31 December 2023 Business PR Musings Social Media Tech Trends

2023, WHAT A YEAR THAT WAS FOR INNOVATION

2023, what a year that was. Are you sad to see it end? Or glad that it’s over and done with? It’s true to say that in the world of PR and marketing, 2023 has been a bumpy year for innovation. As tech stocks dropped in value, exits slowed, investors became more cautious and marketing budgets were thinned. The soaring cost of living took a bite out of consumers’ pockets and as a result, discretionary spending was hit, affecting e-commerce and the high street.

However, new services offering ways to earn more, save more, or generally enhance our financial wellbeing have boomed. Alongside personal finance, innovation that enable a more balanced environment, that protects the planet and that enhances our ability to enable nature have been pretty resilient. Not forgetting that there has been continued investment in our wellbeing, with personalised health, nutrition and wellness at the forefront of innovation.

As a PR and marketing agency that specialises in innovation, we asked some of our clients for their highlights of 2023 and what they think 2024 will hold for their industries and businesses. Here are views from innovators in three very different industries.

Read on and be inspired:

AUTOMOTIVE INNOVATION

Looking back at 2023, significant strides were made within the motor industry. Firstly, the sector witnessed a commendable leap towards sustainable practices. Resource conservation became a key focus with workshops adopting measures to minimize waste generation. Simultaneously, the industry began to recognize the impact of its carbon footprint, resulting in a push towards energy-efficient practices and a reduction in emissions alongside increased use of renewable energy. Secondly, ‘Do-It-Yourself’ (DIY) technologies experienced exponential growth. Digital tools took a large step forward becoming widely adopted, enabling car owners to perform basic vehicle maintenance tasks without the need for professional intervention. This democratization of knowledge and tools played a crucial role in empowering consumers, particularly those who might have faced economic barriers to car ownership and maintenance in the past.

Moving into 2024, a crucial area of focus should be on the continued integration of digital technologies with sustainable practices within the vehicle repair and maintenance industry. From a professional standpoint, catering to the evolving behaviour of car owners who are increasingly tech-savvy and environmentally conscious is an absolute must. Digital technology should be leveraged to refine and expand the current services, making them even more customer-centric. Great strides have already been made but there is more that can be done. This includes remote diagnostic tools, and predictive maintenance algorithms to forecast potential issues, in addition to expanding the scope of the currently available DIY solutions. These advancements would enhance car owners’ ability to maintain their vehicles more effectively and proactively, lowering costs, and improving the lifespan of their vehicles.

Daniel Meeghan, Carly

 

RETAIL INNOVATION

In 2023, we witnessed significant developing trends impacting both the shopper as well as the retailer. These include inflation affecting shopper budgets, improving omnichannel shopping experiences, sustainable foods, healthier diets, automation and technology innovation with Generative Artificial Intelligence.

At Spoon Guru, our commitment to the “Me-We-It: An Open Standard for Responsible AI” underscores a dedication to ethical AI practices. In this transformative year, we committed to creating specialised, verified, and trustworthy small language models, contributing to the rise of AI in grocery retail, enhancing key functions like conversational commerce, customer experiences, discovering shoppable recipes, and on-demand meal planning.

The enduring impact of the pandemic is evident in heightened consumer interest in sustainable living and healthy eating. We have continued to support grocery retailers in diversifying their offerings and expanding choices that help retailers meet their consumers’ needs at scale.

Looking forward to 2024, we anticipate substantial transformations and significant shifts, aligning with Deloitte Insights’ projections for 2024:

Tech powered shopping experiences: Retailers harnessing technology to elevate the shopping journey. Expect innovations like conversational commerce, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) shopping, personalized content powered by generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI), on-the-fly recipe generation with dynamic meal planning and seamless, frictionless checkout experiences.

Commitment to sustainability: We recognise the increasing consumer emphasis on environmental responsibility, from reducing food waste to eco-friendly packaging solutions.

Continued momentum in online shopping: The surge in online shopping will continue with retailers investing in robust e-commerce platforms and expanding delivery options to meet the evolving demands of digital-savvy consumers.

Emergence and expansion of private label brands: The rising popularity of private label brands will grow with retailers offering a diverse range of high-quality, cost-effective alternatives.

Elevated focus on fresh and healthy choices: With consumers prioritizing health, retailers will respond by amplifying offerings of fresh and healthy food options. At Spoon Guru, we will support retailers in providing a broader selection of nutritious choices.

Social media’s influence: There is a growing importance of social media in grocery retail. In 2024, retailers will leverage these platforms to foster meaningful engagement with customers, amplifying product promotion and enhancing the overall shopping experience. We also foresee content creators playing a more significant part in helping audiences discover healthier diets and products.

As Spoon Guru propels the grocery retail industry forward, our commitment to PR and marketing, innovation, sustainability, and customer-centric solutions remains unwavering.

Shruti Chawla, Spoon Guru

 

INNOVATION IN BUILDING AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

In 2024, sustainability is a key focus for our industry.

We are aware of a number of innovations which are being developed to recycle plastic to form modular panel homes. This would provide significant progress to help overcome the overwhelming global plastic pollution issue and to create an impact into solving the shortfall in quality affordable housing, particularly in developing countries.

We are also seeing further innovations in the reliability and affordability of photovoltaic technology to provide electricity at source to areas which are off grid or have limited supply. These two issues alone, if brought to scale in emerging countries, would help solve both the growing social and environmental issues within the residential sector.

Chris Coulson, Indigo Homes

 

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