Trends Emerging in the Marketing Landscape

Making predictions is a notoriously tricky affair.

Just ask Steve Ballmer.

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” predicted the bullish Microsoft CEO in 2007.

2.3 billion iPhone sales later and it’s fair to say Steve wasn’t quite on the money.

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However, here at Cool Blue, we’re prepared to put our heads above the parapet to bring you some of the trends and developments which we think will shape the marketing landscape this year.


Local News 2.0 – Howard

Back in the mists of time, local newspapers would make their money by charging people to read the news which affected their area.

Then it all changed as newspaper owners realised they could make more money from the adverts between the news stories than they could from the stories themselves.

But now it’s changing back again.

As media conglomerates have cut costs and journalism resources in the face of falling ad revenues, a new wave of start-up publications have emerged to challenge the status quo.

Many of these outlets are centred on smaller, localised circulation areas, often started by journalists who previously worked on regional media titles, and most are doing their work online and/or via newsletters.

One of the earliest of these started over in Manchester, The Mill, while there are similar outlets in Sheffield, Birmingham and other cities across the country.

This year the North East sees the launch of The QT, a subscriber-funded online news publication started up by the former editor of The Journal in Newcastle, Brian Aitken.

Declaring itself as having “a mission to deliver quality regional journalism,” the QT says it aims to offer “issue-led campaigning news, features and commentary that is free from political spin, media bias and social media toxicity.”

Launching at a time of change for the North East with the election this May of a brand-new North-East Mayor, it will be interesting to see what effect the QT has on the media landscape in the region as the North East’s long-established publications meet the challenge of a new competitor.

Whatever your view on the issue, it is surely a sign of a healthy regional media ecosystem that new voices can enter the market.


Conscious Consumerism – Taimar

Audiences are becoming more and more aware of the ecological and social impact of their purchasing decisions. Companies need to demonstrate their environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials, emphasising transparency, authenticity and commitment to the cause within their brand, products and/or services.

This growing trend acknowledges that consumers are increasingly driven by values when they choose what to buy. Businesses that embrace ethical marketing not only appeal to the conscious consumer but also contribute to building a positive brand image in a time when social and environmental responsibility is paramount.

Take HelloFresh, for example. Alongside its mission to change the way people eat, the company produces fewer CO2 emissions than the traditional food system by shortening its supply chain and making fewer stops between suppliers and customers.

As new technology continues to facilitate the sharing of information (AI included), consumers are empowered to scrutinise brands' actions, making it essential for businesses to integrate these considerations into all aspects of their marketing strategies.

In the future of ethical marketing, businesses aim to go beyond meeting customer expectations by actively contributing to a better and more responsible world.


AI-d Your Campaigns – Joe

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a business buzzword and is rapidly transforming industries around the world, and marketing is no exception. AI is poised to revolutionise the way we market, offering unprecedented opportunities for personalisation and automation.

AI encompasses a wide range of technologies, including machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision.

It allows you to gather data from various sources, such as website visits, social media interactions, and purchase history. This data can then be analysed to identify customer preferences, predict behaviour, and personalise your marketing campaigns to your target audience.

AI can also be used to automate time-consuming tasks such as ad and content creation – this frees up time for you to focus on the more strategic side of campaign planning.

And while you’re away with your thinking cap on, AI can analyse your campaign in real-time to make adjustments to retarget your audience and improve results. This ensures that your campaigns are always reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time.

AI is already having a major impact on marketing, and its influence is only going to grow in the years to come. If you're not already using AI in your marketing efforts, now is the time to start.


Buckle Up With The Metaverse – Victoria

AI leapt into an era of explosive growth in 2023, marking a pivotal transition in its evolution. The capacity to capture and replicate realistic human features and expressions and render a person’s distinct appearance and expressions in 3D from online photos signals a significant departure from traditional techniques, ushering in a new level of unparalleled realism in digital engagements.

The metaverse is poised to make its mark on 2024, seeping into our lives beyond just gaming and entertainment, and to be honest, we’re here for it!

Expect to see brands setting up virtual storefronts in platforms, where you can browse products and even try them on virtually. Immersive concerts and events will become commonplace, with artists like Lil Nas X already performing in the metaverse. Education and training will take a leap forward, with virtual classrooms, simulations or life-sized holograms offering interactive learning experiences with hyper-realistic virtualisms.

We’re just scratching the surface of new technologies and possibilities. Buckle up 2024, it’s going to be a wild ride!


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Cool Blue is a full-service agency that drives brands forwards. Our ideas and innovations are always conducted with purpose. Delivering solutions that combat specific challenges and provide results. Our strategic expertise offer a valuable service to every one of our clients, helping them achieve their goals.


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