What do brands want?
To stay relevant and engaging to their audiences!
When do they want it?
Which is why businesses need to reasses, revamp, and prepare their marketing strategies for 2024 and beyond.
Enter integrated marketing communications (IMC).
According to marketing technologies provider Markletic, businesses with a strong IMC strategy are 89% more likely to retain their customers with increased ROIs than those without it.
And we at NGP get it: IMC is all about integrating relevant channels to meet your audience where they are, for them to hear how they want to be talked to, and for them to know that brands get them. Now more than ever, consumers want a connection to your brand story.
In this article, we explore the key IMC trends for 2024!
Trend 1: Elevating Content Creation
You can create content? Good. That’s always been the heart of effective IMC.
But in 2024, can you create better content?
We mean content that prioritizes quality over quantity (aren’t we tired of all the ‘Best Times To Post On Social Media’ summaries yet?); content that engages, educates, and resonates with the target audience. Most importantly, content that stays true and focused on your brand key messages – just presented in different creative formats.
How can you do this?
Through personalized, purposeful, and effective storytelling!
Whether it’s through blog posts, videos and reels, or social media updates, a compelling and consistent brand narrative – translated into intentional content – can make a significant impact.
With content that’s consistent throughout your entire brand lifetime, that also provides valuable information and timely entertainment, you can keep audiences engaged. You get to build solid trust over time.
Trend 2: Evolving Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a core component of IMC, but because the landscape is constantly changing, so should your strategies.
What can you do differently in 2024?
- Short-form video content. As seen on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, this content format is expected to continue to rise. Using viral audio and reel templates to create viral content in this format have been known to increase brand visibility, and so this trend will continue as long as users love seeing it on their timelines and feeds.
- Interactive features. Think engaging polls, dance challenges, and live streaming or live selling are formats that also provide opportunities for brands to connect with their audience in more dynamic ways.
- Algorithms. Understanding the nuances of various social media platforms is crucial to making sure you keep churning out relevant content. Because algorithms are ever-evolving, staying informed and adapting quickly to changes can significantly impact the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts.
Note that not all social media trends work for all brands. Choose wisely!
Trend 3: The Resurgence (and future) of On-Ground Events
It’s true that digital marketing dominates, but there has been a noticeable resurgence of on-ground events late in 2023. In 2024, expect more to crop up more frequently.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the cancellation or transition of many events to virtual formats, but as restrictions ease, brands are recognizing the value of in-person experiences again.
On-ground events give brands a unique, intimate opportunity to connect with their audience in tangible and memorable ways. Product launches, industry conferences, trade shows, or local community gatherings are some of the best examples.
Here’s why on-ground events contribute to a better IMC strategy:
- Human Connection: Face-to-face interactions allow brands to create genuine connections with their customers. When you see who you’re interacting with or buying from, you can better foster trust and loyalty!
- Engagement: Attendees at on-ground events tend to be more engaged and attentive – they see your campaigns real-time!
- Multi-Sensory Experience: Sounds, sights, scents, and even tactile experiences can all help create lasting brand impressions.
- Content Creation Opportunities: As they say: everything is content. On-ground events can generate even more content for your social media (see trends 1 and 2!). Imagine all that authentic and relatable material!
- Networking: Maybe most important of all, brands can network in person with industry peers, potential partners, and customers, opening doors for collaborations and even more brand growth!
In-person events are all well and good, of course, but it’s 2024. What’s new?
It’s that the future is hybrid.
In-person experiences can now be combined with virtual components. Livestreaming, social media coverage, and interactive virtual elements extend the reach of on-ground events, making them more accessible and engaging.
It’s not enough to have just an online webinar or just a physical launch event. Brands need both. Consumers are demanding both. 2024 is seeing this as the norm.
Trend 4: Sustainability in IMC
One of the best consumer trends that have surfaced throughout the last decade is the fact that people are more and more conscious of sustainability. More and more, it’s become more than a trend; it’s an ethical commitment that consumers increasingly expect from brands (and are disappointed without).
If you haven’t yet, 2024 is the time to incorporate sustainability into your IMC strategies, making it a sincere key message in your brand. We say sincere because consumers know if you’re true about your sustainability initiatives.
Most of all, this strategy should be communicated properly through effective PR. Your brand’s sustainable practices, ethical sourcing, and reduced environmental impact should be communicated transparently to consumers. According to a Nielsen report, 73% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from transparently sustainable brands, making it a significant factor in purchase decisions!
Besides, let’s look beyond profit for just a second. By integrating sustainability into IMC, you attract conscious consumers, and you contribute to a better world.
Trend 5: AI-Driven Personalization
Artificial intelligence is fast becoming a cornerstone of effective IMC.
We’re generally still learning the ropes in the Philippines, but 2024 is as good a time as any to master it. Take AI a step further and inject personalization into it.
A study by Epsilon reveals that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.
Leveraging AI to analyze customer behavior, preferences, and data, can lead to better, more personalized marketing campaigns. Personalized emails, product recommendations, and targeted advertising – maybe initially crafted by AI but refined by a personalized, human touch – can help enhance customer engagement and conversion rates.
By delivering content that align with individual customer interests, brands can build stronger connections and foster customer loyalty.
Trend 6: The Growing Role of Influencer Marketing
Think influencer marketing in the country has hit its peak? Think again.
In 2024, influencer marketing will continue to evolve, particularly shifting the larger spotlight from mega-influencers to micro and nano-influencers. These smaller influencers often have highly engaged, niche audiences that offer a more authentic and cost-effective way to reach potential customers.
Look back on trends 1 and 2. Collaborations between brands and influencers are expected to become more creative and diverse with their storytelling, spanning various formats and channels.
We also expect influencer marketing to further merge with other trends, such as user-generated content and interactive storytelling.
It’s the era for creating new and exciting opportunities for brand exposure and engagement!
“IMC isn’t just an option anymore; it’s a strategic imperative for businesses. The key to staying relevant and engaging lies in harmonizing content quality, adapting to dynamic social media trends, embracing the resurgence of on-ground events with a hybrid approach, championing sustainability, harnessing tech-driven personalization, and navigating the world of influencer marketing. IMC is the compass that guides brands to navigate this dynamic terrain. With it, you won’t just survive. You’ll thrive!”Dez Rafal, IMC Lead, NGP-IMC
In the dynamic world of marketing, brands need to stay ahead by adapting to the latest IMC trends, not just in 2024, but beyond that.
Content creation, social media marketing, viral content, sustainability, personalization, and influencer marketing are all still critical components of a successful strategy in 2024, with necessary improvements along the way. The resurgence of on-ground events, and the increasing popularity of hybrid events, will give a more exciting flavor to the landscape, too.
Whatever trend might fit your brand, IMC ensures that you maintain brand relevance, build stronger connections with your customers, and ultimately drive business growth. We know. We’ve been doing IMC for over 25 years.