The next two editions of 52INSIGHTS are dedicated to answering this question.
This, the first of two editions, includes predictions around business, culture, marketing and sustainability from some of the most influential CEOs, Marketing Directors, Entrepreneurs, Entertainers and Activists.
Next week, we’ll share predictions around AI, Tech, Social and Digital innovations. It’s another edition to look forward to, with contributions from leaders across multiple industries and sectors including, but not limited to: Mark Little (Spotify), Joanne McNally (Comedian & Business Owner), Gerard Ryle (Director ICIJ), James Kavanagh (Influencer & Business Owner) and many more.
So, what should we expect in 2024?
In 2024, business culture, operations and priorities will shift
Danny McCoy, CEO, IBEC says we can expect more:
“Managing cash” (more expensive now in over two decades!) and less “Catastrophising” (world is objectively in better situation despite the poly-crisis narratives - they are always so).
Sharon Walsh, Managing Director, Heineken Ireland, predicts that: “Leadership will become more about the power of the inner game to unlock the outer game.” She continues “There’ll be more balance between DARING and CARING to unlock organisational success” and “more ‘trying new things’ no matter the consequence. Growth mindset with permission to learn through failures as well as successes.”
Jane McDaid, Founder, THINKHOUSE, said: “How young workers think and behave is radically different to older workers. I think business leaders will focus on bridging generational (mindset) divides that exist within their employee community to unleash the true potential of their organisations’ commercial, creative, technological, innovation and sustainability performance.”
Mike Adamson, CEO, Live Nation Ireland, predicts that in 2024, businesses will, “Work to strengthen their employer brand profile in order to attract & retain the best talent.”
Patrick Hickey, Chair and Chief Culture Officer, Mobility Mojo said: “24 will be the move back to analog practices for a lot of people. Local media, local retail and businesses will continue to grow locally more than the digital environment.”
James McManus, Director, B Lab Ireland (B Corp’s certifying partner), said that he expects more businesses to “prioritise purpose alongside profit. With nearly 8000 B Corps worldwide, these companies are showcasing that being kind to people and our planet is not only ethical but also profitable. 2024 will be a big year for purpose-driven [businesses].”
Aedamar Howlett, VP Europe O2O Digital Transformation at The Coca-Cola Company predicts that we’ll see less “Defined functions and roles in businesses and more networked dynamic ways of working enabled by digital workplace tools.”
Marketing & Media that’s more Courageous, Culture-first, Digital-Centric and price sensitive
Mary Van Lieshout, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Head of External Affairs at GOAL Global said that in 2024, we’ll see
“More calculated risk taking to let the brand stand out, less complacency: there's no room for it anymore.”
Dave Byrne, Head of Creative, THINKHOUSE, said that 2024 will bring more: “Culture led creativity. Landing in culture lands with your audience. And less over engineered and over complicated campaigns. If it feels 'too marketingy', we've failed!!”
Claire Hyland, Head of The Youth Lab, THINKHOUSE predicts that brands and businesses will “Invest in the edge of culture, embrace System 1 crazy, weird creative that emotionally connects & drives creative effectiveness. There’ll be less piece-meal cultural activity that doesn't move culture on and I believe that, right now - creative is often so-over tested that it’s all logic and no emotion. That’ll shift over the next 12 months.”
Sian Redmond, Director of Marketing Partnerships, Live Nation Ireland, thinks that purpose-driven marketing will continue to grow and says that “consumers are looking for more from their brand choices.” She says that brands will “take experiential strategies to new heights in order to create lasting, core memories for consumers instead of frivolous, tactical activities focussing on initiatives that matter and will truly resonate with consumers.”
Conor Farrell, Head of Marketing Ireland - Suntory Beverage & Food: “I believe successful brands will focus more on earning consumers attention as opposed to talking at consumers. The increasing shift of media minutes into digital platforms and ad free environments (for example subscription audio/tv) creates an entirely new dynamic where we can no longer act like we have a captive audience and instead need to work hard to be brands that people actually enjoy hearing from!”
Aedamar Howlett, VP Europe O2O Digital Transformation at The Coca-Cola Company believes that, in 2024, brands will do “less campaigns that take months & months of work only to be ‘admired’ on TV/ Outdoor.”
Mark Noble, Marketing Manager, Heineken Ireland said: “2024 brings new opportunities for brands to rebalance how they engage with consumers. The old adage of ‘Be the first or be the best’ will be critical. In recent years, there has maybe been too much of a focus on being first. To pioneer the next big thing. Which, when it works – can be very powerful – however the graveyard of failure is littered with many brands, platforms and new technologies. For many, being the best means getting back to basics. Unlocking what your Brand stands for and what value it can add to peoples’ lives. Not being too distracted about the new shiny thing or what your biggest competitor has just launched. Staying the course and reinforcing what makes your Brand unique is what can deliver sustainable, long term success.”
Mike Adamson, CEO, Live Nation Ireland, predicts that in 2024, brands will “make culture a pillar of their marketing strategies.” and, from an entertainment perspective, in 2024 we can expect brands to “celebrate Irish musical talent & culture - both new and old.”
Kieran O’Donovan, Head of Client Service, THINKHOUSE said: “I want to see more action and execution of campaigns and strategies, and less being paralyzed by uncertainty. In an uncertain world there are so many positive and human-led moments to look forward to with the Olympics and Paralympics back in Europe, an exciting Six Nations, the Euro 2024 championship, all underpinned by some extremely important and pivotal European elections, the US Presidential election and COP 29 in Baku.”
Aoife McGuigan, Head of Marketing Lucozade Alert, Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I said:
“Brands will do less slicing and dicing of Marketing spend. They'll back the 2 or 3 big touch points to get the best ROI.”
Paul Kelly, Marketing Director, Unilever Ireland, has a similar view, saying that brands and businesses will: “Focus on making your brand unmissably superior through every single touchpoint to win the consumer and avoid spreading budgets too widely losing impact as a result.”
Jo Batty, Sales and Marketing Director, Keelings Retail UC, Keelings said: “Experiential and sensual experiences created either via the products themselves or the advertising around them will be key, as brands fight to stand out and convince consumers to pay a premium vs retailer own label products.”
Aedamar Howlett, VP Europe O2O Digital Transformation at The Coca-Cola Company thinks that, in 2024, brands and businesses will have a “consciousness of the value exchange as the cost of living crunches and private label grows.”
2024 will be an evidence-based year in sustainability and ESG….
Joanne McNally, Comedian & Entrepreneur (and former Thinkhouse teammate), said:
“Sustainability robots are coming! I also think that brands will use AI to make content more bespoke than ever before.”
David Coyle, Head of Commercial Operations, THINKHOUSE said: “We’ll continue to see an increase in procurement’s preference for marketing suppliers that are advanced, and certified, in the areas of diversity, environmental and social impact.”
Zoe Traynor, Head of Brand Sustainability & Responsibility, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, agrees: “In 2024 I think we will see less virtue-signalling on sustainability topics, and we will see more collaboration across brands and industries to drive real impact.”
Claire Hyland, Head of The Youth Lab, THINKHOUSE predicts that brands and businesses will seek to “make a greater positive social and environmental impact and there’ll be less green storytelling that lacks impact evidence.”
Rosemary Walsh, Head of Commercial, Donnybrook Fair said:
“I predict that we will see brands and businesses taking more meaningful steps to combat climate action. I see businesses experimenting more with AI while also nurturing the talent within! I think brands and businesses will strive to do less in general in an effort to be more impactful and authentic from a brand and climate perspective.”
Manuel Salazar, Extinction Rebellion Ireland, said: “In 2024, Businesses will see a growth in street protests and climate action online campaigns highlighting their investments in fossil fuels and in response to an increasing environmental threat and government inaction. More EU local binding regulations will also come into effect.”
Laura Costello, People & Planet Strategy Director, THINKHOUSE is looking forward to a year where: “More imaginative sustainability stories will emerge. Businesses and brands will move beyond carbon conversations, with a focus on nature, biodiversity, community and justice.”
Shane McGonigle, CEO of the Marketing Institute of Ireland said that we’ll see more “circular thinking – conducting business with thoughtful consideration for the 360 degree impact on people, profit and planet” and that we’ll see less “greenwashing.”
Tiffany Arnston, Head of The Youth Lab (UK), said: “We will have to be less moderate in order to be more extraordinary, using greater imagination to make a positive impact on people and the planet. Meh is not enough, mid is just embarrassing.”
Tomás Sercovich, CEO, Business in the Community Ireland, said: “More focus on responding to societal expectations; playing a key role in advancing inclusion and integration.”
Aedamar Howlett, VP Europe O2O Digital Transformation at The Coca-Cola Company says we’ll see more real sustainability actions to “walk the talk on brands’ purpose.”
BRAND & BUSINESS TAKEOUTS
Predicting the future looks different for everyone - one professional’s answer is not yours.
What rarely goes out of fashion is courageous, culture-first, digital centric thinking being a necessity for progressive marketers.
Price sensitivity is key as consumers continue to face financial uncertainty.
The pledges are over. An evidence-based, ESG era is upon us.
Thanks to all of the 2024 predictions contributors who generously serve THINKHOUSE’s community with brilliant insights for our client and subscriber community.