2024 In Focus - Vested

2024

In Focus

for Marketing and Communications Leaders

As we usher in 2024, it’s clear that this year marks a significant turning point for financial marketing and communications leaders. In a world where geopolitical tensions and the macroeconomic landscape are rapidly evolving, staying ahead of the curve is more crucial than ever. This year is poised to bring both challenges and unique opportunities, reshaping the marcomms landscape in unprecedented ways.

01

A.I. 2.0

In early 2023, the buzz around large language models like GPT was palpable and this excitement continued until the end of the summer when other issues, particularly international and economic, recaptured our attention. Most senior marketers and comms professionals were satisfied with testing it, learning about its shortcomings and leaving it in a box marked ‘interesting but for later discussion’. But in those 3-6 months, GPT hasn’t remained static. It’s gotten better. Much better. To the extent that 2024 will be the year where AI really pushes into our professional lives and starts to pose new challenges and open truly fresh approaches to our work. Which we will need to tackle issues such as:

02

Position Capitalism

What we may previously have called ‘Woke Capitalism’ in the wake of George Floyd, has now entered an even more precarious phase. One in which consumers, board members, contributors, and donors are as likely to attack from the right as from the left. Disney, Budweiser – and more recently elite colleges – all show that being asked to take a position on a contentious political issue hasn’t gone away. In fact, it’s become even more of a minefield with pressures coming from both ends of the political spectrum. Which brings us to point 3:

03

Inflection Year

2024 isn’t just another election year, it’s an inflection year – a moment that could redefine our national identity, our values, and our place in the world. This pivotal moment presents a unique challenge for corporations and their storytellers, as their involvement in political discourse seems inevitable. Marketing and communications strategies must be recalibrated to navigate this transformative landscape, ensuring alignment with evolving national and global narratives. Especially in light of:

04

Economic Rollercoaster

As our Chief Economist Milton Ezrati points out in his latest piece, don’t expect the Fed to come riding to the rescue with rate cuts any time soon, perhaps even not before 2025. That will spell 12 months of negative economic headlines, perhaps greater stress on underperforming financial institutions and harder work for marketing departments and opinion shapers alike. Which in turn will fuel further:

05

Communication x Integration

Headcount freezes and cuts, the growth of new media channels (launched your TikTok channel yet?) and a generational workforce shift will all drive the roles of CMO and CCO closer together. Like Kong and Godzilla, these two titans can either fight each other to the death or join forces to tackle larger foes.

Conclusion

2024 stands as a watershed year for financial marketing and communications. This year will demand a reimagined approach where AI becomes a critical tool, ‘Position Capitalism’ requires delicate handling, political engagement becomes a strategic imperative, economic challenges necessitate innovative marketing strategies, and the roles of CMOs and CCOs evolve towards greater integration. Embracing these trends will not only help navigate the challenges of 2024, but also pave the way for future success in an ever-changing world.