Businesses will need a complete picture for 2024

In the modern business landscape, where data is at our fingertips and change is all around us, companies are constantly presented with a dichotomy: aligning strategies with overarching, macro trends while ensuring the granularity of understanding at the micro level.
13 December 2023

Former CEO – EMEA

Big picture trends serve as compasses, providing a general orientation to deal with market dynamics. They spotlight emerging patterns and frame collective movements. A solely macro-focused lens, however, risks glossing over important and more nuanced behaviours and preferences. 

In our fragmented ecosystem, being able to follow the consumer signal is becoming crucial. Earlier this year, we spoke to Sarah Mansfield, VP Global Media at Unilever who emphasised how being able to measure audiences across platforms will enable businesses to plan unique reach and frequency.

Within standard demographic brackets, for example, there exist a variety of life experiences, values and behaviours. And while high inflation may be a macro trend, its ripple effects on individual households can differ vastly. One family might cut back on luxuries, while another may recalibrate essential spending, and yet another might find innovative ways to supplement their income.

Such variations reiterate the fact that the cost-of-living crisis, and indeed any other macro trend, does not have uniform implications. Hence, a marketing strategy that assumes homogeneity, might not always be the best solution.

It’s a principle we can apply to other areas of the media landscape too. For example, although content tastes may be broadly similar across different regions, what really resonates with viewers in North America might not necessarily strike the same chord with audiences in Asia or Africa.

Cultural nuances, regional events, economic disparities, and local histories are all key factors in shaping media consumption behaviours – even the weather and changing seasons can play a role. A global strategy without regional insights navigates treacherous waters without a map.

To succeed in 2024 through truly engaging audiences, businesses must delve deeper beyond surface level macro trends. The current climate necessitates understanding complex forces that impact audience behaviours, attitudes and values. Macro insights remain valuable for direction, but must be combined with nuanced customer insights for impactful strategies. The key is balancing the macro and the micro. With this approach, businesses can craft resonant strategies amidst an interconnected yet challenging world.