IMPACT’s 2024 industry predictions

Written by Iris Guo

1. Social media driving the news agenda 

Australians are shifting their news consumption habits, with young people, in particular, turning to social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, to get the latest updates in real-time. According to a Reuters Institute Report, people are being driven by a desire for “more accessible, informal, and entertaining news formats, often delivered by influencers rather than journalists”. While influencers do have incredible trust with their followers, it is crucial that consumers (and brand partners) exercise caution not to mistake opinions as independent news sources. 

 2. Cost of living and financial stress will still be high on the agenda

Australia’s cost of living crisis is adding incredible strain to families right across the nation. With interest rates at all-time high, and no relief expected for some months, brands need to be thoughtful in their communications and take into consideration how future campaigns may land in this environment. When targeting people’s purse strings, companies need to be considered and ensure messaging is not tone deaf.  

3. Increasing reliance on AI 

Last year saw many exciting developments of artificial intelligence technology being more widely available and used in the forms of ChatGPT and updates from Meta. Most industries are on the AI journey, and marketing/communications is no exception. We can expect AI to become more embedded in the content development toolbelt to support campaign ideation and execution as a way to help streamline processes and spark new ideas.  

4. Call for big corporations to be more transparent and authentic

In 2023, many corporations came under fire for a lack of transparency and authenticity, with consumers unafraid to voice their criticisms on social media. To avoid becoming an example of what not to do, organisations need to ensure communications are prompt, genuine and take responsibility when its due. Advance preparation of issues and crisis communication plans can help avoid any knee-jerk reactions.   

 5. Companies to navigate greenwashing and sustainability claims

Last year, the ACCC published a draft guidance to improve the integrity of environmental and sustainability claims made by businesses and to protect consumers from ‘greenwashing’. As such, ESG will be high on the priority list in 2024, meaning close attention will be paid to how organisations navigate and communicate their sustainability goals.  

6. The return of events and activations

Post-pandemic times has seen an influx of brand events and activations, with the people eager to mingle as we once did. While we expect this to continue in 2024, brands should be considered in how they are marketing to the masses who are experiencing cost-of-living pressures. Influencer content should also take the same approach as they play a crucial role in building trust on behalf of the brand. To read more about how to achieve this click here.  

7. More regulation around child influencers

With a growing number of young people joining the social media landscape, so too should the legislations to protect them. Last year, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) introduced changes to the Children’s Advertising Code, and Meta published a cybersafety guide for parents. The US and France have both introduced legislation that ensures young social influencers are compensated and have the right to remove content, increasing talks in Australia to do the same.  

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