From AI to organic growth to just taking time to analyse what’s really working, we asked our network of digital, creative, and marketing experts to share what you should be doing right now to prepare for a stronger marketing strategy in the new year.

We’re one year on from our 2023 Pulse Check report, that cited brand loyalty and resource management as two of the largest priorities for in-house marketers in the year ahead.

However, as channels and tactics continue to expand and diversify, and platforms continue to update at a rate of knots, the risk of analysis paralysis isn’t going anywhere fast.

So, this month, we asked agency leaders and marketing experts from The GO! Network to help us prioritise, and share one thing every marketer should be doing right now to start strong in 2024.

Featuring Lynsey Carolan of Spark Market Research, Marshall Davies of the human tech agency, Simon Douglass of Curated, Keir McCarton of Rich, and Laura Weldon, Founder and Creative Director at StudioLWD - here’s what to think about today, not tomorrow.

5 things marketers need to do right now for a stronger strategy in 2024

Whether it's a short-term action (setting something up in GA4), or a wider strategy question (resource allocation or outsourcing options), what's one thing in your area of expertise that you think in-house teams should be looking at right now to get ahead in the new year?

1. Start doing your homework with market research and performance analysis

Lynsey Carolan, Managing Director of Spark Market Research (part of Audience Collective), shares, ‘They should be thinking about what they need to put in place to understand their market and customers better; how markets are evolving, how customer needs, attitudes and behaviours are changing, and most importantly; understanding what the business will need to do to adapt. 

They should be analysing trends, tracking competitor performance in their target segments, as well as getting up close and personal with customers via market research, customer immersions, and social media listening.

A good research programme allows you to be one step ahead so you can be there with the right solution at the right time.’

Read: Building a Market Research and Analysis Strategy that Boosts your Brand

2. Start streamlining your workload with automation and AI

Marshall Davies, Account Director at the human tech agency, shares that there’s no time like the present to start leveraging AI and automation if you haven't already.

‘What can you be doing to harness the power of AI to drive efficiency in 2024?

AI can replace humans for certain tasks, allowing them to focus on higher-value work, or it can augment a process to achieve results it would have taken more time or effort to achieve.

Do you have time-consuming, repetitive tasks that ChatGPT could perform?

Can calls be transcribed to replace note-taking?

Can the perfect image be generated rather than searching Shutterstock?

Can a site be crawled to glean insights?

AI will undoubtedly save your business time, but how will you utilise it?’

3. Think hard about the opportunities to integrate your paid and organic search strategies

Simon Douglass, Founder and Chair of Curated Digital, highlights the potential of embracing a more integrated approach to your digital marketing strategy.

‘For years now, brands have been predominantly channel-focused (I'm specifically looking at you, big brand names!) but there's a real need to recalibrate.

Many have over-invested in paid media for too long, sidelining SEO. Yep, paid offers quick wins, but organic growth ensures long-term visibility and credibility.

Approaching 2024, in-house teams must prioritise a balanced approach between paid and organic strategies. Diversifying focus towards SEO now will fortify a brand's digital foundation for years to come.’

View our Round-up: 4 Ways to Maximise Brand Consideration with Organic and Paid Search

4. For eCommerce marketers - get your platforms right

Keir McCarton, Head of Search at RICH (part of Audience Collective), advocates for getting your platform right the first time.

‘If you’re thinking about diversifying or launching into eCommerce, then for your launch the only platform you should consider is Shopify. The tech stack available for both small and enterprise-level businesses is quite staggering. None of the competitors match the variety, ease of use and possibilities straight out of the box without costing thousands.

3 reasons we think Shopify is the best…

  1. User-friendly interface
  2. Wide range of sales channels
  3. Built-in marketing tools

It’s the perfect launchpad for 2024, it’s likely to suit your immediate needs, and grow with you for years to come.’

5. Start getting internal buy-in for your strategy now

Finally, when it comes to creative strategy and activation, Laura Weldon, Founder and Creative Director at StudioLWD highlights the importance of internal engagement.

‘If you are coming up against issues or problems with your creative, it’s important to create a behavioural change internally.

Make sure everyone's voices are considered – if they feel like they're part of the process, you tend to get easier buy-in and things run a lot smoother.

A simple way of doing this is undertaking a company-wide questionnaire to get people's thoughts and opinions so they feel more involved.’

If you're preparing to build out your marketing strategy in 2024, make sure you're getting the most out of your resource. GO! offer cost-free advice on best-practise, provide independent agency recommendations, pitch management, and more - get in touch to get started.

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