Creativity, transparency, AI are among top marketing trends

Creativity, transparency, AI are among top marketing trends

Katherine Scarrow

Katherine Scarrow

May 30, 2024

Every year at Globe Content Studio, we sift through the latest industry developments, analyse audience behaviours, and survey marketers across Canada to provide insights and tools for navigating the ever-evolving marketing landscape.

Here’s a snapshot of what we’re talking about right now, with a few ideas on how you can adapt and thrive in these evolving conditions. (You can find the full 2024 Tactics & Takeaways Trends Report here.)

Keeping it real(ish) with AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is speeding like a runaway train. As it becomes a staple in marketing toolkits, it’s ushering in an era of unmatched efficiency and fresh creative possibilities.

Our latest poll showed 46% of marketers are now regularly using AI-driven analytics tools that can churn through massive data sets in seconds to spit out insights. But here’s the catch: As generative AI (Gen AI) continues to evolve, we must tackle the challenge of harnessing this powerful tech without losing the human touch that resonates with audiences.

As a marketer, what can you do right now?

  • Prepare for change: Think of Gen AI as being as transformative as the printing press. We’re on the brink of a new era filled with rapid innovation and disruption. At Globe Content Studio, we’re shifting from just using off-the-shelf tools to actively shaping AI to carve out competitive advantages.

  • Become AI-savvy: It’s time to walk the talk. Knowing how to communicate effectively with AI is becoming crucial. One-third of marketers in our survey are already honing their skills in prompt engineering to maximize AI’s potential without compromising the quality or relevance of creative outputs.

  • Invest in data management: Get your house in order by organizing and digitizing your knowledge — think prompts, audience data, feedback, and performance metrics. Integrating this data with AI models can dramatically enhance the personalisation and relevance of your campaigns.

Get in, data. We’re being creative!

The blend of data analytics with creative strategy is reshaping how we approach campaign design and execution. Our survey reveals that 42% of marketers now feel equally at ease with both data and creative tasks, highlighting an increasing trend toward integrating these disciplines.

How can you power up your creativity?

  • Integrate data with creativity: Start by coming to grips with the data at your disposal and see how it can inform your creative decisions. For example, our team at Globe Content Studio uses insights from content category analysis to pinpoint what clicks with specific audiences, leading to more effective campaigns.

  • Balance innovation with insights: Keep your creative ideas grounded in solid data. We adjusted a tourism campaign for the Canadian province of Manitoba based on data insights, which significantly boosted engagement metrics like scroll depth and time spent on pages.

  • Learn and adapt: Stay flexible and responsive to new data and evolving technologies. Regularly updating your insights in line with changing consumer behaviour ensures your strategies stay sharp and effective.

Ad-pocalypse now?!

As traditional cookies crumble, we’re tasked with finding new, privacy-respecting ways to target and engage audiences. This trend toward ethical data practices is sparking innovation in data collection methods such as first-party data and contextual advertising.

Surprisingly, 21% of marketers surveyed are still not leveraging AI, signalling a big opportunity for growth in technologies that enhance targeting while respecting user privacy.

How to gear up for this shift?

  • Leverage first-party data: With privacy worries on the rise, first-party data is becoming invaluable. It enables more direct and consent-based interactions with customers, fostering trust and paving the way for tailored marketing strategies. According to our latest survey, 41% of respondents have begun preparing for the end of third-party cookies, with another 42% unsure if their companies have started preparations.

  • Explore privacy-compliant technologies: As old tracking methods fade out, it’s crucial to adopt new tools that meet stringent data protection standards. The move is essential as 52% of marketers we polled have expressed some concerns about data collection and use by tech companies, with an additional 35% being very concerned.

  • Foster transparency: Being open about how you use consumer data builds trust. Transparency is vital as a whopping 58% of marketers are concerned about how their data is managed, highlighting the need for clear communication and ethical data practices.

Debunking generational myths

It’s high time we fine-tune our understanding of different generational cohorts. Stereotypes, like the belief that Baby Boomers aren’t tech-savvy, can limit the effectiveness of our marketing. Our findings challenge these assumptions and emphasise the importance of nuanced, data-driven strategies.

What steps can you take to avoid stereotyping?

  • Use data to understand preferences: Moving beyond mere age-based segmentation, employ behavioural data and psychographics to grasp the varied preferences and habits across generations.

    For example, targeting Canadians older than 40 is significant, with nearly half of the campaigns targeting this demographic in the 25% to 50% range, and another 46% targeting them in more than half of their efforts.

  • Create content that resonates: Develop genuine content that mirrors the real-life experiences and stories of each generation, fostering deeper emotional connections. Interestingly, 32% of respondents believe that Gen Z content should be produced by Gen Z creators, highlighting the perceived importance of authenticity in content creation.

  • Update your audience insights regularly: Consumer behaviour is always evolving. Staying updated helps keep your strategies fresh and relevant. For instance, in the world of podcasts, 75% of respondents believe that the host’s personality and ability are more crucial than the reputation or type of the producing entity. This indicates a shift toward valuing personal connection over brand legacy.

Old school? More like gold school

Big ideas in marketing don’t just draw attention; they can set your brand apart, creating a memorable identity that resonates with audiences across various platforms. Our partnership with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity highlights the enduring importance of big, creative ideas. Historically, Canada has shone at Cannes, a testament to our rich creative spirit.

How can you keep pushing for ground-breaking ideas?

  • Emphasize big, bold ideas: Focus on crafting distinctive and memorable campaigns that make a real impact in a crowded market.

  • Encourage risk-taking in creativity: Support a culture where taking creative risks is valued. It’s the key to unlocking ground-breaking ideas.

  • Blend tradition with innovation: Use classic storytelling enhanced by modern tools to create compelling narratives that resonate across diverse audiences.

    Katherine Scarrow is manager of creative strategy of Globe Content Studio.