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Over the course of the past few decades, advertising has shifted into a dynamic and interactive environment. The next few years are sure to bring new tactics, channels and advertising innovations. But, what those will be, is still unknown. But by looking at consumer behavior and recent media trends, we can make predictions about some emerging platforms and innovative tactics.

Social media advertising, including the use of influencer marketing, remains a constant in the marketing landscape. Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube have seen explosive growth in influencer marketing in the last few years, which is now a multi-billion dollar industry. According to Mediakix, in 2019 89% of brand marketers saw a higher ROI from influencer marketing compared to other digital channels. But despite the popularity of mega-influencers, brands are recognizing the value of partnering with smaller, micro-influencers. According to Rock Content, Research shows that micro-influencers see a 6% engagement rate on Instagram while mega-influencers receive around a 1.97% engagement rate. This engaged audience, combined with the influencers’ specific niches gives brands an opportunity to reach targeted consumers. In 2024, we may see more brands opting for campaigns that layer multiple micro-influencers rather than solely relying on bigger influencers whose content is likely flooded with brand deals.

Another emerging implication that is impacting the way that marketers connect with consumers and the way that consumers engage with brands is artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic for the last year, but with ethical concerns still looming, court cases surrounding copyright and AI still open, and technology still developing, it could be awhile until generative AI achieves universal corporate adoption. But in the meantime, what other forms of AI can offer unique angles for brands to best connect with consumers?

Machine learning Chatbots have taken off after the popularity of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant in the 2010s. Since then, they have only expanded their capabilities, and the release of ChatGPT in 2023 represented a significant milestone in chatbot development. Chatbots are often placed on websites for quick customer service, but could begin to be used more for hyper-focused product recommendations. Consumer brands can use chatbots on their websites to sell their products to users based on their personalized conversations regarding their preferences. By matching products with what a user is looking for through asking questions and understanding feedback. It could match needs with a specific product, highlight relevant features and provide avenues for further exploration.

Another area of AI, web-based and app-based Augmented Reality, is likely to be used more commonly for unique advertising purposes. Augmented reality can be used to show customers what their product would look like in the consumer’s environment, and can work for a number of industries. Home decorating would become less risky, cosmetic brands can assist users in matching their skin tone, and hotels can give visitors a true understanding of their space before booking. Augmented reality experiences have the potential to enhance trust between a brand and its customers.

Another way to give consumers an insight as to what their experience with a product may go, is ‘Tryvertising’, a tactic that is capable of becoming mainstream. Tryvertising is a type of product placement that allows customers to experience a product in a similar environment as they would if they owned the product, a free trial essentially. This could include a certain brand of coffee machine in an Airbnb, allowing guests to use the product on their own accord and come to their own conclusions. A study from the University of Huddersfield, University of Surrey and Leeds Beckett University, found that tryvertising is more effective in Airbnbs rather than hotels because of the heightened sense of territoriality guests feel in a rented out house compared to a singular room. Tryvertising could be effective in other environments, though. A local brewery could stock a conference room fridge, inviting a visit, or fitness centers can offer certain brands of workout supplements. With its emphasis on product placement and experiential marketing, tryvertising could become a common tactic to reshape consumer perceptions without the pressure of making an immediate purchase.

As we continue to anticipate what’s in store for advertising in 2024, influencer marketing, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, tryversting, and the depreciation of the cookie represent a fraction of the tactics poised to shape the future of advertising. By embracing change and exploration, we can move with the times and position ourselves in front of the most engaged consumers.

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