Expert Advice On Aligning With Consumer Values In 2024

MMA Germany
MMA Germany
Published in
5 min readFeb 6, 2024

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From beloved annual events like the Tour de France and Wimbledon to long-awaited special occasions like the Summer Olympic Games and UEFA Euro 2024, brands will see no shortage of opportunities to engage with European consumers in 2024. But to score a conversion and a high-value customer, brands must mind their messaging and prioritise aligning their strategies with consumer values.

In 2024, customer-centricity is king. According to Harris Poll research, the vast majority of consumers (80%) prefer to buy from brands whose values align with their own, and they aren’t afraid to go to bat against or boycott brands that stay silent or act out of accordance with their promoted beliefs.

Indeed, the data-dominated, impersonal days of performance marketing have seen their final act, and the era of brand action and implementing customer listening to inform decision-making now stands in the spotlight.

So, how can brands tap into customer sentiments and actions to drive connection? What topics matter most to consumers with rising purchasing power? Our MMA Germany members answer these questions and give their expert advice on connecting with consumers in 2024.

MMA Germany members give their expert advice on connecting with consumers in 2024

Embrace Authenticity

In 2024, consumers are closing the gap between their real lives and the curated digital versions of themselves that seem so far removed from reality. And marketers should, too!

My advice: Move away from “totally perfect” towards “real and authentic.” Gen Z consumers prefer authentic content instead of the artificial sheen of typical social media platforms. They seek deeper connections with real friends and family and are much more selective when it comes to where they spend their time online. New data from the Global Web Index shows that over a third (37%) of 16 to 24-year-old users in Germany who are daily Snapchat users are not also daily TikTok users. Among 25 to 34-year-olds, the figure is almost half (47%). I believe that people want to get back to the original purpose of why they downloaded social apps in the first place — to connect with others.

Hannah Johnson, Creative Strategy Lead, SNAP DACH

Culture Comes First

As posted in its Marketing Trends 2024 Report

Kantar MONITOR tracking in the U.S. finds that nearly two-thirds of consumers crave brands that “align with” their personal values. Globally, 80% say they “make an effort” to buy from companies that support causes important to them. However, consumers don’t always do what they say. This is known as the purchasing value-action gap. But, purchasing is not the only way consumers express their cultural preferences.

Consumers are increasingly ‘acting out’ when brands fall out of alignment with culture. This new terrain of more demanding consumers is increasingly confrontational as higher expectations about brands come together with changing norms about conversations and disagreements. As we look ahead to 2024, confrontational risk must be embedded in marketing planning.

Yulia Kalner, Head of Creative and Media, Kantar

Sustainability Is More Than A Buzzword

For digital advertising companies worldwide, including those in Germany, embracing sustainability isn’t merely a choice; it’s an existential necessity. Beyond incorporating eco-friendly practices in data centres and office spaces, it involves reshaping the very essence of campaigns.

Advertisers must champion causes aligned with environmental responsibility, integrating sustainability into brand narratives. This isn’t merely about appeasing the eco-conscious consumer; it’s about fundamentally altering the DNA of digital advertising to align with the values of a conscientious global audience.

Jan Heumüller, Managing Director DACH, Ogury

The Importance of Influencers

Influencers will be crucial to brand success this year. Influencer marketing reached a global industry valuation of $21.1 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow an additional 5 billion in 2024. More trusted by consumers than traditional celebrities or paid media, influencers can skyrocket revenue, delivering ROI 11x greater than banner ads.

Jochanan Senf, GM Nutrition Lead | Business Lead Scratch Cooking Europe, Unilever

Define Your Brand Values

Above all other trends, increasing your BrandEQ and promoting clearly defined brand values are the most important factors to drive growth in 2024. Based on the work of Daniel Goleman, the BrandEQ evaluates the emotional intelligence of a brand and its ability to build strong connections with consumers.

These three findings from our BrandEQ study 2023, which evaluated data from nearly 100 German brands, are particularly important to brand development in the upcoming years.

  • Brands with a particularly high BrandEQ score have grown 8 times faster than comparable brands in recent years.
  • The BrandEQ dimensions of Self-awareness and Motivation correlate strongly with Mental Availability. Brands that consumers ascribe to knowing what they stand for (Self-Awareness) and that they believe strive to deliver a good experience (Motivation) are therefore remembered (Mental Availability).
  • The BrandEQ dimensions of Empathy and Self-Regulation correlate with the relevant KPIs of the Consideration phase. Brands that understand consumers and their individual needs (Empathy) can drive conversions, and brands that also only promise as much as they can deliver (Self-Regulation) can convince consumers that their products are worth purchasing.

Nina Brit Brando, CEO Germany, Carat

About the MMA:

MMA Global’s German Local Council MMA Germany is a pioneering knowledge hub that empowers marketers to understand global tech trends and shape the future of marketing.

Comprised of over 800 member companies globally and 15 regional offices, the MMA is the only marketing trade association that brings together the full ecosystem of marketers, martech, and media companies working collaboratively to architect the future of marketing while relentlessly delivering growth today. Led by CMOs, the MMA helps marketers lead the imperative for marketing change — in ways that enable future breakthroughs while optimising current activities. The MMA is committed to science and questioning and believes that creating marketing impact is steeped in constructively challenging the status quo encouraging business leaders to aggressively adopt proven, peer-driven and scientific best practices, without compromise. The MMA invests millions of dollars in rigorous research to enable marketers with unassailable truth and actionable tools. By enlightening, empowering and enabling marketers, the MMA shapes future success, while also propelling business growth.

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MMA Germany
MMA Germany

MMA's German Local Council strives to stimulate the growth of marketing and its associated technologies in the country.