With an unstable economy likely to continue, brands have an important job to do: Grow. Investing in their digital strategy is key to achieving this in the year ahead. So what should businesses be focussing on in 2024? These top digital trends hold all the potential.

Focus on trust

Privacy remains an important concern for online users. In fact, only 3% of users trust that they own their own online data. Studies also show that customers are likely to switch from a brand they love to a brand they just like, if they feel safer in their hands. So make sure you are giving your customers a good privacy experience. Don’t take advantage of the information you have in your hands and ensure your customer’s data is always handled with the utmost respect. 

Responsible AI

AI has changed how people do business online. But with great power comes great responsibility. Business owners need to think very carefully about how to use AI in a responsible way. There is a fine line between selling and manipulation and when there are algorithms in the mix which are serving users intuitive content, it is important that marketers understand the responsibility they have to their customers. So when setting KPIs for your digital marketing plan, make sure that you are not only thinking about your bottom line, but about the well-being of society as a whole!

This also means you need to follow the law and protect your brand: Generative AI speeds up the process of writing copy and making graphics, but that doesn't mean we can sit back and do nothing. This new era of creation is made possible by the mix of human input and technology. However, marketers are still in charge and need to make sure that the activities are legal and don't violate anyone's rights, as well as ensuring that they match the brand's tone.

Adjust to the “never normal”

Year on year, society has been living between disasters, constantly having to adjust from one surprise to the next. As a business, your marketing needs to remain flexible in both your activities and plans. This means being able to react more quickly to any situation, including shifting economic conditions, as well as changes in your customer’s needs. Even if your business already values flexibility and quick changes, the fast-paced world we live in today demands that we pay even more attention to adaptability. So, instead of a three to five-year plan, rather consider using a flexible method with small regular changes. All the while keeping an eye on your long-term goals. The trick is not getting deterred but also understanding that it most likely won't be a straight line in getting there. 

Reconsider the ‘search’ 

As a business, you should always be trying to make things a little easier for your customers. So ask yourself how you can make things simpler. For example, make changes to your Google Business Profile so that Google Assistant can give you the best answer when you ask it a question. Also, make sure that the merchant centre has all the correct product information and high-quality pictures so that the AI that runs visual search can find and show off your products quickly and efficiently. This communicates to the customer that you can meet their needs and they are more likely to convert into a paying customer.


Marketers need to really plug into culture in order to understand the zeitgeist. This will come in the form of using figures, fashion, music, slang, norms, and goals that are easy for consumers to understand and connect with. Now consumers have higher standards for brands and new rules about how to talk and engage with them. Consumers are "acting out" more and more when brands don't fit with culture and find more relatable alternatives. As we plan for 2024, we need to ensure that tone and engagement are in line with cultural behaviour so that your brand feels like a natural extension of the conversation. 

The bottom line

To better engage your customers in 2024, marketers must ensure that your entire campaign is speaking directly to the mindset of the customer. Ensure that you are transparent and open with your policies, plans and interactions as this will set you up to build lasting relationships with your audience. To invest in your business’s digital marketing trends, consider a fast working capital solution from Merchant Capital and fund your business’s digital marketing strategy in the next 48 hours.

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