New Year, New Trends: 2024 SMB Marketing

The 2024 Forecast: Essential Marketing Trends for Small Businesses

Key Takeaways:

Learn about 4 of the top marketing trends we’ll see in 2024. 

Gain tips and strategies to help your business flex with these marketing shifts.

Understand the importance of focusing on human connection, as marketing becomes more high-tech and more automated than ever before. 

As 2023 draws to a close, it’s both intriguing and informative to consider marketing trend predictions for 2024. Here are just some of the trends to familiarize yourself with as a small business owner who is mapping out your success for the new year. 

1. The Rise of Hyper-Personalization

Hyper-personalization is one of the main trends predicted to dominate in 2024. You’re likely familiar with the term “personalization” – like using a customer’s name in an email. Hyper-personalization takes this a big step further. It’s all about using real-time data and smart tech to really understand each customer’s unique needs and preferences. Imagine being able to offer exactly what a customer wants, at just the right time, based on their past behavior and choices. That’s hyper-personalization. It’s a powerful tool in today’s digital world, helping your business stand out by creating experiences that are tailor-made for each customer.

But what does hyper-personalization look like “in the wild”? Hyper-personalization has to do with customized recommendations, offers, and assistance. It could take the form of personalized email offers or video ads that mention specific customers by name. Or perhaps it looks like personalized pricing for each customer depending on their purchase history or purchase threshold, or real-time assistance that triggers in response to a consumer’s browsing behavior. 

Customer data is an essential ingredient for hyper-personalization. Any degree of personalization requires that customers share data about themselves. It’s often the case that customers are willing to give you info, but you have to ask for it. (So, don’t be afraid to ask them!) 

So, how do you get started with hyper-personalization? First, establish a customer data platform or data management platform if you don’t already have one in place. Next, test out automation and AI tools to help gather this info. Last, but not least, constantly review your customer data and the tools’ metrics to inform your marketing strategy.

2. Leveraging AI for Predictive Analysis

The increased implementation of AI is another trend that will pervade the business world in 2024. According to McKinsey’s “The state of AI in 2023: Generative AI’s breakout year” report, 55% of respondents reported that their organizations have adopted AI. And 23% of respondents credit the use of AI was responsible for generating at least 5% of their organizations’ EBIT just last year. 

While generative AI is often the dominant type of AI that’s discussed in marketing circles, don’t underestimate the value of predictive AI for your small business. Predictive AI is the type of AI that analyzes historical data to make future predictions. 

Historical data is vital for making business decisions for 2024 and beyond. You can’t do predictive planning without it. It’s the base that predictive AI tools use to forecast a customer’s future behaviors and purchases. 

One simple way to start tapping into the power of predictive AI is to invest in a product recommendation engine. Sometimes called a product recommendation system, these software tools analyze your customer data and provide tailored product recommendations for them.

Historical data is vital for predictive planning. It’s the base that predictive AI tools use to forecast a customer’s future behaviors and purchases.

3. The Competing Trends of Privacy vs. Personalization

In the marketing world, the balance between personalization and privacy is increasingly crucial. Customers expect tailored experiences, yet they’re more aware and concerned about how their data is used. This has led to a shift from third-party data reliance to prioritizing first-party data, directly collected from customers. This change is driven by stricter privacy regulations and moves by tech giants like Google to phase out third-party cookies.

The focus on first-party data aligns with privacy concerns, as it’s based on customer consent. Additionally, there’s a trend towards more secure data verification methods (like authenticator apps) over traditional 2-step verification. For small businesses, this means a return to direct customer interactions and using their own forms for data collection. This approach not only respects privacy but also ensures access to the data needed for hyper-personalization.

Some Tips on Data Collection 

As a small business, it’s crucial to balance boldly asking customers for data and respecting when they say “no.” There’s going to be a mix of customers who want hyper-personalization and those who are willing to sacrifice that experience for the sake of data privacy. And, for those who do share data with you, they need to see a clear connection between sharing their information and being rewarded with an elevated and highly personal experience with your brand. 

Not sure where to start with data collection? Online forms are an effective method for gathering customer data. Here at TTG, we recommend Gravity Forms to all of our small business clients who use WordPress.* 

Some Tips on Data Organization 

To leverage AI for better analysis in your business, it’s important to organize it and perform routine cleanups. To begin, audit your existing data. Review and identify any outdated or irrelevant information that might skew your analysis results. Next, focus on removing duplicates to ensure the accuracy and reliability of your data set. 

Organizing your data is equally important; effectively categorizing and tagging your data can significantly enhance the efficiency of AI analysis. You can use specialized data cleaning tools to automate much of this process, saving you time and reducing the likelihood of human error. These tools can help in standardizing data formats, identifying and removing duplicates, and organizing data into meaningful categories.

4. Nurturing Existing Customers

There’s a higher ROI of nurturing existing customers than acquiring new ones. According to data from Harvard Business Review, you can increase profits by 25-95% simply by increasing your customer retention rates by 5%. 

We suggest several tactics for engaging and retaining your customer base. Consider implementing a loyalty program that rewards repeat purchases. Personalize your communications based on customers’ past behaviors to make them feel valued. Host exclusive events or offer special discounts to show appreciation. Actively seek and respond to customer feedback to show that you value their input and are dedicated to improving their experience.

For 2024, remember to prioritize the human element in your marketing. No chatbot or AI-inspired marketing tool can take the place of human connection.

A Reminder to Highlight the Human Element in Marketing

While it’s important to embrace the AI and technology tools of the future as we head into 2024, it’s equally important to prioritize the human element in your marketing. No chatbot or AI-inspired marketing tool can take the place of human connection. It’s vital to have a balanced perspective that values technology and personal interaction, not just one or the other. 

By focusing on meaningful engagement and understanding the individuals behind the data, businesses can build deeper, more genuine relationships. This approach not only fosters loyalty but also adds a personal touch that resonates deeply with customers, making your marketing efforts more impactful and human-centered in the new year and in the years to come.

Plan Out Your 2024 Success

Preparation is the first step toward achieving your business goals for 2024. Invest in a customized strategy session with a TTG pro!

*DISCLAIMER: Links included in this article might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that we provide, TTG may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!

Share This Post

More To Articles to Consider:

Creative funding for your business

Creative Funding for Your Business

In partnership with NY Metro Area SCORE Download the Slides Key Takeaways: Organize your plan into stages to reduce costs and improve odds of success