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A diverse group of marketers planning their 2024 marketing campaigns

Marketing Trends To Watch in 2024

TJ Kiely & Samantha Scott

Jul 9, 2024

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Marketing trends come and go, sometimes as swiftly as the evening tide. It’s just not easy to catch the right trend wave. The top social media networks are expanding the ways that content creators can grow their audiences, social commerce is still trying in western markets, value-based marketing is at a crossroads, and of course we can't forget the advent of AI tools.

Let’s dive into the marketing trends for 2024 to explore how you can practically incorporate some of these big ideas into your marketing strategy this year.

The Top 10 Marketing Trends 2024:

All of these trends are based on our new playbook which contains more information about the trends mentioned in this blog, plus five additional trends! Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

Marketing Trend 1: Value-Based Marketing

The use of value-based marketing is a natural response to consumer trends, on the part of brands. Statistics have consistently shown that consumers, particularly Gen Z and Millennials, are increasingly drawn to brands that not only offer quality products but also embody values such as sustainability, social responsibility, and inclusivity.

Consumers are seeking meaningful connections with the brands they support, valuing ethical practices and a sense of purpose over mere transactions.

Brands today are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their commitment to these causes, beyond the lip service that might be a rainbow-themed logo during Pride Month, or a “Happy Earth Day” social media post, which puts businesses at risk of being met with accusations of “rainbow-washing” or “greenwashing”. That is, showing support of a cause or without taking any meaningful action.

Tweet by Gavin Newsom

Now we’re seeing a new kind of consumer response being thrown into the mix, spurred largely by the wave of “anti-woke” political rhetoric that has seen an uptick around the world, and is particularly acute in the US. Consumers are voicing their displeasure when well-meaning brands participate in the aforementioned awareness campaigns — and brands are seeing significant dips in profit because of it. 

This of course presents an even stickier and more complex dilemma when it comes to planning marketing campaigns and initiatives that appeal to the spending power of Gen Z and Millennials.

Tip: Integrating values, such as inclusivity, into your corporate values and mission statement will make responding to laws or policies that are in opposition to corporate values much easier. Want to know more about the value-based marketing trend, including examples from Bud Light, Target, and Disney? Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

Marketing Trend 2: Customer Service on Social

Social media customer service is here to stay, but in 2024 more organizations will have to diversify the channels they offer it on. X, formerly Twitter, has long been the go-to platform for customer support on social, but some large companies are changing their approaches to it. Over the past two years, Playstation, Netflix, Apple, and Air France have ended customer support on X

Air France Tweet

As of November 2023, Playstation still uses X to highlight support resources on their website. Apple does the same while also directing X users to the company’s official support page. And Air France tweeted a warning to its customers to not trust impersonator accounts on X and instead communicate with its customer support team on other channels. The companies didn’t give reasons for why they divested from X as a customer support channel, but part of the moves may stem from concerns about trust and safety, especially as it pertains to identity verification and privacy. 

More brands may follow their lead and shift focus to connecting with customers on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps. As they do, they’ll have to solidify their social customer support processes and streamline communications between social, customer support, product, and service/order fulfillment teams.

Want to know more about the customer service trend, including how to incorporate DM messaging into your strategy? Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

Marketing Trend 3: Internal Communications

Organizations around the world are still settling into their post-COVID workplaces. Some have embraced remote work, others are back in the office, and many more are striking a balance somewhere in between. With these new workplace standards, internal communications have become especially important. From webinars and newsletters to town halls and surveys, internal comms have huge impacts on organizational alignment

First, they can improve how employees relate to each other. Getting everyone on the same page makes it easier for employees to collaborate, as well as focus on their individual projects and initiatives. Secondly, internal comms improve how employees relate to the company. Steady flows of information help equip them to manage crises, adapt to changes, and stay engaged with leadership and the overall company mission.

These improvements pay off down the line in achieving objectives and discovering new opportunities, but only if the internal communications programs are executed well! That’s why we revamped our Newsletters solution to streamline the building and distribution processes with features like mobile-friendly editor tools and pre-designed layouts.

Efficient workflows, tailored content, and quantitative engagement data are all critical elements of effective internal comms programs. With them, companies are better able to get intelligence and insights to the people who can actually put them to work

Want to know more about internal communications as a marketing trend? Read our internal comms guide and download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

Marketing Trend 4: Social Commerce

In the world of e-commerce, the integration of social media and online shopping, known as “social commerce”, blurs the lines between social interaction and commercial transactions. And it has perhaps been one of the most perplexing marketing trends to watch evolve. 

While social commerce represents a significant shift in the way consumers discover, engage with, and purchase products, its low adoption in Western markets has led to a rather stop-start momentum when it comes to introducing new ways that brands can take advantage.       

The genesis of social commerce can be traced back to the early days of online shopping when businesses first recognized the potential of leveraging social media platforms to drive sales.

However, the true transformation began with the rise of mobile technology and the dominance of social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

These platforms not only provided a space for users to connect and share but also seamlessly integrated shopping features, allowing businesses to showcase products directly to their target audience. The marriage of social interaction and shopping convenience laid the foundation for social commerce to flourish.

Which it has…in Asian markets. 

As of 2022, 84% of consumers in China have shopped and purchased on social media. Compare that to 36% of social users in the United States.

Despite the low adoption, 2023 has seen an uptick in new social commerce features on social platforms. 

And global social commerce sales are predicted to increase to 2.9 billion by the year 2026. Add that to the fact that 25.9% of social media users ages 16-64 say they use social media to “find something to purchase”, and it seems that platforms are once again poised and ready to see social commerce grow in popularity in the coming year.

Want to know more about where social commerce is headed, including examples from TikTok and Pinterest? Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

Instagram and TikTok comments sections are flooded with variations of the same question: “Where did you get that?” With infinite online shopping choices, the entirety of the digital and physical worlds has become our shopping mall. In turn, consumers have higher expectations than ever to be able to purchase the exact items they want and see in any context, whether it's in the hands of their favorite influencer or worn by a stranger walking down the street. 

Recent platform advancements in visual search are meeting those expectations and changing how the average consumer shops online. Amazon updated its visual search to include photo and text combinations and a “view in your room” feature, TikTok Shop began testing visual search, Poshmark launched Posh Lens, Zenni Optical launched a visual search recommendation tool, and Microsoft launched visual search in Bing Chat

They joined companies more established in visual search like Pinterest, ASOS, and Google, whose Chrome on iOS browser is adding camera search to its Google Lens integration

Looking ahead, a wider range of marketers will have to adjust their strategies and outputs to stay ahead. For many, the rise in visual search will require greater familiarity with visual SEO. They will also have to focus on making sure the visual customer experience is a pleasant one.

Lastly, as visual search becomes more commonplace, visually distinct brands will have a growing advantage. Those with a unique look will be more likely to be correctly identified by search engines and less likely to send traffic to lookalike competitors.

Want to know more about the visual search trend? Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

Marketing Trend 6: Influencer Marketing

In the dynamic world of digital marketing, perhaps no trend has been so fascinating to watch as the practice of using social media influencers to grow an audience, encourage sales, announce new products, and more. 

Influencer marketing has evolved into a sophisticated industry and a potent force that extends far beyond its humble roots. Though influencer posting may have started in the realms of fashion, lifestyle, and beauty, today influencers occupy a robust and expansive ecosystem, as powerful agents of change and influence across a multitude of industries.

Traditionally "boring" sectors, such as insurance and finance or home maintenance, are now leveraging influencers to imbue creativity, levity, and relatability into their marketing and customer acquisition strategies. By partnering with influencers who resonate with their target audience, these businesses are thinking creatively and attracting new business from consumers who may have otherwise overlooked them.

Want a closer look at how industries beyond fashion and lifestyle are tapping into influencer networks? Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

Marketing Trend 7: Brand Communities

Social media offers a powerful way for brands to directly reach audiences without having to rely on expensive traditional media. But what happens when social media channels no longer provide the consistency and stability that businesses depend upon? 

In recent years, we’ve seen what happens when social media companies fall afoul of national governments or get acquired by new owners with big ideas, and suddenly, the platform isn’t a good match for your brand anymore. Years of work spent building a community evaporates overnight. 

This is an inherent problem with relying on third-party platforms. Sure, the Metas and YouTubes of this world seem dependable, but ultimately, entrusting the longevity of your brand community to another company will always carry some risk. It also means that your brand is subject to the vagaries of each platform’s content moderation policies, which you have little control over. 

With this issue being thrust into the spotlight in 2023, it seems likely that many marketers will be considering the alternative approach: building a community around content and resources on your own website. This doesn’t preclude the use of third-party social channels, but it does provide a focal point for your community where your brand is firmly in control. 

An owned community gives you a direct line of communication to your audience, which does not depend on either independent media or social platforms, so you’re free from the limitations of those channels. It’s also a great way to collect customer feedback and data, because the platform is entirely yours you can gather that intelligence however you want.

Want to know more about brand communities as a marketing trend? Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

Marketing Trend 8: Microblogging

At the end of October 2022, Elon Musk completed his acquisition of Twitter. Since then, there have been a lot of changes (not least a rebranding to X) and several new entrants into the microblogging space that Twitter dominated for so long. Meta launched Threads, Jack Dorsey soft-launched Bluesky (a Twitter spin-off project), Substack launched Notes, Pebble (another Twitter spin-off) launched and died, and Mastodon quietly reminded everybody that it’s been around since 2016 actually. 

Musk’s stated plans for X are to turn it into an “everything app” that offers voice and video messaging, banking-like services, and more, similar in scope to China’s WeChat. Whatever the future holds for the platform, it seems clear that the niche it once occupied in the social media space for the past 18 years is up for grabs, with numerous potential replacements.

Want to know more about the changes happening in microblogging? Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

Marketing Trend 9: AI in Marketing

AI isn’t going to revolutionize marketing sometime in the future. It’s doing that right now! Look around, and you’ll find more marketers leveraging AI tools daily in ways that were rare or non-existent just a few years ago. 

Some of those main ways, according to Salesforce research, are to create basic content, write copy, get inspiration, analyze market data, and generate images. With time saved on those tasks, marketers are shifting their focus to more strategic functions, like segmenting campaign audiences and mapping effective customer journeys. Talk about having a competitive edge.

AI’s integration into everyday marketing has created a growing need for employee upskilling, according to a 2023 World Federation of Advertisers survey. More than 70% of respondents were planning to train their staff on effectively and responsibly using AI for marketing. However, organizations are still finding their footing when it comes to what upskilling, or reskilling, actually looks like, especially in relation to shifts in overall marketing strategies.

Any marketing department upskilling for AI this year can benefit from taking a “skills audit” to identify which core competencies are currently needed on their teams. From there, leaders can more skillfully navigate the programs and tools that can help employees grow from AI novices to experts. 

As more marketers become adept at leveraging AI, they’ll discover new ways to push the technology forward. By extension, those who upskill now gain an innovative edge over later adopters, of which there will be many.

Want to know more about AI as a marketing trend, including how Meltwater is integrating AI to help our clients significantly lessen the time between insights and action? Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

Marketing Trend 10: Social Platform Subscriptions

The year 2023 saw many social media platforms integrating more paid subscription models into their services. Some for verification purposes, others as a means of recouping lost revenue. The big question is: will consumers actually pay? A small portion already is, but it will be an uphill battle for these platforms as they try to convince users to pay for services that have been free for well over a decade.

The departure from traditional ad-supported models signals a recognition of the changing dynamics in user expectations, data privacy concerns, content consumption habits, and the need for sustainable revenue streams beyond advertising.

A notable example of course is X (formerly Twitter). After Elon Musk took over the platform in early 2023, X introduced a number of paid features (not without controversy, of course, particularly in the case of the coveted verification checkmark).

The premium model on X currently has roughly 1 million subscribers. It’s highly conceivable that down the line, all users will need to pay some amount to use the platform, given Musk’s opinion on the topic. Speaking in a September 2023 interview, Musk alluded that a paying model was, in his view, the only way to combat bots. 

X isn’t the only platform pushing premium features and other perks behind a paywall. 

By September 2023 Snapchat’s Snapchat+ subscriber package (introduced in the Summer of 2022) had up to 5 million paying members, bumping from 4 million back in June, a year after its initial launch. 

While at first glance, this is a very impressive growth trajectory for their paid model, Snapchat currently has over 750 million monthly active users, meaning that of all of its entire user base, only 0.67% are taking advantage of the paid version.

The diversification of revenue streams, away from a purely advertising-driven model means that brands may have to rethink where their social advertising dollars go. Furthermore, the fact that users could start tailoring their social media experience away from branded posts and advertising means that the overall approach to digital marketing from the brand side may need to shift in focus.

Want to know more about social platform subscriptions as a marketing trend for 2024? Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →

We should not be intimidated by the 10 marketing trends mentioned above and the necessary adjustments they will require us marketers to make in 2024.

The changes and trends we've seen this year have opened up countless new opportunities and possibilities for brands and marketers. Yes, the digital marketing landscape is changing, but by embracing and adapting to these changes, we can improve not only our digital marketing strategies, but the overall customer experience.

With a healthy combination of these 2024 marketing trends, you can engage directly and specifically with your target audience

Want to learn more about how you can adapt to the ever-changing marketing landscape? Check out our Meltwater suite for marketing professionals or simply for a free consultation with our experts.

Would you like to learn more about additional marketing trends for 2024? Download the marketing trends 2024 guide for free →