Future-Proof Your Business: 6 Marketing Trends for 2024 That You Should Know

Future-Proof Your Business: 6 Marketing Trends for 2024 That You Should Know

I came of age as a marketing professional during the dot-com bubble (and burst). Businesses were trying to figure out what having an online presence even meant and exploring new channels like email for customer engagement. Social media was unheard of.

Still, despite adapting to countless changes in marketing over the past two decades, nothing quite prepared me for what was unleashed in late 2022 with OpenAI’s introduction of ChatGPT. Now, change isn’t just constant; it’s exponential. This pace has left even seasoned folks like myself with a sense of whiplash as we try to keep up.

In this blog post, I’ll cover some of the major marketing trends shaping our industry, focusing specifically on how small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can harness these trends to stay ahead of the curve in 2024. From AI-driven content strategies to emerging digital platforms, the future of marketing is here — and it’s time to embrace it.

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI’s impact on marketing is profound and multifaceted, particularly for personalized customer experiences and the automation of routine tasks.

With AI, marketers can personalize content at scale. By analyzing data from customer interactions, AI can tailor marketing messages and recommendations to individual preferences. To find this data, start with AI-generated transcripts from recorded meetings, Google Analytics, your customer relationship management (CRM) system and your marketing automation platforms.  

This year, marketers will also continue using AI to automate routine tasks. Doing so can increase efficiency by automating repetitive tasks like data analysis, report generation and content creation. 

While we’ve made a firm commitment to original, human written content at madison/miles media, AI tools have “a very particular set of skills” and benefits.

Automation frees up marketers to focus on more strategic and creative tasks. For example, I used ChatGPT to write the HTML code for the chart below 👇, which gave me more time to create what I hope was an interesting lead to this blog post.

I’m not alone in using AI to help me with blog creation: 50% of blog writers use AI to assist them in content creation, according to the HubSpot Marketing Trends Report, 2024

2. 2024 B2B Marketing Strategies Should Be Personalized and Data-Driven

In 2024, broad messaging won’t cut it. Modern B2B marketing is increasingly personalized, which requires content marketing strategies tailored to specific businesses (Ideal Customer Profiles) or decision-makers (Buyer Personas) within those businesses. 

We’re used to personalized experiences when we interact with consumer brands. Apple TV knows I binge-watched Lessons in Chemistry and makes recommendations about what I should watch next. Spotify even knows which days I listen to certain genres of music. (I’m “stomp ’n’ holler” on weekdays and “lo-fi beats instrumental” on a Sunday afternoon.)

Daylist Lo-Fi Beats

B2B buyers are accustomed to personalized experiences thanks to apps like Spotify. Why not offer them personalized content marketing experiences in 2024?

B2B buyers expect at least some level of personalization as they interact with brands. This year, personalize the buying experience for your prospects by:

  • Segmenting your audience. Divide your audience into distinct segments based on industry, jobs to be done, pain points, company size, geographic location or behavioral data. Tailor content to address the specific challenges and needs of each segment.
  • Integrating your CRM system with the rest of your martech stack. Your CRM is constantly ingesting data as prospects interact with your sales team, engage with your website, download your content and read (or ignore) your emails. Use this data to understand your target audience’s behavior and preferences, which can inform more targeted content creation.
  • Regularly meet with sales and customer success teams. The sales team hears firsthand what pain points are bringing prospects to your company, and customer success knows how customers use your solution to improve their business. Listen to their insights to inform your understanding of different audience segments. Get more tips on sales and marketing alignment.
  • Offer interactive content. Offer quizzes, surveys or calculators that can be customized based on user inputs. This not only engages the audience but also provides insights into their preferences and needs. For example: Try out the madison/miles media “Mind the (Marketing) Gap” quiz. When prospects complete this, we’re able to tailor experiences to you based on your input.

3. The Rise of Social Media as a Primary Marketing Channel (Yes, Even for B2Bs)

When I first started supporting social media campaigns for businesses, “write Facebook and LinkedIn posts” was a line item in a checklist for content promotion. 
B2B social media strategy in 2024 is far more sophisticated, interactive and data-driven compared to even just a few years ago, thanks to advanced technology, a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and an integrated approach to sales and marketing in the digital space.

Aspect B2B Social Media Strategy 2019 B2B Social Media Strategy 2024
Platform Usage Primarily LinkedIn focused, with Facebook and Twitter for brand awareness. Diversified approach including Instagram, TikTok for storytelling and company culture.
Content Strategy Professional, formal communication; focus on whitepapers, case studies, industry news. Engaging, interactive content like short videos, live streams; conversational tone.
Personalization and AI Emerging personalization; basic AI and machine learning usage. Standard AI-driven personalization; sophisticated use of predictive analytics.
Data-Driven Decisions Basic data analysis tools; focus on content impact and audience reach. Advanced data analysis tools; emphasis on ROI and engagement metrics.
Customer Engagement Primarily one-way communication; basic interaction with audience. Dynamic engagement; community building, active participation, Q&A sessions.
Sales Integration Lead generation with off-platform sales conversions. Direct sales through social platforms; integrated social selling and CRM systems.
Influencer Marketing Mostly a B2C phenomenon. Significant growth in B2B; leveraging industry leaders, niche experts, micro-influencers.
Ethical Practices Less focus on a brand’s ethical stance or sustainability. Highlighting commitment to sustainability and ethical practices.
Mobile Optimization Important but not central. Mobile-first approach; content and campaigns designed for mobile users.
AR and VR Integration Mostly experimental in B2B marketing. Common use for product demos, virtual tours, immersive experiences.

As these platforms continue to evolve, the potential for creative and effective marketing strategies will only expand, offering opportunities for B2B brands to connect with their audiences in meaningful ways.

4. Rise of B2B Short-Form Video on Social Platforms

If you think TikTok and Instagram Reels are exclusively domains for Gen Zers showcasing makeup tutorials and viral dance trends, it’s time to broaden your perspective. These video-sharing social media platforms can be powerful tools for brand storytelling, product showcasing and engaging directly with a diverse audience. For example:

  • A company specializing in cloud-based solutions could use TikTok and Instagram Reels to share quick tips on improving workflow, cybersecurity or data management. They might also showcase behind-the-scenes looks at software development or host Q&A sessions about common tech challenges businesses face.
  • A firm offering legal services to businesses could share short videos explaining complex legal concepts in simple terms, updates on business law or tips for compliance. They might also share success stories of clients they’ve helped or do a “day in the life” of a business lawyer.

5. Out-of-Home Advertising: Digital and Interactive Experiences for B2Bs

OOH advertising isn’t just about massive billboards on busy highways. There are plenty of OOH opportunities suited for smaller enterprises, especially in targeted environments like trade shows. 

At these events, use eye-catching digital displays, interactive kiosks or creatively branded booths. These tactics not only level the playing field, allowing you to stand out alongside bigger competitors but also offer a direct channel to engage with your target audience in a dynamic and memorable way. 

OOH advertising in focused settings can be a game-changer, offering impactful brand exposure and networking opportunities tailored to the scale and needs of your business.

6. Flip the Funnel in 2024: Lean into Expert-Created Content for Bottom-of-Funnel Impact

Thanks to generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot, buyers who are at the beginning of a buying journey — the awareness stage — have a choice. They can type their questions into a search engine, get millions of results, open a dozen or so tabs in their browser, and try to synthesize everything they’re reading. Or, they can type their search into a generative AI tool and get an answer that does the synthesizing for them. 

As AI tools become even more ubiquitous, we’re going to see a glut of top-of-funnel awareness content all over the web. It’s easy for AI to churn out these generic pieces because, for years, the MO for many content marketers (me included 🙋‍♀️) was to take a top-down approach to content marketing. The internet is now saturated with awareness content. Generative AI tools trained on it, which is why they’re so good at regurgitating it.

In 2024, regurgitation won’t be enough. We’ll see marketing leaders at B2B companies redirecting their focus and expertise toward crafting bottom-of-the-funnel content, which requires a deeper understanding of customer needs, a persuasive narrative and a tailored call to action — aspects that are best handled with a human touch. 

How to Craft Bottom of the Funnel Content That Converts

The trends I’ve listed here are far from the only ones happening in marketing in 2024. I selected these because they’re the ones shaping our work every day — and they highlight the dynamic nature of marketing and the importance of staying up-to-date with marketing technology and evolving buyer preferences.

New call-to-action

Melanie Medina

Join our community of informed readers and get digital marketing insights delivered straight to your inbox.