The Spark

LinkedIn reaches 1bn members and is predicted to be a leading platform in 2024, AI continues to develop at lightning speed, and Prolific North Live 2023 doesn’t disappoint in churning out the trends and insights across media, marketing and digital landscapes. And that’s only a snapshot of the industry news and activity that’s got the team talking this month. Here, we run you through the news and events that have caught our attention and share the key learnings we’ll be taking through to 2024.

LinkedIn for the marketing win

This month, LinkedIn skyrocketed to 1bn members – just as Semrush’s Social Media Trends Report 2024: The Vision of a New Social Era predicted LinkedIn to be one of the leading social platforms of the coming year.

We’ve seen first hand the impact of C-suite staff amplifying their business’s content on their personal LinkedIn pages. Will CEOs become the new raft of modern influencers in 2024? Although not always seen as the platform to innovate the quickest, the power of LinkedIn’s ability to facilitate genuine and meaningful connections will certainly help cement it as an essential channel for B2B social media marketers.

Grace Lenihan, account director

Humane's attempt to productise AI

Another month, another advancement in artificial intelligence (AI), as tech continues to mature. Humane’s AI Pin is the latest gadget to get tech bods gossiping. It’s worn on clothes, attached with a magnet, and uses ChatGPT to answer questions and record voice messages. Humane founder (and former Apple director of design) Imran Chaudhri said the pin, which is the brand’s first product, is an attempt to productise generative AI. We’re not quite sold on this as a wearable (it looks a little heavy and isn’t the most stylish), but we’re among the masses whose attention has well and truly been caught. Just don’t expect us to give up our smartphones yet – especially since ChatGPT’s voice feature is now available to all free users. 

Louise Jaggar, operations manager

AI: how secure are our jobs?

…And speaking of AI, this week, CIM’s Leeds-based event Will AI eat my job? explored the growing use of AI within our industry and offered pointers on how the marketing function can embrace this technology. Retailer Marks & Spencer explained that AI could generate good-enough product descriptions but it doesn’t understand the nuances between sub-brands and tone of voice – concluding that AI will disrupt jobs as we know them now, but create new ones in the process. Meanwhile, Monzo offered that our skills and expertise will always be required, and jobs may need to change but won’t be replaced. Upshot? AI is coming – we need to embrace it.

Kirstie Wilson, PR account director

Takeaways from a sold-out Prolific North Live 2023

Scriba PR headed to another successful Prolific North Live event to hear trends and insights across media, marketing and digital ahead of 2024. An expert panel, including the VP of social media at ITV Studios and co-founder of SoSquared, discussed how consumers are now engaging with more authentic and relatable content that’s becoming more informative than simply ‘social’. The way users are utilising platforms is changing and influencers are more crucial than ever, as direct ‘buy me’ content becomes unfavourable and a turn off. Elsewhere at the event, we heard how personalisation is key to reaching niche audiences, and the digital evolution renders the AIDA model outdated. Plus, an interesting fireside chat with Jonathan Warburton, chair of Warburtons, revealed how ‘marketing is the application of common sense – it’s just not very common’.

Kat Plant, client relations manager

Championing sustainability: marketing the message

Powerhouse released its Sustainable Marketing 2023 Guide to continue to bang the drum about the pivotal role marketers and business leaders can play in the future of our planet. Drawing on contributions from industry leaders and experts, the report explores how the impetus for sustainable marketing practices has never been more pressing. Are you talking about your business’s sustainability initiatives? If not, you should be. The report found only 22% of senior marketers said sustainability features in their business’s key messaging. This needs to change. Investing in consumer education campaigns will give consumers the confidence to make informed decisions and, importantly, hold businesses accountable – in turn, contributing to a sustainable future.

Lauren Spencer, PR executive

Keep up to date with all the latest in PR and comms and find out what’s got the team talking by dropping us a line.

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Written by Carrie Webb