The trends that will move the needle for marketers in 2024

29 November 2023
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London, November 29, 2023: Kantar, the world's leading marketing insights and analytics company, today launches its inaugural Marketing Trends 2024 report. The study combines Kantar’s attitudinal and behavioral data to help marketers finetune their growth strategies for next year. According to Kantar these are the 10 trends that will move the needle:

1) AI will find a way – Some 67% of marketers feel positive about the possibilities of Gen AI. And with the industry already exploring Gen AI use cases in the content development process, the need to understand the effectiveness of that output will be ever more important next year and beyond.

2) Culture comes first – Consumers are increasingly vocal with their demands of brands. Globally, 80% of consumers say they “make an effort” to buy from companies that support causes important to them. Looking ahead, processes for managing confrontational risk will need to be embedded in marketing planning, to ensure brands are in sync with broader culture.

3) Message control meets cancel culture – In 2024, it will be those that speak out on global issues in a way that’s consistent with their DNA – and then stand their ground –  that will make their way into consumers’ hearts - despite possible short-term controversies.

4) The battle for attention, and emotions, to intensify – The importance of attention in media and creative effectiveness has been well established, but 62% of marketers still prefer using blunt behavioral metrics such as view time. The use of AI-based attention predictions is already on the rise, and is destined to play a greater role in 2024, allowing marketers to measure attention at scale for digital ads.   

5) Shift towards holistic measures of success – We know that 42% of companies now incorporate sustainability metrics in their KPIs, compared to 26% in 2021. This trend signals a shift towards balancing profit, planet and people, not as a compromise but as a business strategy. 

6) Radical innovation is needed to power sustainable growth – Brands perceived as innovative achieve three times more growth than those that aren’t. But we see very low levels of innovation in post-Covid times. Innovation, particularly radical innovation, will be important for every brand who want to find the best path to growth in 2024.

7) Challenger brands break through – The FMCG/CPG industry has seen challenger brands driving disproportionate growth as they seek to challenge established concepts, ideas, consumer needs, and occasions. With 1 in 2 global shoppers preferring to buy smaller brands where possible, we will see these continue to succeed. Large brands need to work on agility, speed to market, consumer-centricity and data-driven decision-making to keep pace.  

8) The power of premiumization – With inflation hitting consumers’ pockets and own-label products gaining share, brands are turning to price promotion, shrinkflation and discounting to maintain market share. Our data shows that premiumization is a route to success: in Kantar BrandZ 2023 rankings, 52% of brands achieved top tier in our strategic pricing model, up from 42% in 2020. In 2024, marketers will lean into pricing management to ensure that price and value align.  

9) Life beyond the search bar – Search is going through a disruption period with the rise of AI and large language models; reflected in the fact that online search engines are now the fifth strongest touchpoint in terms of brand impact, up from 11th in 2018. Now is the time for brands to review their digital strategy and content to ensure they show up where the consumers are.

10) Retail gets into the ad business – Amid changing consumer behaviours, retail media is now an essential channel for engaging shoppers; our data shows that 56% of retail media professionals in the US and Canada will invest more in retail media in the future. Looking to 2024, buyers and sellers need media-agnostic, independent measurement to support proof of channel performance and to create better advertising experiences.

Commenting, Gonca Bubani, Global Thought Leader - Media, Kantar, said: “A culture of continuous learning and data-driven decision-making is essential for marketers to navigate the technical and cultural shift we are living. GenAI is not a hype, but a transformational development that is already profoundly impacting our industry. But technology without human ingenuity is inconsequential, and that’s the nuance that comes from the intersection of meaningful data and expertise. Marketing Trends 2024 distils in a practical guide the necessary tools and knowledge marketers need to stay on the front foot.”
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