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Jason Dooris

Will the world ever return to normal? Marketing in 2024

At the start of 2023, there was an expectation that the world would return to normal - this of course never eventuated. War, artificial intelligence, a renewed and invigorated push for equality, political combativeness and so much more quickly began to give shape to a very conflicted world.

In 2024, the marketing industry is poised to grapple with the enduring impact of the recent conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, as these geopolitical tensions continue to reverberate globally. The repercussions of these conflicts are expected to shape the advertising landscape, influencing consumer sentiments and advertising strategies in some significant ways.

In light of the ongoing conflicts, advertisers will likely navigate heightened sensitivities among consumers, leading to a more cautious approach to messaging and content creation. Brands will be compelled to adopt a more nuanced and empathetic tone in their advertising campaigns, taking into account the geopolitical tensions and their potential impact on consumer emotions and perceptions. Advertisers may prioritise themes of unity, peace-building, and cultural understanding, aiming to foster a sense of empathy and solidarity among their target audiences.

We will begin to see a surge in purpose-driven advertising initiatives, with brands actively engaging in social responsibility and advocacy efforts to support peace-building initiatives and humanitarian aid in affected regions. Advertisers may collaborate with non-profit organizations and international aid agencies to raise awareness and support for communities impacted by the conflicts, leveraging their platforms to amplify the voices of those affected and drive positive change.

With US politics never far from our screens and the UK reeling from yet another government investigation, geopolitical tensions may also fuel a heightened demand for transparency and ethical practices within the advertising industry. Consumers are likely to scrutinize brands' stances on geopolitical issues and their commitments to ethical sourcing, sustainability, and social responsibility. Advertisers will need to demonstrate a strong ethical compass and a genuine commitment to global peace and stability to earn the trust and loyalty of consumers in this charged socio-political climate.

Having said that, and regardless of more interest rate hikes, there is growth to be seen particularly in the technology, healthcare, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods sectors. Recovery coming out of the Covid period, countries and economies beginning to open up again and people starting to travel again are key to our economies getting back on track. The challenges of the last few years seem to have better equipped businesses and marketeers to face the unexpected, and this is indeed proving to be a year of just that - the unexpected!

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