Three Trends to Look For in 2024: Babar Khan Javed – Z2C Limited

We ask industry leaders to give us their take on what’s to come in the year ahead and reflect on the year that’s passed.

As the great Prince once sang, “I have seen the future, and it will be.”

With the New Year just passed, and another trip around the sun completed, it’s that time once again to take a peek into the future and offer up what we think it will be.

As part of an annual series, we asked industry leaders what they see coming in the year ahead while also looking at the year just passed.


Next up is Babar Khan Javed, Chief Communications Officer at Z2C Limited, taking a look ahead, a look back, and at the fate of his New Year’s resolution for 2023.

Looking Ahead

What are three trends to look for in the coming year?

1. Marketers will continue to pursue activism over effectiveness and then wonder why they lack job security. They will make decisions based on growing their clout rather than driving marketing qualified leads or doing their jobs by lifting brand sentiment with identified buyers or executing a roadmap for generating demand.

They will continue to ignore the primary principle of marketing – market orientation. The idea is that you serve customers and must be present across all touchpoints said customers are on, even if it means media touchpoints owned by someone you politically disagree with. Virtue signaling doesn’t pay the bills. And expecting marketers in the 3rd world to mirror your activism is peak proof you live in your own world.


2. Disinformation and misinformation will thrive as people actively choose laziness instead of using free search engines to verify claims. Because ordinary people’s time is worth trillions of dollars, they can’t possibly hit CTRL+T to vet the claims of a self-proclaimed AI or PR guru. It would be too much to verify that PR is earned and too painful to come to terms with the idea that influencer marketing is advertising.

It would be too painful to accept that media is a subset of a subset of a subset of marketing, which means you work in advertising, sunshine, not marketing. It’s much more convenient and easy to blindly trust, and then play the blame game later when you’re duped. You could not have possibly played a role in your ignorance.

3. Companies will continue tempering employee activism with lofty promises and gaslighting them for following up. Employees will resign, and no one will be prepared to take accountability. The blame game will ensue if push comes to shove. Months later, pay to win employer of the year awards will be won. It’s not a loop, it’s a spiral.

Looking Back

Your favourite trend of 2023

Three separate studies from Kantar, System1, and Analytic Partners prove consumers don’t get tired of ads; marketers do. There is no fatigue on the consumer side, just marketers that lack market orientation that played the role of activist once again, and tried to virtue signal something.

To what end? Who knows. They went around saying people are sick of ads and that maybe they, as marketers, were making customers hate them. Cue layoffs and surprise Pikachu face. How much of a trust fund baby do you have to be to throw an entire profession under the bus?

Thankfully, marketers that are market-oriented – and therefore respect data – found that marketers grow impatient with their existing tactics and seek the green-grass smell of new creative. The problem of wear-out is one of the marketer, not the market, the research says.

This is what happens when drop-outs married to three tactics or advertising executives who only understand paid media, are charged with a brand. Which they successfully commodify with performance, instead of developing with branding activities. Cue layoffs, cue surprised Pikachu face. Keep at it. your incompetence is much more entertaining than the dumpster fire coming out of the MCU after Endgame.

Your favourite campaign of 2023?

McDonald’s #RaiseYourArches is proof that brand codes are robust.

The ad has no overt branding, just clever uses of distinctive assets. It shows what happens when 60% of resources are allocated to branding while 30% are earmarked for performance marketing, with 10% of earned public relations.

Yes, I know, all public relations is earned. In my market, agencies sell PR services with fixed tactics based on paid media kickbacks from publications and venue owners. Yes, I’m serious. Yes, educated marketers are choosing ignorance.

What was your 2023 New Year’s Resolution and did you keep it?

Getting shredded, still working on it.

Check out our Three Trends series here.

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