This Month In Marketing: AI Opportunities, Data Quality, And More (April 2024)

Each month, the Marketing Manager blog compiles the latest marketing news and trends to keep you informed and moving forward.

Safe Ad Spaces

A new study highlights consumer perceptions of brand support for journalism and misinformation. It reveals that 82% of consumers expect online ad content to be appropriate, with 69% noting an increase in inappropriate content, including hate speech and misinformation. Advertising near inappropriate content negatively impacts consumer sentiment, with 71% having less favorable views of brands and 70% expressing decreased trust. Additionally, 51% are inclined to cease product or service usage. Marketers are prioritizing brand reputation protection and media budget allocation toward safer content. Consumers prioritize responsible journalism, with 74% valuing ad funding support for credible news sites. Nearly as many consumers (70%) are likely to trust brands advertising on such platforms. Integral Ad Science recommends implementing suitability controls to mitigate content risks and customize contextual targeting for better engagement. While consumers prefer ads on shopping sites over news or social media, overall receptiveness to advertising remains low. This underscores the importance of aligning ad placements with consumer expectations and values to enhance brand trust and credibility.

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

ActiveCampaign’s latest study examines consumer preferences regarding saving incentives and their impact on brand loyalty. Email emerges as the preferred channel for receiving coupons, with 77% of respondents favoring it over SMS and social media. Upon receiving coupons, 85% of consumers make purchases, even from unfamiliar stores, and 97% desire more coupons from their favorite online retailers. To obtain coupons, 64% would sign up for promotional emails, 47% would engage on social media, and 39% would share offers with friends. Price prioritization by online shoppers challenges brand loyalty, with 70% willing to switch to a competitor for a 20%-off coupon. Free shipping and BOGO offers also sway consumer preferences. The study emphasizes the need for businesses to craft strategic incentive plans to stand out in competitive digital markets. Loyalty, it notes, requires ongoing effort and can be influenced by various factors, including promotions from competitors. To maintain loyalty, businesses should highlight unique offerings and prioritize customer service responsiveness. Ultimately, the study underscores the importance of delivering targeted promotions through appropriate channels to drive customer growth, retention, and sales.

OpenAI And Shut Cases?

Elon Musk, OpenAI’s co-founder, sued the company for abandoning its non-profit mission, citing a breach of agreement. However, the supposed agreement lacks a formal document. OpenAI released emails suggesting Musk’s support for funding and merging with Tesla for financial stability. Despite the absence of a formal contract, the lawsuit reflects ongoing tension. OpenAI’s legal battles, particularly one with NYT, indicate a protracted conflict ahead, underscoring the complexity of protecting intellectual property and navigating ethical boundaries in AI development.

Driven By Data

A new report by Zoovu and Forrester Consulting identifies challenges in leveraging data for discoverability improvements in B2B ecommerce. Key issues include siloed data (47%), insufficient technology (43%), and a lack of data strategy (43%). The study emphasizes that applying new software to outdated processes won’t yield desired outcomes, highlighting the necessity of addressing data challenges first. Respondents prioritize providing automated, personalized guidance (80%), enhancing demand generation (75%), optimizing zero-party data utilization (73%), and boosting online sales (71%). However, achieving these goals requires improving data hygiene, deemed essential for all other objectives. Despite this, 83% of respondents struggle with incomplete, inconsistent, or outdated data, hindering automation and effective data management. The study underscores the importance of investing in data cleaning as a prerequisite for AI-driven tools’ effectiveness and treating data hygiene as an ongoing program. It recommends adopting ecommerce technology to empower sellers and highlights the role of comprehensive CRM and marketing automation platforms in addressing data-related pain points for ecommerce businesses.

Visitors Welcome

Contentsquare’s 2024 Digital Experience Benchmark Report highlights rising costs per visit and declining traffic, underscoring the challenges marketers face. Despite promising solutions, digital friction persists, impacting user sessions. Friction-inducing factors include errors, slow page loads, and low engagement. This frustration detrimentally affects customer experience, potentially reducing visit value by 15%. Intent plays a crucial role in bounce rates, with paid search outperforming paid social due to higher conversion rates and lower bounce rates. Marketers must understand user intent to optimize landing pages effectively.

Lights, Camera, AI-Action

Winterberry Group’s study, “The New Creative Paradigm,” reveals that over 62% of video and content production decision-makers leverage generative AI to enhance creative development. GenAI facilitates faster content creation, personalization, and post-production efficiencies. The study forecasts substantial growth in global spending on video and digital content production, emphasizing generative AI’s pivotal role in driving automation and efficiency.

For A Special Occasion

With 62% of American consumers planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day last month, marketers had a lucrative opportunity to engage this audience. Occasion-based marketing, leveraging events like St. Patrick’s Day, fosters urgency, emotional connections, and brand loyalty. Micro-occasions also offer significant potential for personalized marketing experiences, driving higher purchase values and customer engagement.

Diversity Matters

Despite efforts to support diverse suppliers, the advertising industry saw a decline in diversity from 32.3% to 30.8% in 2023. Ethnic diversity remains below the U.S. population average, particularly for African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino segments. The industry must prioritize diversity initiatives, including sharing diversity metrics and implementing recruitment strategies.


Spending Growth

PQ Media’s latest forecast reveals a deceleration in global advertising and marketing spend growth, with an anticipated 4% increase to $1.631 trillion in 2024. Despite last year’s subdued growth rates of 2.6% in global advertising and 5.1% in marketing, this year’s projections signal a rebound, with total media spending expected to grow by 7.7%. The report attributes this resurgence to subsiding inflation and recession fears, coupled with anticipated investments from political campaigns and events like the Paris Summer Olympics. Key trends driving this growth include the ongoing shift to digital and alternative media channels, alongside the accelerated expansion of alternative ad and marketing subsectors.


Preparation Plans

As Google phases out third-party cookies, marketers are increasingly investing in cookie alternatives. Retail advertisers lead in adopting cookieless solutions, driving efficient targeting and audience engagement. Advertisers should capitalize on lower CPMs on cookie alternative inventory and explore alternative targeting strategies.


Audience Targeting Strategies

Ascend2’s study, “The State of Marketing Automation 2024,” reveals a growing confidence in marketing automation strategies, with 28% of professionals considering their strategies best-in-class. Email marketing remains a primary application, while identifying ideal customers and improving data quality are top priorities for future automation initiatives.


Programmatic Progress

EMARKETER projects a significant increase in programmatic display ad spend, reaching over 90% of digital display ad dollars in 2024. Programmatic offers agility and efficiency, attracting advertisers with its ability to target audiences effectively across various channels.


Data Investments

A new report underscores the importance of investing in data infrastructure to drive business growth and enhance customer experiences. While U.S. organizations lag in increasing data investments compared to the U.K. and EU, data accuracy, security, and cost remain key challenges.

Content Strategies

Neil Patel’s recent webinar emphasizes the importance of creating amazing content in the age of AI. Quality content, depth, and engagement are paramount for success in SEO and social media. Marketers must balance AI automation with human creativity to produce compelling and impactful content that resonates with their audience.

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