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I have been meeting with a number of clients and organizations as the calendar year comes to a close to discuss marketing priorities and strategies for 2024.

Through these meetings and research around digital marketing trends for the next year, one thing that has come up consistently is a clear marketing mandate for 2024: Do More with Less. Marketers are being asked to produce more content, more engagement, more ROI, and more insights on consumer behavior, but with less budget, time, resources, and focus.

Recent Gartner research shows that only 29% of CMOs believe they have the necessary budget to execute their strategy. That means 71% don’t feel they have the right investments to be successful with their marketing. It is safe to say that as marketing teams look at their plans for next year they are factoring in disruption, the need to be scrappy, and the need to do more with less.

While this feels like a dark cloud over marketing, we as marketers have been in this spot before. We have had to fight for our budgets, protect it from other teams taking a piece of the pie. We know how to be nimble. We’ve done it before. And while it may feel disheartening at first when you get your budget for next year, reductions in budget and the need to make adjustments to how marketing functions to achieve sustainable results presents opportunities for us marketers to get creative.

So, in a time where budgets are not increasing and the cost of doing business is getting higher, how can marketers still execute effectively, all while doing more with less?

To be successful in 2024, Marketers must move consumers from interest to action. Following the 5 C’s listed below will set marketers up for success in 2024 and help your team to meet the mandate of “doing more with less.

  • Coordinated Operations are the backbone of content management, enabling businesses to efficiently handle content throughout their lifecycle. From ideation to publication and beyond, content ops streamline the entire process, ensuring a consistent and coherent brand message across various channels. To do more with less in 2024 you need to establish your single source of content truth. Investing in a Content Marketing Platform (CMP) will help organizations eliminate redundant tools and streamline content creation and review processes because things will be centralized and teams will come together – eliminating overhead and delays from the content process. Investing in content operations makes content easier to find because your assets are centralized, providing better version control, and enabling teams to reuse and repurpose content across teams and channels.
  • Composable, Cloud Martech: In 2024, it’s not necessarily about investing in more technologies, but the right technologies. Making sure that your martech is both cloud-native and composable (aka best-of-breed not full-suite) is important to having the flexibility, speed, and scale to accommodate unknown changes in marketing and consumer behavior. Businesses that lead with cloud-native martech stand to unlock some $1 trillion in value. In addition, a focus on investing in cloud-native, composable tools gives organizations the freedom to integrate technologies that optimize the customer experience for customer expectations today, and as you evolve, you can swap them as audience needs change … and your business needs change.
  • Customer-centric Content: 57% of marketers say that creating the right content for their audience is a challenge. Instead of bombarding consumers with large quantities of content and marketing messages, marketers need to prioritize personalized content in 2024. In doing research on next year's trends, there are a number of reports that say hyper-personalization is sure to be front and center. That indicates that many organizations have already started personalizing and are ready to take their efforts to the next level. Personalized content is no longer an option and is an essential strategy to engage, attract and keep customers loyal. It is critical to delivering experiences that your customers not only want but will love.
  • Connected Data: In order to personalize successfully and truly engage your audiences, you need to know who they are, where they are interacting, their preferences, their last interaction. All of that comes down to connected data. As we have moved from the ‘data era’ to the ‘intelligence era’ we aren’t just collecting consumer data anymore. Instead, we are putting data to use and letting it inform our efforts so that our marketing is intelligent. In 2024 you need to put data in the driver's seat of customer experience. And not just any data – connected data. If your data is living in multiple systems, you want to focus on bringing that data together so that you have the most accurate and real-time data on your audiences and their behaviors because acting on bad data can be a fatal flaw in your marketing.
  • Clear AI Vision: Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the mention of AI. Studies show that 72% of executives believe that AI will be the most significant business advantage of the future and it is one of the most talked about and quickly adopted innovations in recent years. From content generation to video editing, auto-tagging, chatbots, data processing and everything in between, there are many use cases for AI in marketing as we head into 2024. That being said, very few marketers have a solid plan for using AI next year and are still experimenting with what makes the most sense for them. According to the Content Marketing Institute, a lack of guidelines may deter some B2B marketers from using generative AI tools, and other reasons include accuracy concerns (36%), lack of training (27%), and lack of understanding (27%). This is why it is so important to not just educate yourself and your teams on AI but to have a clear vision for how it can benefit you. AI can certainly help you do more with less, but not if you don’t have a plan. Take the time between now and the new year to identify a few proofs of concept where you can start leveraging AI. By taking the time to do appropriate scenario planning now, you will be able to drive AI adoption and operationalize AI to help you do more with less in your marketing in 2024.

So there you have it folks. Next year is sure to be an interesting year for all teams, but especially marketers. As you look towards your 2024 plans, remember that the mandate to do more with less is not all doom and gloom, but more so an opportunity to get creative, innovate and find ways to push yourself and your organization to think outside the box. And remember, we are always here to help!

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