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What Analysts and CMOs Are Predicting for Relationship Marketing in 2024

Marigold's recent webinar discusses how marketers can prepare for the biggest trends in relationship marketing in the new year

Marigold CMO, Wendy Werve, recently welcomed Forrester VP and Research Director, Emily Collins, for a fireside chat to discuss their predictions and insights for the state of relationship marketing in 2024, based on the developments of the past year.

The tentpole of the discussion focused on Forrester’s report Planning Guide 2024: B2C Marketing Executives, which surveyed executives across multiple disciplines about the areas where they’re planning to increase their budgets and what their priorities are for the year ahead.

Here are the bigger takeaways from the discussion:

Loyalty and Relationship Marketing Are On The Rise
The survey found that 57% of marketers plan to increase their spend in relationship and loyalty marketing activity. Driving this is an understanding among brands that they need to move past short-term transactional interactions and look to establish long-term, authentic, trusted relationships.

When organizations and brands invest in loyalty and building loyal advocates, their customer acquisition costs go down, and customers spend more — up to 67% more. That’s going to increase profits for organizations. And it’s going to create that authentic customer community that every brand wants to build.

AI Will Continue to Grow
Forrester found that 56% of marketing leaders have used generative AI in their marketing. If 2023 was marked by initial interest and exploration of generative AI amongst marketers, 2024 will be marked by a shift to more experimentation and implementation.

While the initial execution of AI in marketing revolved around creative development and search, expect to start seeing more use cases around developing insights and even AI for marketing operations start to emerge.

MarTech Spending Will Increase
Forrester predicted that two out of three marketers would spend more on MarTech in 2023, a prediction that’s proven not only accurate, but one Forrester believes will continue in 2024.

But fewer marketers are buying end-to-end solutions, instead opting for more specialized solutions to help fill specific capability gaps. This makes integration between services a critical component of any strategy. Solutions need to work well together, share data, and activate in a coordinated manner.

Marketers Will Grow More Optimistic
According to the survey, 86% of B2C marketing decision-makers plan to increase their overall marketing investment in the next 12 months. That’s a 4% increase over last year’s survey.

This is somewhat surprising, given the overall economic uncertainty that has defined the last year. Depending on who you talk to, we’re entering a recession or a recovery. But the relatively high pace of consumer spending seems to have trumped these concerns and provides marketers with the confidence to increase budgets.

Marketing Operations Teams Will Evolve
As budgets shift more to marketing departments, those dollars will come from other parts of the organization. One consequence of this is that marketers will be asked to do more, in areas outside of where they normally operate.

This means marketing operations teams will evolve from content producers to vital business drivers. The marketing department is one of the largest sources of both consumer and customer insight in any organization. It controls the customer-facing experience and contributes to the broader customer experience. That makes marketing a force for driving business growth.

To learn more about these and other predictions for the year ahead, watch Marigold’s free-to-stream webinar Analyst and CMO Insights on B2C Marketing Predictions and Priorities for 2024, featuring Forrester VP and Research Director, Emily Collins, and Marigold Chief Marketing Officer, Wendy Werve.

About Marigold

Marigold is a global martech leader focused on delivering relationship marketing solutions that are helping over 40,000 brands and organizations worldwide to find their customers, get to know them, and ultimately turn them into superfans. The company offers industry-tailored martech, email and loyalty solutions -  Marigold Grow, Marigold Engage, and Marigold Loyalty - that support the entire customer lifecycle and make it easy for brands to create long-term relationships, build loyalty and grow their businesses. Find out more at MeetMarigold.com.

Follow Marigold on LinkedIn.