Let’s level-set for a second: Marketers are overwhelmed and burnt out, and the last thing they want is more work on their plates. As industries across the board dive head-first into 2024 planning, there are seemingly endless suggestions and strategies practitioners are encouraged to adopt to unlock the fabled “do more with less.”
While we don’t subscribe to the “do more with less” mentality at Demand Gen Report, we understand that it’s the unfortunate new normal — and we’re here to help. In addition to the upcoming “Strategy & Planning Series” that outlines how winning marketing teams are preparing for 2024, we’ve also been keeping an eye on the trends and evolutions over the past nine months. To jumpstart your ideation for 2024, we’ve put together a list of six trending topics to help steer you in the right direction.
1. AI-Driven Personalization
Personalization, personalization, personalization — it’s the first step to forging deeper connections with prospects and customers, but it’s also severely limited by lack of internal bandwidth. However, there’s a highly intelligent elixir in the market that you’re probably already leveraging in some form: Artificial intelligence. With 75% of enterprises shifting from piloting AI to operationalizing it, practitioners are using the technology to curate individualized, seamless experiences for their prospects and customers.
But personalization isn't just about conversions, either; it's about building relationships. With practitioners indicating that AI-powered personalization helped them reduce churn by up to 40%, brands that provide customers with content and offers that directly address their unique challenges are perceived as valuable partners, leading to greater loyalty and retention.
2. The Growth Of Influencer Marketing
Despite its proven effectiveness, influencer marketing is a tough tightrope to walk. When done correctly, it breeds trust and genuine brand connections — but when the pay-to-play nature is obvious, it engenders skepticism and negative associations. To properly incorporate influencer marketing into 2024 strategies, which 91% of B2B marketers plan to do, practitioners first need to find their influencers. Influencers can be brand advocates or vocal product users, but the main criteria is an individual with a large, enthusiastic following that actually uses or can use your product.
When an industry expert endorses products or services, it signals to potential clients that the offerings are reliable and of high quality. Influencers, especially micro-influencers, can also help brands break into niche markets and add a humanized touch to companies by associating a real face and voice with products or services.
3. Optimizing Video Marketing
To stand out in a marketplace that’s saturated with text-based content, more practitioners are turning toward video marketing to engage prospects and customers. The average person watches 17 hours of online video per week, priming B2B marketers to swoop in and monopolize some of those minutes.
With the dominance of mobile devices (it’s estimated that 75% of people watch short-form video content on their phones), video content that’s mobile-friendly will help marketers reach a wider audience and stay accessible in today's fast-paced business environment.
Additionally, social media platforms continue to be hubs for content consumption. In 2024, integrating video marketing into your social media strategy will be imperative for increasing brand visibility, driving engagement and reaching decision-makers where they actively engage.
4. Introducing Voice Search
Through the rise of technologies and devices such as Siri and Alexa, modern consumers are comfortable just shouting out whatever they’re looking for in hopes one of their household robots will have the answer. And that preference for yelling out a question is bleeding over into peoples’ professional lives, too, as 50% of buyers currently conduct their B2B searches through voice assistants, and 78% indicate that they are likely to use voice search to make a purchase in the next year.
It's clear that professionals often need quick, hands-free access to information while juggling various tasks. And let’s be honest: Talk-to-text is MUCH easier than navigating chubby thumbs across a small keyboard. However, the caveat here for marketers is to understand the importance of natural language in content creation. Users tend to phrase voice queries conversationally, as opposed to typing in keywords., which necessitates a focus on creating content that mirrors natural speech patterns.
5. Embracing Inclusivity & Diversity
In the progressive landscape of B2B marketing, inclusivity and diversity are no longer optional: They're imperative. The integration of these values into strategic planning isn't just a trend; it's a transformational step toward unparalleled success. Specifically, companies with the highest levels of diversity and inclusion outperform their peers by 35% in financial performance. In 2024, B2B marketers should make a concerted effort to ensure that their visual content and messaging reflect a diverse range of cultures, genders and backgrounds.
Additionally, practitioners need to ensure that all content and marketing materials are accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes providing alternative text for images, captioning videos and designing websites that are compatible with screen readers. When crafting inclusive content, marketers need to avoid language that may be exclusionary or offensive. Actively participating in and contributing to diverse communities can be a powerful way to build authentic connections and shape future content/communications.
6. Enabling Self-Service Buyers
In an interconnected world, business transactions don't adhere to traditional office hours. As 75% of B2B buyers prefer to buy online without interacting with a salesperson, self-service options put the power in the hands of B2B buyers, allowing them to independently browse, research and make purchasing decisions at their own pace, fostering a sense of autonomy and confidence in their choices.
By offering self-service options, B2B marketers can free up their sales teams from routine, low-level tasks. This enables sales professionals to focus on higher-value activities, such as building relationships and providing strategic guidance. Self-service platforms often include extensive knowledge bases, FAQs, tutorials and other resources that empower buyers with the information they need to make informed decisions.
Craving more insights into 2024 strategy and planning? Register now for the free "Strategy & Planning Series," a webinar series that helps prep their 2024 roadmaps with insights from experts at Demandbase, RollWorks, AlignBI, Act-On Software and more!