Perspective - Cracking the code: insight-driven and value-based marketing meets the new social customer

By Upali Dasgupta | 15 December 2023
Upali Dasgupta.

The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.

In 2023, marketing has continued to be shaped by the ever-evolving social media landscape as well as the way that content consumption has been changing. While discussions on social media’s impact are not new, the trends and strategies being deployed have evolved significantly over the past year. Here are some notable shifts in the current year.  

Social media as a brand discovery platform  

Users spent more focussed time on the internet and a large part of it on search engines and social media. For younger demographics, social media is the first port of call when searching for a product or brand. 1 in 3 Australians use social networks for brand research according to the 2023 Digital Trends report. Brand discoverability on social media platforms has therefore been a big focus for marketers. 

Brands partnering with creators to co-create brand narratives  

The creator economy has experienced remarkable growth in the past year, presenting brands with opportunities to redefine their engagement strategies. Creators use social media as a dynamic content creation hub and brands are recognising that to engage their audience, they need to produce content that resonates with them and is perceived as authentic. This shift has led to a preference for user-generated content over scripted and highly-branded content.  

Brands are increasingly partnering with creators to co-create brand narratives as consumers are increasingly drawn to content that feels genuine and relatable. Some of the most popular social media platforms are tweaking their algorithms towards authentic user-generated content and engagement.  Data by the 2023 Digital Trends report in fact shows that a staggering 79% of consumers are more likely to make a purchasing decision when exposed to user-generated content, compared to a mere 12% for brand-created content and influencer-generated content. This has in turn seen a rise in brands’ engagement with micro influencers over macro influencers.  

Consumerisation of AI 

Finally, and perhaps the most significant development in 2023 has been the consumerisation of AI and its mass application across industries and functions. Generative AI, in particular, is now integrated into a wide range of consumer and business applications, with increasingly better quality of output and potential to drive substantial productivity gains, especially in marketing. 

The shift we expect in 2024  

Looking ahead to 2024, marketing will continue to transform and innovate, driven by both technology and changing consumer preferences.  

Rise in value-based marketing 

As consumers are increasingly drawn to brands that not only offer quality products but also create meaningful connections and embody values such as sustainability, social responsibility and inclusivity, we will see a rise in value-based marketing. Brands will need to demonstrate their commitment to a cause beyond lip service.   

The broadening world of influencer marketing  

Influencer marketing is being adopted by a multitude of industries. It is going beyond lifestyle and fashion and foraying into finance, insurance and even B2B (business to business). Its scope of engagement has widened significantly, with investment in this strategy only set to increase. The B2B Marketing Benchmark Report highlights that 67% B2B brands in APAC plan to increase their use of influencer marketing in 2024.  

Marketers will need to find the right partnership that fits their brand values and resonates with their target audience in order for brands to foster deeper connections with their audience. 2024 will also usher in a new generation of content creators who challenge the dominance of mega influencers. This shift towards less polished content will create an interesting dynamic in the influencer landscape, providing opportunities for brands to collaborate with a broader spectrum of creators.  

Transformation of data driven marketing to insight driven marketing 

As digital marketing technology matures, brands will be able to capture even more data points, especially on social media, to help inform business decisions. North Face’s response to a TikTok video posted by a customer is a case study in how social listening can help brands tap into consumer pain points, respond in a timely manner and be more customer centric.  

AI will play a pivotal role in transforming vast amounts of data into meaningful insights. Natural language processing and visual analytics will help marketers detect trends and understand customer perceptions in real time. Pattern detection algorithms and digital assistants will bring predictive power to the table and enable more accurate projections of ROI of marketing investment - the ultimate goal of every marketing team.   

Upali Dasgupta, Marketing Director Asia Pacific, Meltwater  

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