Advertising

Three Priorities In Your 2024 Marketing Strategy

CMO of Gigamon, a leader in Deep Observability.

Today’s economic pressures are impacting all facets of business, and the marketing department is no exception. Marketing leaders have been under more pressure than ever to demonstrate their department’s value and maintain trust internally.

McKinsey stated that, while marketing is often the first budget to be reduced, it’s often a “shortsighted approach.” Instead, companies should “invest in marketing as a key to long-term growth.” Marketers were put to the test in 2023. We needed to over-communicate the impact that marketing drives for the organization as a whole—from forecasting and aligning with sales to having clear go-to-market plans and measurable goals.

While marketing budgets may continue to be trimmed back in 2024, there are certain things that marketers can’t afford to deprioritize in the new year. With the below priorities in mind, marketers should be able to set their organizations up for long-term success and scalability.

Focus On Relationships

We’re still emerging from the turmoil that the pandemic caused for in-person events and meetings. As a marketer, I’ve been laser-focused on reestablishing relationships—both internally as well as with our customers, partners, industry influencers and the community at large. This includes in-person meetings, travel and uninterrupted Zoom meetings.

While in-person events made a strong comeback in 2023, I found that smaller, intimate, peer-to-peer events were more useful than large-scale events of the past. When the smaller event topics and breakout sessions are more catered to the audience in attendance, I find that the participants are more engaged and more likely to gain actionable insights and relationships from the events.

I foresee these smaller-scale events being a big priority for marketers next year as we look to continue building strong in-person relationships again.

Be Authentic

Being authentic in our communication has always been a priority for marketers, but it rings especially true now. With only 38% of people in Edelman’s Annual Trust Barometer report saying their government has a vision for the future they believe in, authenticity from business leaders is imperative. According to the report, people around the world believe their employer is worthy of their trust, which is an incredible opportunity for business leaders to step up and be an authentic source of truth and guidance for employees today.

This internal trust-building with employees comes from all departments and often senior leadership, but marketing can play an important role in how the communication goes. Delivering on promises, consistency in process or approach, and being transparent are three things I try to stick to when it comes to communicating internally and building trust.

As a marketer, I also believe the above three things require us to ensure our external marketing collateral and communication reflects our brand in an authentic way—whether that’s cheeky and fun or striking a more serious note. Consistency in communication and delivering on your promise (internally and externally) are critical steps to maintaining trust among your key audiences.

Leverage AI Responsibly

There’s no doubt that AI will continue to dominate discussions as it relates to deploying new tools and increasing productivity. AI can be used internally to drive efficiency in the marketing department—everything from content creation to automating processes. However, to protect the organization, it’s imperative to set ground rules around the use of AI tools and get legal input.

I expect that we’ll continue to see AI make its way into the tool stack that we use as marketers like 6sense and Drift. I’m always on the hunt for new tools that will drive productivity and efficiency for my marketing team. What that looks like in 2024 is a bit unknown as we learn the security implications of new AI tools coming to market, and it may also mean leveraging existing tools in our stack in a different way.

Either way, I encourage marketing leaders to approach AI tools with an open mindset; consider the benefits, ensure you have the right security protocols in place if you use them, and set legal usage guidelines from the beginning.

I’d also encourage marketers to resist the temptation to “AI wash” product messaging just for the sake of mentioning AI. However, if there is a legitimate AI use case, then marketing should certainly highlight how it provides value to customers and users. Similar to my points above, authenticity is key.

Looking Forward

2024 is expected to be a year of economic turnaround as companies eye IPOs and positive growth, and I look forward to seeing continued recovery from the pandemic years. Relationships will remain a critical part of success for organizations (especially marketers), and when paired with authentic messaging and the right AI tools in place to increase efficiency, marketers will be set up for success. Here’s to a busy and productive year ahead for marketers!


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