Each year our best brains come together to collectively consider what the coming year might hold for digital marketers. We’ve had a look at our crystal ball, and here’s what we consider important for those in the industry in 2024.
The Robot Overlords Are Here.
There’s no doubt that 2023 was the year of AI, from using Midjourney to generate realistic images and branding to making use of AI voice-overs for video content (and of course our old friend ChatGPT), AI is enhancing the way we work at a rate of knots.
“AI isn’t going to take over,” says John Wilkes, Co-Founder of Somebody Digital. “But the skillset is going to shift, so applying critical thinking and problem solving are going to become really important. AI allows us to be more efficient, and we should embrace that.”
For Devon Hyde, Senior Director of Digital Strategy & Client Solutions, the regulation of AI will be an important consideration, not just in 2024, but in coming years as the tools evolve.
“The impact of AI-generated content, and how it’s managed and regulated will be a big topic of discussion,” she notes. “While compliance and regulation like GDPR and HIPPA are relatively well established, we’re going to see search engines begin to become highly involved regulators of AI content, because it’s their role to ensure humans can access factually correct results and information when they use their platforms.”
Voice Search on The Rise
Devon and John agree that voice search will become an increasingly important playground for digital marketers. “Voice is integrating with AI,” says John, “You can literally have conversations with it now. We need to consider how this can impact our industry, and how we can use it going forward.”
“What struck me is not that people search by voice,” notes Devon “We’ve been using Siri and Alexa for years. But from a digital marketing perspective, we must consider how our websites are read and crawled because you verbalise questions differently than how you type them.”
Augmented Data and A Cookie-less World
“Data enrichment is going through the roof, and AI can spot trends and know how to use them,” notes John. Magesh Ramsammy, Head of Analytics at Somebody Digital agrees. “You can’t get away from AI, so we definitely embrace it here. These tools can help transform how we collect and analyse our data sets. It can also empower our predictive analytics by identifying patterns and forecasting trends for our clients,” he adds.
Magesh also notes that data privacy and security will become increasingly firm in the coming years, and Tobias la Cour, Co-Founder of Somebody Digital agrees. “There’s a perpetual drive towards a cookie-free world,” he says. “Stringent privacy settings are now becoming the default, especially from providers like Apple. This gives digital marketers the opportunity to consider how we do digital marketing in an increasingly privacy-focused world. It allows us to explore new innovations that will enable us to keep offering our clients the ability to reach their desired audience”
The TikTok takeover and Meta Paywall
Digital regulation and privacy are starting to play out in the social media space too. Facebook has always been free, but as it’s evolved over the years, it has become an engine for audience targeting, turning into an e-commerce platform on its own. Faced with regulation in the EU, Meta now offers the option to use its services ad-free when you subscribe.
“It will be fascinating to see how this impacts PPC,” notes Adele Todd, Head of Paid Media at Somebody Digital. “Surprisingly, Facebook doesn’t want you to subscribe. They make more money from serving ads to audiences, and that remains their preference. But we have to wait and see how this shift affects paid campaigns going forward, and how many users choose to have an ad-free experience on the Meta platforms which include WhatsApp and Instagram.”
While Meta might see a shift in sales, TikTok is now offering marketers another new platform to reach audiences on, perhaps with greater potential. “A recent report indicated that TikTok could be a bigger platform than Facebook by 2025,” notes Adele. “They are also looking to shift from mobile to out-of-home advertising, which will increase their (and subsequently our) reach.”
We make the future, daily.
“One of the greatest things about working in digital marketing is that it changes all the time,” says Tobias, “and we get to change and pivot with it.” While technology continues to shift, our team is ready and able to shift and evolve with it, while we ensure that our clients’ goals are met and exceeded.
“We’re always embracing the latest trends to help us work more effectively,” adds John. “So no matter what 2024 has in store, we’ll be ready.”