5 Marketing Trends That Might Not Survive in 2024 [HubSpot Research + Expert Insights]

Few marketing trends last forever. In reality, they come and go at rapid speed — and marketers must adapt.

Few marketing trends last forever. In reality, they come and go at rapid speed — and marketers must adapt.

Because marketing is always evolving, your marketing playbook should, too. But if your strategy looks the same as years prior, it’s time to do some housekeeping.

Here, we’ll cover five marketing trends that are losing steam and how marketers can respond.

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1. Account-based marketing.

In 2023, only 13% of marketers leveraged account-based marketing (ABM), according to HubSpot’s annual State of Marketing report.

To Dustin Brackett, CEO and Founder of HIVE Strategy, this makes sense. As he told me, “While I strongly believe in ABM and the power it has for organizations trying to sell into a targeted list of other organizations, I can see why it will never be at the top of the marketing trends lists. ABM is really only valuable for organizations that have high-value customers. There isn’t a ton of ROI to be had by investing in ABM for a B2C organization, or any organization that has a lower customer lifetime value because ABM is a large investment in time, resources, and dollars.

Matt Freestone, Managing Director at Unmatched, sees many of his clients investing in ABM. However, he believes the resistance to ABM comes from sales and marketing alignment issues.

As he puts it, “We’ve found that the reason ABM tends to not be utilized by marketers is that many businesses still have sales and marketing alignment issues. I think ABM will see a resurgence in 2024, as long as Sales and Marketing teams can come together, build effective campaigns, and share common goals.”

Finally, Katherine Forbes, Senior VP of Marketing at Creative Circle, believes ABM isn‘t topping the ’marketing trends of 2024‘ list because it’s become status quo for most sales reps. As she puts it, “The ABM approach has become so mainstream for B2B businesses that it can no longer be considered a differentiating tactic or a trend. In fact, it likely is the foundation of a typical seller’s sales methodology, rather than an approach employed solely by marketing teams.”

She adds, “ABM is still a productive tactic, but marketing teams (such as ours) may be better off focusing on delivering a white-glove and personalized experience through their e-commerce and self-service options. According to a Gartner, Inc. survey of 771 B2B buyers, 75% of B2B buyers now prefer a rep-free experience, but those who purchase through digital channels alone are more likely to regret their purchase.”

2. The metaverse.

Marketing is all about experimentation, and the metaverse became a new playground for marketers to explore. However, this initial excitement seems to be fizzling out.

In 2024, 14% of marketers plan to stop marketing in the metaverse (e.g. Horizon Worlds and Roblox). In addition, 13% plan to stop leveraging VR and AR.

Although the metaverse is intriguing, it’s proving difficult to execute. The equipment is expensive, the hardware is uncomfortable, and adoption is slow.

Adrian Alexandrescu, CEO of Mediapost Martech, says, “I wasn‘t a big believer in the whole Metaverse concept, as it seemed too much like something inspired by movies such as ’Ready Player One.‘ Fast forward to today: most of our clients haven’t invested a dime in Metaverse Marketing, Roblox, or similar platforms and have absolutely no plans for the near future to do so.”

That said, the metaverse is still in its infancy. As it continues to evolve, things could turn around.

3. Podcasts and other audio content.

This one surprised me. As a consumer, I listen to podcasts daily. And I’m not alone – around one in four internet users listen to podcasts, and in 2024, there are over 500 million podcast listeners.

So why wouldn’t podcasts be appealing to marketers?

As Blend’s Marketing Manager Dan Stillgoe told me, “Businesses are often quick to shutdown podcasts because they don’t see direct ROI from them. It’s true that you can’t directly attribute leads or revenue from a podcast, but that’s not its purpose. Podcasts are a long-term brand-building channel that can improve affinity and connection for your brand like no other channel. When you realize the long-term and surrounding benefits, podcasting becomes a clear and obvious investment.”

He adds, “Podcasting is the perfect way to craft content that’s engaging and authentic — something buyers are beginning to crave in this AI era.”

Additionally, I’m assuming some marketers feel the barrier-to-entry is a little high. Creating a full, high-quality podcast episode requires time and resources. It takes more effort than, say, posting an Instagram Reel, and it‘s harder to track ROI. But while it’s not easy, it’s worth considering if most of your consumers are podcast-listeners.

4. Audio chat rooms.

If you’ve been keeping up with tech news and tech publishers like TechAcute, you probably have come across an audio chat room at some point. Audio chat rooms — like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces — surged in popularity during the start of the pandemic, when many people were seeking opportunities to connect with others.

Fast forward to today, and more than a quarter (14%) of marketers are planning to stop investing in audio chat rooms in 2024.

Additionally, only 13% of marketers invested in audio chat rooms in 2023.

From a marketing perspective, the biggest problem with audio chat rooms is that users prefer to speak with people — not brands.

Stephen Lackey, VP of Marketing at SmartBug Media, says, “The transient nature of audio content in these rooms makes it challenging for marketers to create lasting impressions. Unlike visual or written content, which can be revisited and shared easily with direct attribution, spoken words dissipate into the digital ether, making it harder for brands to maintain a sustained presence in users’ minds.”

He continues, “Moreover, the lack of visual elements restricts marketers from leveraging the power of visuals and multimedia content, a cornerstone in digital marketing in the upcoming year. Without the ability to showcase products or services, marketers struggle to engage their audience effectively, potentially losing valuable opportunities to convert interest into action (especially considering the significant time investment required for these platforms).”

Rather than leaning into audio chat rooms, Lackey suggests marketers focus on platforms that allow for a more controlled, visually engaging, and scalable approach.

5. User-generated content.

In 2024, 13% of marketers plan to decrease their investment in user-generated content (UGC).

There could be several reasons for this, including:

  • Quality concerns: It can be difficult to maintain a consistent brand image when you‘re relying on content created by users, and that content might not always be as high-quality as you’d like.
  • Limited control: Marketers have limited control over messaging when they’re reposting user-generated content. Additionally, it can be much harder to monitor comments and engagement on those posts.
  • Difficulty in tracking ROI: It is difficult for marketers to track ROI on user-generated content.

During this tumultuous time where consumer preferences and behaviors are changing rapidly as a result of AI and shifting algorithms, marketers might prefer to keep full control over the content they produce – particularly since it’s easier to track impact on their own content.

However, when I spoke with Emplifi’s Chief Strategy Officer Kyle Wong earlier last year, he highlighted the importance of UGC, telling me, “When investing in a strategy around user-generated content, it’s important to understand the basics, which is this: We are investing in a strategy to essentially help capture more positive word-of-mouth marketing from our customers.”

I don’t think UGC is going away, but I could understand why marketers might be temporarily decreasing their investment as they consider how consumer preferences and behaviors are changing in 2024 — particularly with the current popularity of influencer marketing, instead.

Back to You

Marketing is always evolving, so your marketing playbook should, too. As we inch closer to 2023, it’s essential to take stock of which trends you want to leverage, and which ones are better left behind.