The biggest marketing news in 2023 and what this means for 2024

    November 28, 2023

    It’s been a pretty hectic, mind-boggling and, at times, eyebrow-raising, year in the world of marketing throughout 2023.

    What with the growth of AI for small businesses, the entrance of Threads, the Twitter/X/Elon Musk soap opera and Google Analytics changes to name a few, it’s fair to say a lot has happened – even by usual marketing industry standards.

    Put that in the context of rising costs and squeezed budgets and it’s easy to see why businesses might not know where to invest their marketing efforts.

    One thing that’s certain is an economic downturn is not the time to reduce marketing activity, it’s where you have to do even more to not only win new business and keep the pipeline flowing, but also to keep your existing customers.

    So as you start thinking about marketing for your business in 2024, let’s have a quick look at some of the issues and trends that made the headlines in 2023.

    Twitter, Threads and what it means for social media



    This was the year that Twitter was randomly rebranded ‘X’, after the platform was purchased by Elon Musk in 2022, and it feels like it’s lost its way a bit since.

    Apparently, more than 30 million users have left since the takeover, but X still has 666 million active users and generated $4.4 billion in revenue in 2022.

    Further trouble may be brewing though, with recent reports from the New York Times suggesting some big advertisers could be on the verge of halting their ads – to the tune of $75 million – following concerns over a post by Musk.

    There are many more social platforms to engage with and advertise on now than when Twitter first started almost 20 years (!) ago, which makes it easier for businesses to move away from a brand they no longer agree with. This is also a lesson in the importance of branding and reputation, but that’s a topic for another day.

    We’ll have to see how the saga continues in 2024, but we think anyone who invests time, effort and especially money, into X, will almost certainly be re-evaluating their strategies.


    Not one to let an opportunity pass, it seemed Meta was ready to capitalise on the troubles at Twitter with its launch of Threads. This new app came on the scene with a bang in July, but has the spark already fizzled out?

    Linked to Instagram accounts, the microblogging site is home to short posts with links, photos and videos and had a reported 49 million daily active users within a record-breaking period of a couple of days.

    That apparently dropped though to 10 million active daily users by August, suggesting many millions had a look, but maybe weren’t that impressed with what they found? Or perhaps it will be a grower. Either way, time will tell.

    What it means for social media

    It’s felt like social media has been a bit all over the place this year, but the key thing to note is that billions of people are still using it and that as a whole, it’s still growing and still an important part of the marketing mix.

    What we’re seeing is more like an evolution, as everyone figures out how to adapt and survive in a busier market with more players and where more personalised customer content seems to be taking a bigger role alongside more traditional paid advertising channels.

    AI & ChatGPT

    We called it at the start of the year (not that it needed a genius to work out!), but ChatGPT has indeed been one of the hottest topics in marketing in 2023.

    Millions of people have been interested in this shiny new bag of tricks; another creation from the store of Elon Musk that has been transforming the marketing process.

    Well we say ChatGPT, but it’s not just the language generation model that’s been shaking things up, it’s AI in general.

    It’s the increasing range of intelligent martech that is enabling businesses to get more bang for their buck.

    For us, it’s not about replacing humans – after all, in a world full of robots it’s the human content that will stand out – but it is about taking advantage of the systems and processes that let you speed up the administration of mundane tasks, that automate elements of your lead generation, that help you define your customers and their behaviour and that help put the first words on the page in your brainstorming session.

    It’s a way of saving time and resource in some areas so that you can invest more in others – namely, the long-term business planning, the strategy, making sure your marketing goals align with your business goals.

    It can give more time for the creativity and clever marketing campaigns that help you personalise your brand and content for your customers so you can stand out from the crowd.

    Neither AI or ChatGPT are going anywhere. They’ll just be getting smarter as time goes on, so we look forward to seeing how they evolve in 2024.

    The cookie law

    Internet cookies have been used for many years to allow websites to remember their users and what they do online. These small text files are set on a user’s device while they’re browsing a website and are stored for purposes such as keeping people logged in on websites, remembering items in shopping baskets, personalising content, and targeting ads.

    They’ve become an inevitable part of the internet and you’ll see requests for cookie consent popping up on sites, but as their use has grown so too have concerns around privacy.

    Cookie regulations are split between GDPR and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which is also known as the ‘cookie law’.

    The latter introduced the implementation of cookie consent and there is now additional legislation going through Parliament to reduce the number of cookie pop-ups and add new exceptions to consent requirements.

    The Information Commissioner is to clamp down on businesses which don’t make it clearer that cookies are optional, or give customers the simple option to reject all cookies.

    It means businesses looking to track their customers’ habits need to be increasingly careful and sensitive as to how they do so.

    The impact of Google Analytics 4

    Anyone involved in any form of digital marketing will likely have an opinion on GA4 since it completely took over from Universal Analytics this summer.

    It’s now the only way of collecting data with Google Analytics and as with most large-scale change, it’s brought about some challenges.

    The feeling is that the changes are mainly driven by current and future privacy laws, but whatever the reason, it’s taking a while for people to get their heads around it and for the changes to bed in.

    For example, some of the metrics are different. Instead of measurements for page views, transactions, timings, socials and screen views, you now get a metric for ‘event’. ‘Bounce rates’ have become ‘engaged sessions’ which are measured entirely differently and can’t be compared, and conversions are also counted differently (although these can now be changed in preference settings).

    The reporting functionality is also different, which can also be challenging when you’ve got used to extracting certain data, especially when it’s for informing KPIs or certain insights.

    The result of GA4 it that it’s just one more thing to learn and implement. It has to be understood properly in order to decipher what customers are doing and how they’re interacting with a business. It might also mean finding external tools or workarounds in order to access metrics or reports that were really working for a business.

    It’s likely this will continue to evolve over the coming months.

    Image: IB Photography –

    Other marketing trends

    There’s a lot more we could dissect in terms of what’s happening in marketing at the moment, such as the mad growth of TikTok as a platform and the boom in video content, for example, but many of these trends will continue to be relevant in 2024. So stay tuned next year when we’ll be breaking down more marketing trends alongside real-life examples of how you can use them to generate income for your business.

    But aside from all of what’s gone and what’s coming, of Christmas past and Christmas yet to come if you will, the very essence of successful marketing will always be about getting to know your customer, understanding what problems they have and how you can help them and looking after them.

    Marketing is the creativity you bring to that process, and while the vehicles and execution will change, that customer care will always remain at the core.

    If you want to really take control of your marketing in 2024, to make sure you’re spending on all the right tools and activities for the best return on investment, give us a call…


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