Jan 22, 2024
Startup Growth
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2024 Growth Predictions

Despite major economic headwinds stemming largely from high interest rates, global advertising spend is still on pace to grow 4.4% in 2023 and 8.2% in 2024, according to marketing firm WARC’s Global Ad Spend Outlook 2023/2.

I’ve spent the majority of 2023 scaling Virtualis (acquired December), but have still kept a pulse on trends, while also leading our marketing efforts. It was necessary for my startup to stay on top of new AI tools such as Synthesia (used to create lifelike videos) or Midjourney (used to build entirely new brand images). As a marketer or founder, you have to keep up with the latest trends or risk being left in the dust by new and budding startups.

Looking into 2024, I expect to continue seeing the rise of AI marketing use-cases, with even more video content, and brands leaning into owned content. Keep reading to get into my head on what I think is coming in the next twelve months.

AI augments marketing copy

Long gone are the days of writer's block with our much hyped and good friend, AI. I believe that we’ll continue to see marketing teams and founders leverage GPT to replace the need to hire copywriters. We’ll increasingly see copywriting tools that take inputs for items such as brand voice, tone, ICPs being targeted, etc., which will inherently make these tools more powerful.

While I don’t think there will be a complete replacement of copywriters, I do think that GPT will delay the need for hiring one at many startups. I’m expecting to see many forthcoming tools which are specialized to various aspects of marketing (i.e., lifecycle, ad copy, etc).

Even more video content

Qustodio reports that children are now spending an average of 75 minutes per day on TikTok. This should tell you exactly what type of content the next generation of consumers prefer. From a social channel perspective, Meta and X will also continue to prioritize video content in their algorithms, as they know that increases engagement and retention.  

So, if social platforms are prioritizing video content in their algorithms, where does that steer companies and their marketing?

I’m expecting more and more companies to increasingly focus their efforts on video content for social media strategies and their overall content production. They’re not alone. We’re now seeing startups like Synthesia spawn up, with their focus on the creation of lifelike AI video content, or Opus that helps create short-form style video clips from one master video.

Brands lean into podcasts and newsletters

When a sour strips candy brand creates a podcast called Don’t Be Sour, it’s a sign that companies are catching on to creating their own content across various channels. Instead of traditionally seeing B2B startups with their podcasts, many B2C companies such as Coinbase (Around The Block), are coming to the stage with their own flavor of podcast.

A prime example of a great informational newsletter comes from Robinhood’s Snacks, which provides consumers with financial bite-sized morning news, including valuable finance news that’s free. Now, consumers will associate free and valuable finance news with Robinhood. That’s powerful. Expect to see more brands create newsletters to further develop associations with their brand, and to lure more repeat customers.

In 2024, consumers won’t want to purely consume a brand’s promotional materials. I think we can all agree, there has long been fatigue with digital ads being everywhere. Instead, consumers are increasingly gaining affinity for brands who create their own content and bring value in the form of entertainment and education. If consumers associate brands as a source of knowledge via a podcast or newsletter, they will be more likely to remember and purchase from them later on. Expect to see this trend grow.

One other growing trend within B2B startups is founder-led content. It’s one that I expect to continue to surge. More and more founders will create their own content and post within their social channels to grow their product. If you’re interested in seeing some of this content, just search #buildinpublic on X or LinkedIn, and you’ll see swarms of examples.

In-app shopping grows

It’s no secret that data continues to become obfuscated for social platforms, with Chrome being next in line to deprecate third party cookies, beginning on January 4th with 1% of global users.

What this means for social platforms like Meta, is that they will continue building ad products that keep users in their feeds. They are incentivized to keep users within their walled gardens, as they have all their conversion data located there. I expect to see TikTok Shop continue its growth, along with other social platforms building out their in-app shopping experiences. Think tighter integrations with influencers who can tag the products they use, which can then be purchased directly inside of Meta.

Consumers want instant gratification and easy access to purchasing online, and there is no better way than for giant social platforms to capitalize here.

OTT advertising experiences

One of the most exciting trends for me as a marketer, is the huge cable cutting movement that we’ve seen over the past five years. Nowadays, we have nine different subscription options such as Netflix or Disney+ (which is a whole different universe) that all stream to our devices.

The data that streaming platforms have available to them is much more vast than what traditional TV ever had. These services have our email addresses, and our data between devices, as we stream from our TVs, laptops, and more. It’s a gold mine for them and their advertising divisions.

I believe that we’ll see interactive ads that allow us to get more information or purchase straight from the ads themselves. The key here, will be in removing friction between watching an ad, forgetting, and never making the purchase. Instead, expect services to make it a one-click process to save the ad for later or purchase right away. Say hello to more impulse buying.

This wraps up my 2024 growth predictions. While I have hundreds of other predictions, I believe these will be the larger moves over the next twelve months.

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