Trends shaping the future of marketing for brands

The landscape of marketing is in a constant state of evolution, driven by technological advancements, changing consumer behaviour, and cultural shifts. As we look into the not-so-distant future, several key trends are poised to reshape the future of marketing, with AI, short-form video platforms like TikTok, and mobile devices for younger generations at the forefront. Without knowing precisely what’s next, we’ll address some of the hot topics in marketing, and how these might shape future trends in the industry.

Personalisation and AI

AI-driven personalisation can enhance user experiences. It enables brands to better understand consumer behaviour and preferences, delivering tailored content and product recommendations. AI personalisation can help brands address specific concerns and provide solutions that resonate with individual needs, making audience targeting a breeze. For instance, it can recommend energy-efficient content to environmentally conscious consumers or suggest health-related products to older demographics. However, the key is striking a balance between personalisation and manipulation.

AI can also be used to create highly persuasive content that may influence consumers’ decisions without their full awareness. A prime example is the use of deepfake technology. AI-generated content can take the shape of highly convincing fake videos and audio recordings, often taking on the likeness of a celebrity or well-known figure. Besides this posing a risk of spreading misinformation and damaging reputations, it also raises concerns about consumer manipulation. Transparency in AI marketing is crucial for building trust, and there’s a current concern that these processes can be less than clear, which has led to the call for stricter regulations on the technology, especially deepfakes. Ethical AI marketing should involve a commitment to accuracy and a proactive stance against the spread of misleading content.

AI will continue to play a pivotal role in marketing, so it’s in the interest of agencies and brands to invest in creative talent who utilise AI to craft more engaging material. Graphic designers, videographers, copywriters, and other content creators who upskill by using AI to produce high-quality content that stands out in crowded social media feeds, and can manipulate AI algorithms, will be worth their weight in gold.

The pipeline of digital literacy on social media

The explosion of TikTok in 2020 turned the social media landscape on its head. Short-form video took over our screens at such a rate that it was only the fast-acting marketers who thrived. This content only became more in demand as other platforms such as Instagram (and therefore Facebook), Snapchat and YouTube each integrated a short-form channel, and it’s certainly not going away.

Embracing this format first were those between the ages of 18 and 24, and TikTok continues to be predominantly used by this demographic. Ephemeral content, typically visible for only 24 hours, is also increasingly popular among these users. As such, marketers can leverage these features for time-limited promotions, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and interactive engagement to create a sense of urgency. Considering a mobile-first approach, will not be uncommon for this target market.

When we look at older demographics, it’s important to invest time in understanding the demographic’s habits and preferences on social media. Older users may continue to have preferences for specific social media platforms. Currently, Facebook tends to have a higher presence of Baby Boomers, but a migration to other platforms may occur as younger generations adopt any new social media that begin to crop up, as they have with TikTok. As the generations age however, we can expect the pipeline of digital literacy continues to move along as well, so simplified content may not be required as it is now.

Navigating technology and children

While protecting young people online is a shared responsibility between manufacturers, marketers, social media platforms, and parents, the age group who now have access to their own screen is getting younger and younger. Because of this, many manufacturers of phones, PCs and tablets enable ‘parent mode’, limiting when content can be accessed on the child’s account.

These measures aren’t fool proof however, and so marketers will take on an increased role in protecting young people, particularly on social media, by promoting responsible content creation, educating users about online safety, advocating for digital well-being, and adhering to ethical practices. Collaboration with social media platforms, parents, and guardians is essential to create a safer online environment for young users.

Looking to the future

One thing remains to be true. The future itself is ever-changing, morphing from what we thought we knew into the largely unknown and certainly unexpected, and for many brands, it’s sink or swim.

Whilst we can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen in the next ten years, we do know that the digital landscape is changing fast (just look at Instagram only 10 years ago). It can be hard to keep up with what’s changing and new trends, especially if you’re a busy business owner. That’s where we come in! Working with an agency can ensure you’re on the right track when it comes to AI, social media and advertising.

For your partner in whatever the future holds for marketing, reach out to the ever-prepared team at SOAK Creative.

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