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Elissa Liu, CEO of Spark Growth and its sister company, Influential Executive, joins us for another digital marketing trends update. What were some of the top trends of 2023? And what are her predictions for 2024?

Keep reading to find out!


Jackie: Elissa, thanks for joining me for another update. With AI making such a significant impact on digital marketing in 2023, I’m sure many marketers will be wondering what strategic shifts they need to make to their existing digital marketing strategy. But, before we look ahead, I wanted to get your thoughts on last year in general. AI was obviously one of the biggest topics, but what other digital marketing trends stood out to you? 

Elissa: AI was definitely the star of 2023, but for our clients, we saw two other trends: First is the continued focus on better, integrated dashboards with a view of the customer and how you are reaching them across multiple channels. The second major digital marketing trend is chatbots embedded on client websites to answer questions (which also became more AI-enabled!).


J: Another update that really rocked the social media landscape was the branding of Twitter to “X,” and the many changes there. Do you still see X as a viable platform, specifically for companies that may not be interested in paying for a subscription?

E: I think many clients and marketers are concerned about the chaotic decision-making at X, which reduces trust and credibility. There were many instances of unexpected changes, reversing changes, and seemingly illogical changes that led many marketers to stay away from the platform for now.

X has clearly proven to be a viable channel in the past for certain industries and customer segments, so it’s a matter of re-establishing its trust and credibility through transparent decision-making and possibly moving a bit slower to consider impact before rashly implementing things that receive backlash and then need to be reverted.


J: As marketers consider their budgets — which may be at the same level or lower than in previous years due to the economy — the increasing sentiment is that they’re looking for strategic partners, rather than agencies that only focus on the tactical side. We often talk about the differences between being strategic versus being executional. Where do you think Spark Growth lies on this scale?

E: Great question. I’ve always said we need to be strategic first, meaning we need to ensure we are taking the time to thoughtfully consider our client’s brand, values, positioning, customers, competitive landscape, current state, and budget to determine the best course of action.

Our team is known to be excellent in terms of agile execution, with the ability to deliver on the strategy, hit timelines, and optimize within a budget, but we do so while continuing to reflect back on the strategy and refining it when the data points us to do so.


J: Last but not least, I’d like to know if there are any major digital marketing and social media trends you predict for this year. What comes to mind? 

E: I think in addition to generative AI continuing to improve and becoming more usable in more marketing situations, we will see other specialized applications of AI in specific industries and client situations. We look forward to launching some of our own AI tools, so stay tuned!

J: Thanks for joining me for another insightful interview, Elissa! 


As we look ahead at 2024, what advancements can we expect to see in the AI market? How will emerging tools impact digital marketers and their work? How will social media platforms navigate the changing digital landscape?

We’ll be covering all of that and more, so be sure to stay tuned!

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