From Pixels to People: The Future of Promotional Marketing

‍In the fast-paced world of marketing, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for businesses looking to create an impact with their campaigns...

Abigail Hickey

From Pixels to People: The Future of Promotional Marketing

In the fast-paced marketing world, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for businesses looking to create an impact with their campaigns. With the rapid evolution of technology and changing consumer preferences, the future of promotional campaigns holds exciting possibilities. In this article, we will delve into some predictions and innovations that, in our opinion, are set to shape the landscape of promotion campaigns in the coming years.

The use of AI and personalisation

As AI (artificial intelligence) continues to advance we can expect to see campaigns becoming more personalised than ever before. AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data in a matter of seconds, AI will be able to create tailored marketing messages and offers can be made to individual users with ease. From product recommendations to content customisation and offers to individual preferences and behaviors. AI will revolutionise how businesses engage with their target audience. For example, ITVX uses this to its advantage by using AI algorithms to recommend movies and TV shows based on a user's viewing history and preferences. Their personalised content recommendations have played a pivotal role in retaining consumers and keeping them engaged with the platform - opening up opportunities for 1:1 promotional ads and content.

Augmented Reality (AR) experiences

AR technology is poised to transform promotion campaigns and interactive experiences. The use of this technology allows AR to deliver personalised content based on user behaviour, environment, and preferences. By using data analytics and location-based services, businesses can provide consumers with tailored promotions and products. Mainstream AR now enables customers to virtually try on clothing or how a piece of furniture would look in their living room through a smartphone. AR will make promotional campaigns not just informative but experimental, blurring the lines between the digital and physical worlds. For example, IKEA’s “IKEA Place” is a prime example of how AR can transform a shopping experience. This app allows users to virtually place IKEA furniture in their homes to see how it would look and fit into the available space, ultimately enhancing the user's shopping experience, and improving conversions.

Try out our augmented selfie filter, at

Voice search and voice commerce

With the rise of virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, voice search is increasing each year In 2021. Over 45 million consumers in the US used voice technology during their online shopping experience, bumping the global value of voice commerce transactions to almost $5 billion dollars. And these numbers are growing every day. Promotional campaigns will need to optimise content for voice search and even enable voice commerce, where customers can make purchases using voice commerce. This shift will require a new approach to keyword targeting and using intent analysis. Especially as the value of voice-activated shopping is expected to rise in value by 400% since 2021 to a massive $19.4 billion dollars in 2023. Not only will the use of voice search create a massive playing field for brands to use to their advantage, but brands will also need to ensure that their local SEO efforts are good so as to appear in “near me” searches. SEO must be optimised to help voice search responses to popular frequently asked questions, improving subject authority, and ranking in voice search results. Promotions Interactive is developing new tech to open up promo entries via voice.

Sustainability and ethical promotions

Customers are becoming more conscious of the environment and ethical considerations and are more likely to support and trust brands that align with their values. This creates an opportunity to attract a specific segment of consumers who prioritise these values in their purchasing decisions. A Nielsen report found that 66% of global customers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands, especially younger generations. We believe future promotional campaigns must incorporate sustainability and ethical values into their messaging. Brands that like to embrace eco-friendly practices and support social causes will be more likely to resonate with their audiences. Many brands have already started to put this into practice such as TOMS which is famous for its "One for One" model, where for every pair of shoes purchased, the company donates a pair to a child in need, and Lush a cosmetics brand known for its handmade, ethically sourced, and cruelty-free products. They promote sustainable packaging, minimal preservatives, and advocacy for animal rights. Brands that use ethical promotions may find themselves with many satisfied customers who appreciate a brand's ethical efforts and are more likely to share this positive interaction/experience with friends and family. This will result in powerful word-of-mouth marketing, which is also highly cost-effective. 

Tip: An ‘enter to support’ promotion links participation with a brand making a charitable donation or ESG (environmental, social, governance) commitment.

Multi-channel integration

The use of social media is endless and many are saying that social media could become the new internet, with social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok allowing consumers to buy products through the app, and the use of these such as TikTok shop is on the rise and has shown that using these can lead to better conversion rates, and better return on ad spend (ROAS). Unsurprisingly, customers who have a positive, personalised experience with a brand across multiple channels are more likely to become loyal customers. Brands will need to provide consistent messaging across user experiences; websites, social media, on-pack, email, and in-store promotions. Multi-channel attribution models will become increasingly important to understand the customer journey. Many brands do this well, for example, Oreo has used multi-channel integration creatively in its marketing campaigns, leveraging social media, influencer partnerships, and interactive website features to engage its audience and encourage user-generated content (UGC). Brands must demonstrate the importance of creating consistent and interconnected customer experiences across various channels, helping to build brand loyalty and meet customer expectations in an increasingly omnichannel retail landscape.

Live streaming and influencer collaborations

Live streaming has gained immense popularity and we can assume it will continue to be a dominant trend in 2024. Platforms that allow influencers or consumers to go live on them, provides for a real-time interactive experience with greater authenticity and transparency in the eyes of consumers. Allowing brands and/or individuals to participate in Q&A sessions and behind-the-scenes access, creates a deeper connection with those who are watching. The use of Micro and Nano Influencers has been gaining popularity in recent years and is continuing to gain prominence in 2024. These influencers have smaller but highly engaged audiences with a high level of trust, leading to higher conversion rates. Collaborating with these influencers allows the brand to tap into a highly targeted audience resulting in more effective campaigns. Beauty brands such as Benefit Cosmetics frequently collaborate with beauty influencers to host live Q&A sessions, makeup tutorials, and product launches on platforms like Instagram Live. These collaborations help them connect with their beauty-conscious audience. Even luxury brands are now braving this space. Such as who Dior hosted a live-streamed fashion show, where they partnered with influencers and celebrities to generate buzz and showcase their latest collections. This innovative approach reached a global audience.

The future of promotional campaigns promises to be dynamic and innovative, driven by technological advancements, changing consumer behaviours, and a growing emphasis on sustainability and ethics. To stay competitive, businesses must embrace these predictions and innovations, adapting their marketing strategies to engage and resonate with their target audience in the ever-evolving landscape of promotional campaigns. By doing so, they can create more meaningful and impactful campaigns that drive results and foster long-lasting customer relationships. As we look ahead, it's clear that the future of promotional campaigns is bright and full of exciting opportunities for those willing to embrace change and innovation.

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