It’s predictions time. Be warned, we underestimated the hype around GenAI last year. In fact, I called it a ‘non-factor’ alongside the metaverse when it comes to marketing. As a figleaf of defense, we got the substance correct: “AI copywriters might provide a path to economies in content creation at the lowest level, but not much higher.”
So with that caveat, let’s take another swing:
Twitter (X) will continue its decline – and CEO Linda Yaccarino will be out by the end of Q1 2024. There are no signs of traction with the new business model or an overarching strategy. The valuation is marked down to $19bn (and likely lower in comparison to public social networks like Snap). The election and wars will continue to fuel misinformation and vitriol on the platform, so influential users will continue to exit. Ms. Yaccarino will either leave to save her reputation or get axed within the next few months.
Programmatic advertising will get harder as privacy measures kick in – Google is phasing out third-party cookies during the second half of the year. Now they are also going to shield the use of IP addresses by third parties for identification. IP addresses are a useful proxy for cookies, but it seems Google is going to cloak IP addresses in Chrome. It’s still a pilot, but the direction of travel is toward privacy, and pre-built audiences to target are going to be harder to generate. For now, first-party publishers can still use them, so keep posting that content.
Content will get more visual and interactive – At the moment, we can all hear the accent when we read GenAI content. But let’s assume the tools get better at copywriting, and folks stop caring for basic material. To grab attention, brands will need something more visual and more interactive. Those are harder to produce and will stand out from the pack. So startups will turn to interactive landing pages and video content that is more authentic and entertaining.
B2B brands will target younger audiences on TikTok – Here’s a quote for you – “There are no reasonable grounds for expecting that those born in the 2000s will suddenly come to prefer old-fashioned websites, let alone broadcast and print, simply because they grow older,” says Reuters Institute Director Rasmus Nielsen. Instead, they are getting it from social media, increasingly TikTok. So if brands want Gen Z’s attention, they’ll need a presence on TikTok as this audience starts to be involved in buying decisions. The election year of 2024 will put a big focus on TikTok, meaning startups will consider how they can incorporate the platform into their channel mix.
Last year we predicted:
✅ the increasing adoption of ABM
✅ the rising importance of attribution
✅ ad spend slowing on Twitter
✅ content being a focus
❌ AI not having a major impact
Let’s see how we go with these new ones. Whatever the trends, it’s going to be an exciting year as we lift out of the tech recession, hopefully, the IPO window opens and the sales pipelines start moving more quickly. Oh and shameless plug, we’ll obviously be helping guide our clients through all these trends.
Morgan McLintic is the founder of Firebrand. With over 25 years’ experience in the tech sector, he advises clients about their marketing and PR strategy. Prior to Firebrand, he was the founder of digital communications agency, LEWIS in the US, growing it to 250 staff and $35m revenue.