December 22, 2023
December 22, 2023

2024 Trends and How to Prepare

Recently, we hosted our 2024 Digital Trends webinar. In this webinar, we discussed 3 macro trends that are shaping the landscape heading into the new year. We also provided 3 areas of focus that brands need to prioritize in order to be able to adapt, thrive, and win. In this blog, we will break down both areas for you.

 

First, let’s start with the macro trends. While the world has shifted significantly in the past 12 months, the themes are mostly the same as they were heading into 2023. They are Uncertainty, AI, and Connectivity. 

 

Uncertainty

When 2022 was ending and we were heading into 2022 we there was a lot of uncertainty. Interest rates were going up at their fastest rate since 1980, and recession fears were lingering, with the war in Ukraine. As we head into 2023, rates are poised to come back down, but there is more uncertainty internationally with now 2 wars and a very contentious impending presidential election. 

 

AI

Chat-GPT was launched in late 2022. This led to a firestorm of discussion, and activity this year around AI and its broader implications. Heading into 2024, it’s impossible to have a discussion about almost anything without bringing AI into the conversation. The White House put out Executive Orders to various agencies looking into AI, The AI companies are covering legal fees for its users if they have copyright issues, and startups are getting funded at a rapid pace. AI is still in very early innings.

 

Connectivity

This is the newest trend for this year. We are seeing brands like Amazon working with Shopify, Meta, and Snapchat to integrate their services. We are seeing influencers connect with brands based on their own user-generated content. More and more brands, technology, and consumers are finding ways to bring disparate pieces together and create unique, desirable experiences.

 

So what do we do with these 3 key macro trends? If you are a brand how should you respond? We propose that you focus on 3 areas; 1) Reducing Friction 2) Being Nimble 3) Being Authentic

 

  1. Reducing Friction - this is simply about making things easier for your business internally and your customers. Ask yourself as you plan for the year, what are the areas that slow our business down? What are the points where I can make our customer's experience with us better by reducing friction? A few examples might be making your website easier to update and manage by business users. This was our #1 project type in 2023, and we expect it to continue into 2024. For your customers, it could be payment options. Buy Now Pay Later services saw a 72% increase year over year on Black Friday. Simply because consumers want financial options that fit their needs.
  2. Being Nimble - This one is just a reminder to all brands that the digital world is in its most rapid state of innovation since the mobile phone. AI is impacting every corner of the web. Social media, and how content is being created and consumed is rapidly evolving (TikTok hit $10 Billion in user spending through the platform. The first non-mobile gaming app to hit that milestone). Shein, an eCommerce site many haven’t heard of, generates more online revenue than Adidas, LVMH, and H&M combined. Nearly 2X Nike. How can this be? When did this happen? That’s sort of the point, the world is moving quickly. Your brand needs to be able to create new partnerships, be ready to test new technologies and determine what works for your business. \

  3. Being Authentic - Recently Sports Illustrated got in trouble for using fake author names to publish AI-generated articles and profiles. It wasn’t the fact that they used AI to write content. It was because they were inauthentic as they did it that got them in trouble. Consumers are bloodhounds with authenticity. The same is true with Google's guidance about how to optimize for SEO. There was a headline recently “Google says major changes are coming. Well when you read further into the article the point was more to warn those who are gaming the system who should “buckle up.” Google offers up the EEAT framework as a simple guide to creating good content. It stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. A good framework for anything you do across the business when engaging with customers heading into 2024.

The digital world is always evolving, but this year it started to feel different. It was quicker and more uncertain. Will AI take jobs or create them? What content is safe to create or advertise around? These are complex and nuanced questions. However, as you navigate them you know that a strong digital ecosystem is critical to your business and its future growth. As you review your 2024 plans think about if they help your business be more nimble, authentic, and reduce friction. Following these guideposts will help you make better decisions for your future success in what will be a continuously complex and evolving world.

 

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READ OUR LATEST BLOGS
December 22, 2023
Check out our latest webinar "2024 Trends and Predictions." We cover several topics based on our research, client conversations, and additional insight as we head into the New Year.

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