TikTok In, X Out of Marketing Plans for 2024

Dan Meier 06 December, 2023 

Marketers are looking to increase their video investments in 2024, according to a new report from WARC, with short-form video platforms positioned as chief beneficiaries of marketing spend.

The annual survey of more than 1,400 marketing professionals found that budgets will continue their migration to digital channels next year. The majority of respondents expect to up their spending on YouTube (net 56 percent) and TikTok (55 percent), followed by Meta’s Instagram (47 percent).

But Meta-owned Facebook has slid down the marketing agenda, with just 3 percent of respondents planning to increase their spending on the social media platform in 2024. The rise of short-form video on TikTok and Instagram has drawn younger users away from Facebook over the past year, which might explain the shift of priorities among marketers.

The Musk effect

The report also signalled shrinking confidence in the metaverse. Last year, 47 percent of marketers said they planned to increase investment in the metaverse in 2023. This has declined to only 11 percent looking to do so in 2024. While the metaverse has more than 400 million active monthly users, most are children and therefore subject to strict rules around advertising and data collection.

And there were two channels in the negative column, meaning more respondents expected to decrease than increase their spending. The report suggests marketers will cut their Snapchat (-4 percent) spend next year, despite changes to its advertising platform as touted by parent company Snap.

But more than five times as many marketers expect to decrease their spend on X (-21 percent) in 2024. The company formerly known as Twitter has seen its ad revenues collapse since Elon Musk’s takeover, with the number of brands advertising on the platform falling by around 94 percent, according to Ebiquity.

Missing measurement

Yet despite this ongoing shift to digital channels, measurement is still proving difficult for marketers. Based on the results of its survey, WARC called the implementation of measurement techniques “complex, patchy and inconsistent.”

Although 39 percent of marketers call measurement a top concern for 2024 (rising to 48 percent in North America), less than 4 percent use all of the marketing measurement methods at their disposal. These include brand lift studies, econometrics/MMM, experiments and attribution – and 22 percent of marketers say they do not use any of these forms of modelling.

“The advice to marketers is to evaluate the different measurement tools available and incorporate different measurement techniques for a holistic view of marketing activities,” WARC advised.

A sense of optimism 

Looking more broadly at marketers’ outlook for 2024, the majority of those surveyed (61 percent) anticipated business being better next year than the current year. But this optimism is tempered by economic concerns, and less than half (41 percent) believe marketing budgets will rise next year. Notably this expected growth is higher in APAC (50 percent) than Europe (37 percent) and North America (35 percent).

Two-thirds (64 percent) of marketers cited the looming impact of economic recession, making it the biggest factor impacting marketing strategies for the second year running. And 41 percent of respondents highlighted inflation and the cost-of-living crisis as the biggest challenges they face in 2024.

“A significant finding from our survey analysis is that while marketers are concerned about the impact of an economic recession, there is also a sense of optimism regarding the business climate and marketing budgets for 2024,” said Isabel Cleaver, Senior Analyst at WARC.

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