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3 Tips to Make 2024 Marketing Planning a Success: An Unfair Advantage

At Unfair Advantage, we offer just that, so this will not be your average blog post on digital marketing tips for the new year! With the economy in 2023 continuing to be tumultuous, conducting ongoing market research, refining target markets and audiences, and leaning into AI utilization will offer businesses an efficient, customized approach to their marketing. The last couple of years have been challenging in the digital marketing space. Navigating through lingering pandemic ramifications, increased inflation, and trends that are rapidly changing among consumers has made it critical to have a strategic marketing foundation. We’ve got your back with 3 tips for 2024 that will guide you to success.

Get Your Digital Marketing Strategy in Order

How do you transform your marketing efforts to make the most out of your marketing budget? First and foremost, it is critical to establish a strong foundation upon which to build your digital marketing success. That foundation is a robust marketing strategy. It’s important to understand the current larger business challenges every marketer needs to consider when putting a strategy together. Some of the challenges that marketers will face in 2024 include:
  • Establishing or growing a presence across multiple channels efficiently
  • Having seamless customer and website experiences
  • Transitioning into a cookieless and AI-heavy world
As an online marketing agency that supports clients across a wide range of industries, one of our biggest observations from 2023 was that it was the year of site migrations, indicating that many businesses have already begun implementing changes to improve their customers’ online experience. Given the challenges listed above, businesses that take advantage of the opportunities below will stand above the competition:
  • Making compelling content in display, print, and video
  • Gathering first-party data to make more accurate data driven decisions
  • Understanding how to visually target and meet audiences in their purchasing journey
  • Diversifying in multiple channels to increase brand awareness
Going into and throughout 2024, we recommend clients diversify more than ever before: plan to invest at least 35% in channels like programmatic and social. Social media is an especially great place to expand because of the walled garden phenomenon. It’s common to revisit strategy on a quarterly basis. But with the slower economic market, now is the time to fully re-evaluate your efforts with a holistic approach. What does this entail? Consider the following checklist to help build successful digital marketing campaigns in 2024:
  1. Align customer lifecycles and segmentation to business objectives
  2. Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that determine success
  3. Create content grounded in storytelling
  4. Maintain a robust Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program to improve visibility
  5. Carry out pay-per-click advertising (PPC) across the marketing funnel
  6. Continue a strong conversion rate optimization (CRO) program to maximize your online marketing efforts
  7. Refresh your website to be hyper-personalized to your customer journey
  8. Implement cross-channel social media marketing (SMM)
  9. Run email marketing nurture campaigns by segment

Build on a Data-Driven Mindset

A strong marketing strategy is your critical foundation for success. But without accurate data, you cannot measure goal achievement and drive informed decisions to adapt your strategy to market changes and consumer behavior. It’s common to hear digital advertising and social media marketers complain that they can’t accurately report or track conversion actions. What are these conversion actions anyway? They are whichever actions you’ve chosen to be of value to your business. They could be online purchases or content downloads, lead form fills or incoming calls. Continuing to build a data driven mindset is a must lean into strategy throughout 2024. Being able to leverage first-party data, maintaining a constantly refreshed customer list, and understanding how customer profiles change will all be necessary in a cookieless environment. Start by being more accurate and clear with properly aligned tracking, data collection, and analytics. If you haven’t already, optimize your Google Analytics 4, properly setting up tracking tags and conversion events in a way that accurately informs strategic business decisions, to lend insights into how you can better serve and communicate with your target market in today’s personalized world. What this ultimately does is minimize lost revenue and wasted advertising spend. For example, in response to the pandemic, many businesses came up with new products and marketing tactics which led to competing priorities. As a result of this rapid response and lack of historical data, these new offerings were folded into historical marketing and projection models. These misalignments can be costly. So how do you compete in 2024 and ensure you are maximizing strategic insights and ROI?
  1. Perform a GA4 analytics audit to ensure you are tracking leads, conversions, and goals accurately in accordance with all marketing objectives and lines of business
  2. Plan your KPI and reporting requirements to ensure your analytics platform provides relevant and accurate revenue driving insights
These efforts will set your business up for success in a highly competitive digital world, while also laying the foundation for a critical 2024 effort: building first-party data. First-party data is brand-owned data, collected with permission from those who visit your site, that allows you to continue to personalize your advertising and marketing efforts. Why is this important? Collecting first-party data as much and as soon as possible will prepare you for additional hits to consumer data from platforms like Google and Meta.

The Cookieless World and AI 

Not that long ago, in a pre-pandemic 2017, Alphabet Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt focused a Google research team on experimenting with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to design the best possible chocolate chip cookie. Dozens of iterations of feedback allowed them to ‘perfect’ the cookie recipe through AI. Five years later, digital marketers are looking to Machine Learning (a subset of AI) to save them from the death of the cookie and utilizing tools like chat GPT to improve efficiency and creative strategy generation. While first-party data gives you exclusive insights into your buyers’ journey, in a cookieless world without third-party data, it leaves you with a huge gap when it comes to competitor insights, search behaviors, and interest preferences. Not losing a step while entering the new privacy-prioritized digital marketing atmosphere is critical for all businesses going into 2024 and forward. Businesses that understand how to manage and access first-party data accurately will move faster in understanding how to find, target, and meet their target audiences across devices, platforms, and channels. Thus, 2024 presents a great challenge and opportunity to do two very important things:
  1. Have great CRM lists
  2. Understand security and data privacy due to GDPR and other privacy regulations which businesses need to follow
Navigating this new landscape will require that businesses build trust with their audiences and customers through content such as display, print, and video while continuously being creative in collecting insightful first-party data.  Businesses will also have to find ways to store clients’ information safely as Google, Meta, and Apple don’t want to be involved with holding data that is private. Filling data gaps by using solutions such as Google’s Enhanced conversions and Facebook conversion API, transitioning from Universal Analytics to GA4, and using other marketing tools will be necessary to accurately measure and predict consumer conversion journeys. On top of the cookieless world, we are now living in a world of Chat GPT and other powerful AI. Utilizing these tools to your advantage, to get creative with audience targeting, ad messaging, data analysis, and more will propel you into 2024 with efficiency optimizations. The digital marketing landscape is highly adaptable, and trends can change rapidly – staying updated with industry news, consumer preferences, and emerging technologies will be crucial for marketers in 2024 and beyond. Contact us to discover your business’ potential for growth now with Unfair Advantage! Want to learn more? Check out our 13 tips for setting up effective paid media campaigns, local digital marketing strategies to drive growth, and how we more than doubled revenue and tripled ROAS for a B2B in commercial real estate technology through a powerful combination of PPC and SEO.

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