In our industry’s ever-evolving landscape, staying ahead of the curve is not just a strategy; it’s a necessity. As we usher in 2024, the dynamics of consumer engagement and societal shifts are shaping a new era for marketing and public relations. Below, we’ve gathered our team’s predictions for the top trends we expect to see in the coming year.
Trend #1 – Emotional brand-building will trump functional advertising amidst global challenges
In recent years, post-pandemic consumers grew weary of an overwhelming economy, prompting brands to shift away from emotional advertising to focus on functionality (i.e. price). However, as we approach an election year in 2024, and with various global events happening concurrently, there’s a noticeable resurgence in emotional brand-building. This will push marketers to align with cultural tones and moments while considering the prevailing existential crises and stressors affecting their audience.
Trend #2 – PR will further prove its impact on business goals
Historically, PR work has only been considered to impact brand awareness. However, with recent advances in measurement capabilities, the discipline has earned its seat at the mid-to-lower-funnel marketing tactic table. Now, we can prove exactly how PR efforts impact a company’s bottom line through measurement tools that can track consumers’ online footprints — for example, viewing how an earned media placement for our client turned into a sale via metrics like potential customers, amplification, and website traffic. We can now quantify our earned media results into potential customers, and this metric has shifted PR’s presence within brands’ media mix model.
Trend #3 – Brands will have a more hands-off approach to partnerships
In 2023, we saw consumers increase their use of social media (hello TikTok!), which also resulted in their ability to more easily sniff out when their favorite creators were posting ads for brands that held too tight a leash on the content the creators were publishing on their behalf. Because these partnerships didn’t make sense to consumers, or felt inauthentic to the content they’re used to, it caused distrust between creators and their existing loyal audiences.
We expect consumers’ ability to recognize inauthentic connections between brands and influencers to be a driving force behind effective campaigns in 2024. We’ll see brands giving influencers more creative freedom, and an acceptance of lower production value. With consumers’ increased preference for unedited storytelling, relatable and authentic creator content will be an integrated alternative to traditional advertising.
We look forward to working with our clients in 2024 to keep their brands — and the people behind them — top of mind for their audiences.