Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

2024: The Year of Marketing Renaissance

This year is shaping up to be a year of getting back to our marketing roots. The opening session of this year’s Global Conversation | New Year’s Revolution made it unmistakably clear: we're on the brink of a marketing renaissance. But not the kind you might expect — no, this is a call to return to the roots of marketing. It's a revolution that looks back as much as it forges ahead. Not a radical overhaul powered by the latest tech, but a return to the timeless tenets of our craft.
In my recent discussions with fellow marketers, the desire for change is a recurring theme that echoes powerfully across our conversations. There's a palpable sense of agreement that we need to get back to basics. Maybe it is the loom of AI, or the worry around a cookie-less future, or even the need for marketing to be understood by leadership, but the ambition is clear:  the marketing community is ready to embrace a more grounded and better-articulated approach to marketing in 2024. 
The themes that evolved through the conversation are well worth noting: 

The fundamental reset

The call to return to the nitty-gritty of marketing is resounding. We're revisiting the roots that made marketing an art form infused with scientific precision. Lex Bradshaw-Zanger, L'Oréal, said: "The art and science of marketing—stripping back to core principles—seems to be a shared beat," is more than a notion; it's a strategy for enduring success. It's about balancing the aesthetics of creativity with the rigour of data-driven decision-making.

Brand from the front

2024 is the year where brands must stand confidently in their identity. Natalie Wills from encapsulates this ethos perfectly: "embracing who you are as a brand." It’s about being authentic, even if it means prioritising functional purposes over grand narratives. In an era where consumer trust is paramount, authenticity is not just beneficial; it’s essential.

Embracing the time-tested

From LIONS, Simon Cook's observation serves as a timely reminder: "Revolution isn't about shiny new toys but revisiting tried and tested ideas." This year let's resist the allure of fleeting trends and focus on strategies with a proven track record. It’s about refining, not just reinventing.

Clarity and repetition

In our hyper-connected, information-saturated world, clear and consistent messaging is our strongest suit. Lex from L’Oréal highlights the necessity of this approach: "We need to be the marketers we pitch to our consumers—consistent and clear." Clarity cuts through the noise, and repetition reinforces the message, making it memorable. And Natalie champions making complex ideas simple, ensuring that the brand message is universally understood amongst all stakeholders, not just customers. 

Educating the next generation: bridging the gap

A significant theme for 2024 is bridging the knowledge gap between seasoned marketers and emerging talents. Education and shared insights are pivotal for sustained growth in the industry. It's about passing the baton with wisdom, ensuring that the new wave of marketers is as grounded in the fundamentals as they are adept with the latest tools.
In our discussion, I thought that this pithy sentence summed up what matters this year, "Let’s get back to marketing’s roots, while keeping an eye on tomorrow." 
As we embark on this renaissance, let's focus not on merely being heard but on resonating deeply. The year 2024 beckons us to rekindle the core spark of our profession with purpose and precision. Let this be the year we leverage marketing to weave narratives that endure, foster connections that matter, and catalyse growth that is as purposeful as it is profitable. 
Here's to a year where we harness the power of marketing not just to sell, but to tell stories that matter, to build connections that last, and to drive growth that's both sustainable and meaningful.

Written by Katy Howell, CEO of Immediate Future

Published on 12 January 2024


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