presenting both challenges and opportunities. We stand at the forefront of a new era marked by rapid technological advancements and shifting consumer behaviours.

Should you be scared? More excited I’d say.

As we delve into this transformative landscape, understanding and leveraging the key trends becomes not just a strategic advantage but a necessity for those aiming to stay ahead of the curve.

Using tech to their advantage

Some brands are already using tech to their best advantage.

  • At the micro-level, where we witness the rise of privacy-centric marketing, Apple is a notable with its App Tracking Transparency, which significantly impacts how advertisers track user behaviour.
  • Brands that have pivoted towards more ethical data practices, like Procter & Gamble, have seen increased consumer trust and brand loyalty.
  • Another trend is the tailored approach of content personalisation. Netflix’s recommendation algorithm serves as a prime case study. By analysing viewer data, Netflix delivers personalised content, enhancing user experience and retention.
  • The digital world’s expansion into NFTs and the metaverse opens uncharted territories for marketers. A pioneering case is Nike’s acquisition of virtual sneaker company RTFKT, enabling them to explore new digital products in the metaverse. This move highlights the potential for brands to extend their presence into virtual spaces.
  • Additionally, sustainability marketing is gaining traction, as seen in Patagonia’s commitment to environmental causes. Their transparent and consistent sustainability practices have not only bolstered their brand image but also resonated deeply with eco-conscious consumers.
  • Voice search and commerce represent a significant shift in consumer interaction. Amazon’s Alexa has transformed how consumers shop, leading to an increase in voice-driven purchases. Brands optimising for voice search, like Domino’s with its voice-ordering feature, are tapping into this growing market segment.
  • In the realm of AR and VR, IKEA’s AR app, IKEA Place, allows customers to visualise furniture in their homes before buying, enhancing customer experience and decision-making.
  • The rollout of 5G and edge computing is set to revolutionise digital connectivity. Verizon’s 5G Labs have been instrumental in demonstrating how 5G can transform various sectors, including marketing, through enhanced AR and VR experiences.
  • Data-driven creativity is a macro-trend, exemplified by Spotify’s “Wrapped” campaign, which uses listener data to create personalised year-end summaries, effectively combining data analysis with creative marketing.
  • AI-first marketing is rapidly becoming a cornerstone strategy. Google’s use of AI in advertising to optimise ad placement and targeting demonstrates the power of AI in enhancing marketing effectiveness.
  • The focus on ethical tech and human-centred AI is increasingly important, as seen in IBM’s commitment to ethical AI principles, ensuring that their AI solutions are fair, transparent, and accountable.
  • The shift towards hybrid work models has profound implications for digital marketing, as demonstrated by Slack’s success in facilitating remote collaboration, indicating the importance of digital tools in the evolving work environment.

In this rapidly evolving landscape, marketers, advertisers, and technology professionals must adopt a forward-thinking mindset.

Continuous learning and staying updated on emerging trends and technologies are essential.

Embracing diversity and inclusivity in marketing campaigns reflects changing demographics and consumer values.

Experimentation is crucial

Experimentation with new technologies and approaches is crucial. Risks can lead to innovative breakthroughs, as seen in Tesla’s unconventional marketing strategies, which rely heavily on social media and word-of-mouth rather than traditional advertising.

Collaboration across departments and industries is also key, as the convergence of marketing, advertising, and technology requires a multifaceted approach.

Staying competitive and relevant

As we navigate the intricate and ever-changing world of marketing, advertising, and technology in 2024 and beyond, it’s clear that adapting to and embracing these trends is crucial for staying competitive and relevant.

The key to thriving in this dynamic industry is remaining agile, ethical, and consumer-centric while harnessing the power of emerging technologies to drive innovation and success.

5 “techolutions” for 2024

I hear a cry, what’s the starting point Musa?

Given our love of lists and simplicity, here are five resolutions for this year, or as I call them “techolutions”.

  1. Focus on implementing privacy-centric marketing strategies and ethical data practices to build consumer trust and loyalty.
  2. Utilise AI and machine learning for personalised user experiences and venture into new digital spaces.
  3. Adapt to the growing trend of voice search and commerce.
  4. Stay ahead in digital marketing by integrating AR, VR, and leveraging emerging 5G technology.
  5. Maintain a culture of continuous learning to keep up with emerging trends.

By Musa Kalenga – a technologist, marketer, brand communicator, entrepreneur and author of Ladders and Trampolines. He is the Group CEO and shareholder of Brave Group and co-founder of Bridge Labs.

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