Table of Contents:
- Hot Take #1: You Guessed It, Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Increases
- Hot Take #2: Social Media Spending and Reporting Shifts
- Hot Take #3: Customer Focus Takes Center Stage
The whirlwind of the holiday season is approaching and visions of year-end celebrations, fourth quarter KPIs and 2024 goals are hot on the radar for many in the business and marketing world. As if on a quest to fill minds with knowledge before filling bellies with turkey, we’ve seen a record number of educational webinars and round-up reports in the past 60 days. The ones that caught our marketing agency’s attention included The CMO Survey, Sprout Social Index, Meta Agency Summit and Marketing AI Institute’s AI for Agencies Summit. Each held valuable noticeable trending topics of discussion we shared with our clients and today, we’re sharing those hot-takes with you to chew on before the new year!
Hot Take #1: You Guessed It, Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Increases
While AI itself isn’t new, the concept of AI being used in marketing is still relatively new for most organizations. The CMO Survey finds that 60.4% of companies report using AI in marketing for less than one year and 15.8% of companies using it for two to three years. Broken down further, the latest industries to adopt AI in their marketing within the past year include transportation, professional services and real estate / manufacturing. Meanwhile, the mining / construction, retail / wholesale and pharma / biotech industries are the earliest AI marketing adopters at 2+ years. The consensus on the integration of AI into marketing? According to the Sprout Social Index, 81% of marketers say AI has had a positive impact on their work with the main benefits cited as more time for creativity and increased efficiency.
With these benefits in mind, the 10 most common uses for AI in marketing activities include:
- Content personalization (52.8%)
- Content creation (49.2%)
- Improving marketing ROI by optimizing content and timing (36.6%)
- Programmatic advertising and media buying (35%)
- Predictive analytics for customer insights (32.9%)
- Targeting decisions (31.7%)
- Marketing automation (28%)
- Conversational AI for customer service (26.4%)
- Data analysis and reporting (24.8%)
- Customer segmentation (21.5%)
While the top three uses for AI revolve around content, it’s not a replacement for people-first content. As keynote speaker and author Marcus Sheridan shared in the AI for Agencies Summit, recommends building trust by becoming a voice of trust. Tips he provides to do just that include remembering to make your content PERSONAL:
- P – Personal (Write in first-person or first-company)
- E – Engage (Ask a question)
- R – Realness (Be raw: show behind-the-scenes moments and your people)
- S – Storytelling (Be compelling)
- O – Originality (Don’t just follow trends, push the envelope in your space)
- N – Nurture relationships (Interact with followers)
- A – Audience (Know your audience and think like them)
- L – Love Your Audience (Show them you care)
Hot Take #2: Social Media Spending and Reporting Shifts
Marketers in The CMO Survey continue to rate social media’s contribution to company performance as being steady over the last four years. Social media spending as a percent of marketing budgets is expected to rise to 18.9% in the next 12 months, but B2C Product and B2C Services recognize its contribution to performance more than other industries. In line with this, communications/media, consumer packaged goods and brick-and-mortar companies predict an increase in their social media spending from 11% to 19% of their budgets in the next 5 years.
To optimize social media strategies and content pillars for 2024 and accurately calculate the effects of social media on your business, there are two areas to keep in mind: the content you create for your audience and how you measure that content’s performance. The Sprout Social Index reports the top three reasons that consumers follow a brand on social media as: staying informed on new products or services (68%), getting access to exclusive deals or promotions (46%) and being entertained in some way by the content the brand/company posts (45%). The brands that they find most memorable on social media:
- Respond to customers (51%)
- Prioritize original content over trending topics (38%)
- Directly engage with their audience vs. publishing excessive content (37%)
- Publish timely, on-trend content (33%)
- Highlight the stories of their audiences (28%)
- Take risks with their content (26%)
- Collaborate with content creators and influencers (25%)
- Speak out about valued-aligned causes and news (25%)
To illustrate and accurately report the value of social media, marketers plan to quantify the value of social media engagement in terms of potential revenue impact. The biggest opportunities for marketing strategists, managers and directors to align with VPs and executives include reach and impressions, and social media traffic to the website.
Hot Take #3: Customer Focus Takes Center Stage
It’s not just content that’s becoming more personal. Marketing leaders report an increase in customer focus and the way companies are collecting, sharing and using customer info to shape and evaluate marketing strategies. This idea of mirroring audience interest and verbiage is one that Orange Label has utilized for decades. When our marketing agency conducts in-depth marketing approaches, we hold a series of interviews with customers, consumers or patients, depending on the client, in order to get their viewpoint of the brand and how they associate with it – this process is called our “View from the Field.™” We use these first-party insights to create their marketing strategy, craft the brand’s marketing messages and select the most effective marketing channels.
Customer-focused marketing strategies are built around customers’ needs and as we’ve seen over the past several years, people are turning to social media to be entertained. In the Meta Agency Summit, there was a segment on one of the most highly utilized forms of content that people are turning to: Instagram Reels. With 190 billion Reels played every single day, it’s the fastest growing content format on Instagram and Facebook, due to the entertainment value it brings users and the opportunity for interactivity. At Orange Label, our social media marketing team averages a minimum of five reels sent between one another daily and at least 10 on a personal level between family members and friends. This is a minor dent in the more than 2 billion Reels that are shared every day, a number that’s doubled over the last six months! Including a hook, showing people and including a combination of voice over and text are three tips shared by Meta to “supercharge your Reels” and garner audience attention.
Whether you’ve built out your marketing strategy for Q1 2024 or you’re still working on it, our marketing agency is here to help. Outsourced marketing is a resource that’s expected to grow 5% in the next year by marketing leaders across various economic sectors, including B2B and B2C products/services. To learn more about the marketing services that we provide, view our case studies with wellness brands and set up a call with Orange Label President, Rochelle!