As we kick off Q4, the priority is to close out the calendar year strong. However, 2024 is right around the corner – so what can you do to prepare? As you set goals for the coming year, take a close look at your business marketing plan to ensure you set yourself up for success to achieve them. While every marketing plan should be customized to meet the needs of each individual business, here are some considerations for what to look out for in 2024.
If you don’t yet have a marketing plan to review, you can read our post on how to build an effective one here.
Keep an eye on new platforms and audience targeting opportunities.
2024 will bring changes to existing platforms and even new ones too, so it’s important to stay informed. Know what channels are available to use within your marketing efforts, understand how they can change in the future, and evaluate any potential advertising opportunities. Keep a particular watch for new beta ad platforms you can start testing that may be a right fit for your audience (particularly self-managed platforms like Hulu’s updated Beta Ads Manager that give you flexibility in spend). Additionally, look out for policy and targeting updates to existing channels. When these changes or opportunities arise, don’t jump in headfirst. However, incremental testing on the right channel can expand your reach to new audiences. It’s important to be flexible with your budget allocations so you can continue to test and perfect your strategy.
If you’re not already using AI in your marketing planning, you should be.
One of the biggest topics of discussion in marketing this year will extend into 2024 as well. The possibilities may seem overwhelming, but where can you begin? There are many ways AI can be used, but one of the simplest ways it can be leveraged outside of automating simple tasks is to assist in research that contribute to marketing planning. For example, AI can be used to identify opportunities to improve SEO on your website, including identifying top keywords, developing keyword-optimized meta descriptions, and post content. However, AI shouldn’t be used to spit out copy that you then automatically implement. It is important to combine the information you may get from AI with insights from other marketing tools we have available to us in addition to your own expertise. Moving forward, AI will also be an important tool in personalizing the user experience for targeting audiences within marketing campaigns.
Plan to update your website to accommodate new features and policies.
Now is the time to evaluate your website to ensure it is optimized towards your business goals. There are many CMS platforms out there to build your website on – is your current one working for you? Is it simple to update information when needed but advanced enough to elevate your brand and support lead generation? Are there new features you wish your website had to more impactfully communicate essential information? Is your website optimized properly for SEO (particularly if you’re not putting many paid dollars behind advertising efforts)? Is your website compliant with the latest privacy policies? Is it fast and secure?
If you’re not sure where to start, check out our post on how to build credibility and trust through your website here.
Review your reporting system.
Choosing the right reporting platform and process can be the make or break in allowing you to get the most out of your data and understand the impact of every marketing effort. Once you have a system in place, it is important to understand how to benchmark your marketing efforts within each channel you are leveraging as those are constantly being updated with changing industry standards and platform updates. Particularly with the launch of GA4 that disrupted how marketers report on website analytics, make sure your reports are set up properly to be reviewed regularly and accurately so you can constantly add to what’s working and pull back on what’s not.
Be flexible to channel trends.
In addition to new channels and opportunities that may arise, it is important to stay on top of not only industry marketing trends, but trends in the types of content, organic or paid, that are being used on each platform and how audiences are consuming them. Storytelling, micro influences, trends in video and animation, trending search terms, and more all play a role in how your content performs within each channel. Evaluate how you can capitalize on these trends where it makes sense for your business and brand messaging to get the most out of your marketing efforts.
Reevaluate your competitor set.
You may have a competitor set you are already aware of, but what about the competitors you don’t know about that may be trying to compete with you anyway? While you must be careful about those you may actively target within competitor ad campaigns, it’s important to be aware of who is actively targeting you, too (for example, getting insights into competitive bidding behavior on paid search for terms you are also bidding on, especially if they are your own brand keywords). There are many tools available to review known competitors’ paid marketing activities, and while you may not always react, it’s important to have the knowledge to know where you stack up. This can give you insight on what marketing channels to be active in and how to best leverage them.
And most importantly, be ready!
The most important mindset you can have is to be transparent and flexible with your marketing. New solutions are going to become available constantly and you must be nimble enough to expand on what’s working, but also leave room to test new channels, strategies, and tactics.
Not sure where to start? We’re here to help! Consider conducting a marketing audit before the end of the year to have your plan ready to execute in 2024.