What’s in store for 2024… for the winds of change?

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What light from yonder window breaks? 2024 – A New Hope. 2023 has been overshadowed by record global temperatures, geo-political uncertainty and a cold wind economically. But I feel 2024 could just be the start of brighter things for us all.

Looking back at last year’s crystal ball, I was fairly accurate, so let’s hope I am right about that too. In marketing I feel there are three things we will see start to change this year.

So, starting with AI. Yep, had to be there didn’t it ? So much has been written already – what can I add?

Despite the fact that it has been here for a long time already, it burst into the public consciousness with force this year.

Creative industry types are worried that their crayons and extended lunch hours “thinking” will be replaced by a button with super-fast outputs.

steve matteyKeep calm everyone. We’ve got this – AI serves us. We need to embrace it and not fear it. Those who master the tech will be those who are not replaced by the machines.

Our work practices are about to change everywhere, so our time will be well-spent by learning how to use the tools. Insight and analysis will be easier and be more commonly available to those not schooled in statistical methods – shortening planning and delivery times and giving us a greater ability to be creative with communications.

Clients increasingly want it (but aren’t sure what ‘it’ is or why they want it). So we need to help them harness this new wonderful potential.

Secondly, I believe we will start to see a significant expansion of extended reality in digital communication as well. And not as a gimmick. As a part of the process of connecting together physical and digital brand communications.

Again, we have more powerful technology which makes invention in creativity affordable and deliverable for brands.

For too long, communications have not connected across the brand estate, and now we have a wonderful opportunity to give consumers the connected experiences we have long talked about and seldom delivered.

And, finally, the planet. COP 28 has sent a tentative but welcome acknowledgement that things must change.

Brands too now need to start accelerating their efforts to deliver on their sustainability pledges. The planet and consumers demand it. And that it is more than pledges and planting trees.

We, as marketers, have a significant role to play in this, and must change our behaviours and start helping clients to choose the “right” way of delivering marketing. It is not just about channel and return anymore. There is also a third element, which is environmental impact.

We can be intelligent in how we use resources to create communications activity, and ensure that, while still driving financial return, we create, analyse and measure campaigns which support a better future.

If we don’t, I won’t be able to write many more of these “and my thoughts for next year are…” articles.

Steve Mattey is managing director of HH Global Interactive

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