Jen Killian

By Jennifer Killian, Chief Marketing & Experience Officer – XPON Technologies

For those who thought we had a crystal ball this time last year, we have a news flash: the challenges we face have not gone away.

The start of a new year often brings a slew of industry predictions, meant to act as guiding lights illuminating the path ahead. As we delved into the predictions for 2023 however, what surfaced wasn’t a crystal ball foretelling the future but rather several packaged assertions of the enduring challenges that marketers face.

These challenges have existed long before 2023 and show no signs of bowing out. Let’s explore the top trends that are not merely predictions but the very fabric of the marketing landscape we’ll continue to navigate in 2024.

The top trends marketers face in 2024:

1. Data Privacy and Compliance:

Managing customer data in compliance with evolving privacy regulations, such as GDPR, CCPA, and the more recently passed EU Digital Markets Act, continues to be a persistent concern for businesses and marketing teams.

We will continue to see regulators making headlines as business scrambles to keep ahead of and compliant with data privacy laws.

There will be a handful of technology providers at the ready to explain how marketers can integrate data privacy and compliance features such as consent management and personalised ad targeting with their marketing technology stack.

But, as it has continued since we first learned about GDPR, the trend predictions indicate that we will continue to see a gap between what should be done and what businesses are able to execute. Which is why this year we predict continued relevance for businesses wanting to prioritise digital transformation.

2. Digital Transformation and Adapting to New Technologies:

Again, adapting to the fast-paced changes in technology and consumer behaviour, to ensure that marketing strategies align is not new to 2023, despite the amount of buzz generative AI received last year.

The trend of normalising the use of AI to improve marketing efficiency and effectiveness will continue, as will the industry discussion around how to ethically use AI.

3. Customer Experience and Content:

The proliferation of ChatGPT, generative AI, and Large Language Models (LLMs) last year brought a slew of 2023 predictions about the magnitude of disruption we would experience. But all of the predictions we read seemed to neatly fit through one of two filters when entering the conversation about marketing technology:

  1. How can we do more with less?
  2. How can we balance the need for greater personalisation (which requires more personal data) with the need for more efficient and compliant marketing operations, which adds complexity and risk to acquiring and managing that data?

2024 will continue to include discussions about creating and maintaining a seamless and personalised customer experience across various channels and touchpoints while balancing business and regulatory requirements.

4. Budget Constraints and Measuring ROI: 

Managing marketing budgets effectively and efficiently, especially in uncertain economic environments, topped most marketing industry survey questions around “What is the top challenge facing you (or your CMO) today?” last year.

Although I’m not an economist, my decades of experience in marketing tell me that budget optimisation and providing a clear return on marketing investments shall be just as critical this year as it was 10- and 20-years ago.

What will continue to improve this year however is the speed at which marketers will be able to identify marketing efficiencies and quantify value, especially those who are executing well on the digital transformation efforts mentioned above and adapting to new technologies.

5. Which Challenge to Tackle Next?

Perhaps the most prevalent theme in 2023 predictions that has seeped into 2024 marketing trends is the uncertainty marketers face around which challenge to prioritise first, or next.

Adapting to new technologies is required to stay ahead of data privacy and compliance needs, optimise marketing budgets, and improve customer experience.

However, digital transformation requires time, money, and in many cases an improvement in organisational skills or capability. But as mentioned above, these challenges are trends that have been around longer than 12 months – so as long as your business is evolving its approach in any of the above, you’re in a good starting position.

If things are moving too slowly, I recommend reaching out to your marketing technology partners and AI consultancies to find out which tools might be easiest for you to implement to successfully navigate these trends.

About Jennifer Killian.

​​Jennifer Killian is a senior marketing and growth executive with more than 20 years experience in Business-to-Business SaaS technology companies ranging from Silicon Valley-based AdTech start-up AdBrite to Fortune 500 company Robert Half. Learn more about Jennifer and the other members of our leadership team here.