5 THINGS BUSINESSES SHOULD LEVERAGE IN 2024

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By Dave McCaughan & Faiyaz Ahmed
CoFounders, Marketing Futures


Every company starts the new year looking for an edge. Lots will look for ‘trends’ to take advantage of. At Marketing Futures we don’t talk about trends. To be honest, if we knew the trends why would we tell you instead of just investing in them? But with a little work, we can see and share things that are inevitable – shifts and realities that every business should know about and should be planning their immediate future around.
In 2023 Dave was asked to speak at over 20 conferences across Asia and Europe and join a number of panels in the USA across all kinds of industries from internal beauty to automobiles to office furniture to consumer health. And across them all, he noticed 5 inevitable things happening that your business should focus on. We shared them on a recent ‘Lead Talk’ panel webinar with four guests: Zara Mahboob, CEO, Dun and Bradstreet, Data and Analytics Private Limited; Karn Lynch, Head of Content IIEX and Greenbook, USA; Ghulam Sumdany Don, Chief Inspirational Officer, Don Sumdany Facilitation and Consultancy; and Syeda Jhumur, CEO, Ngage Concern of SSL Wireless Group.
Here are the 5 inevitables we discussed in our most recent session.

01. LONGEVITY CHASING IS EXPLODING
In all Asian markets (including Bangladesh) the fastest-growing segment of the population is the 60+ age group. Today, in 2024 and beyond, if you are a smart business you will be developing products and services for those age groups or the people caring for them. But remember, they are not ‘old’. Today’s 60-year-olds are ‘New Life Builders’, focused on what they will do with the next 2-3 decades of their active lives, defined by what we call ‘retryerment’ – the desire to keep trying new things. Huge opportunities for companies in Bangladesh, domestically and in exporting entertainment, hobbies, lifestyle products, and help for carers of the older elderly.

02. WELLNESS REAL ESTATE IS THE FASTEST-GROWING SEGMENT
Wellness building design, Work from Home wellness design, and better health for staff and customers, by providing healthier, more ‘wellness-oriented’ buildings and furnishing is the hottest issue in the global wellness economy. Remember, when we were talking about the ‘new normal’ in 2020-21? Well, this is it. The single biggest ‘trend’ coming from the pandemic that has become a reality. Your business needs to be thinking about how the structures you use as factories, offices, and retail spaces are helping make people well and how you are furnishing them to enhance people’s lives.

03. GUT HEALTH IS EVERYONE’S ACCESS POINT TO NEW PRODUCTS
At the end of 2019, Dave led a global study of over 80 major health issues and found that gut health was the single most transformational theme a business could target. Four years of COVID-19 have only strengthened that claim. Recent research we undertook again shows gut health as the hottest opportunity. Not just traditional health products but also the ‘inner beauty’ industry (beauty products that are swallowed to produce better skin, etc.) is exploding. But we have also seen a lot of discussion about gut health as a selling point for alcohol (yoghurt-based cocktails are a hot drink in bars across Asia) to motor vehicles (yes, automobile companies are actively discussing how they design your car seats so that all those hours in traffic are offset by better posture to help gut health).

04. GAMING IS COMMUNICATING
E-sports & mobile gaming are booming across all age groups; 15-30-year-old Asians play an average of 3.5 hours a day making this the dominant medium in their lives. And it is not just the playing; brands are embedding placements in games. In-game conversation on platforms like Discord is allowing influencers and, through them, brands to be a part of every aspect of life while playing. In-game advice and performance enhancement are part of what brands can help, such as KFC having used In-game activity to make their chicken popcorn the gamer’s snack with great success in many markets. Oh and don’t forget that people 35-65+ across Asia are also playing mobile games for well over an hour a day on average. If you are not using E-sports and mobile games in your media strategy then you are just not serious about influencing people today.

05. THE PLAIN LANGUAGE MOVEMENT
Starting in the global market research industry, picked up by consumer advocate groups, then governments, and now brands, this is all about making labels, instructions, guides and advertisements as easy to understand as possible. Allowing people, consumers, and customers to easily access what is meant is the key to voluntary exchange. Expect more regulation about being clearer and more social media kickbacks when you are not. Of course, plain language will be enhanced by the continuing use of AI. In fact, all of the 5 inevitables will be increasingly affected by the growth of generative and future AI platforms. Dave has been using AI-based market research platforms for nearly a decade and indeed some of the five points in this article really came to the fore through his research.


Point to Focus: Sustainable Marketing and Environmental Social and Governance (ESG)
In 2023, our Co-Founder Faiyaz worked on a number of projects and clients focusing on sustainability and sustainable marketing. During our Lead Talk, it was clear our experts recognise that AI and sustainability issues like adherence and advancing ESGs will be major forces in business decisions in the coming year.


We suggest that if you do nothing else then go down the checklist of the 5 inevitables and consider how your business is actively taking advantage of at least one of them. If not, you will be left behind.

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