Happy New Year! Welcome to the January 2024 issue of Key Notes - Marketing Keys' monthly newsletter! We hope everyone had a safe, happy and healthy start to the New Year! Key Notes is an informative, quick-read newsletter to get you caught up on all things media and marketing. Our goal is for you to be informed and entertained with the latest media and marketing happenings quickly and efficiently. 

Stellantis hits brakes on auto shows

Stellantis, a global automotive powerhouse that includes brands such as Jeep, Ram, and Dodge, is making headlines with its strategic decision to minimize its participation in traditional auto shows. Instead, the company is embracing alternative avenues to connect with its audience and showcase its innovations.

Traditionally, auto shows have served as key platforms for automakers to unveil new models, showcase technological advancements, and engage with a broad audience of car enthusiasts and industry professionals. However, Stellantis' reevaluation of this approach marks a bold step toward redefining its marketing strategies in an evolving landscape.

Recently, Stellantis has disclosed its sales performance for both the fourth quarter and the entire year. The figures reveal a mixed bag, with a 1% decline in fourth-quarter U.S. sales and a corresponding 1% decrease in full-year results. However, amidst this, there are noteworthy highlights that indicate areas of growth and strategic adjustments within the company. A standout achievement emerged in the form of a remarkable 20% surge in total U.S. sales within Stellantis' commercial fleet channel compared to the previous year, marking a record-breaking milestone for this division.

In a strategic move, Stellantis confirmed its withdrawal of corporate support for the upcoming Canadian International Auto Show and Chicago Auto Show. However, thanks to funding from Canadian dealers, the automaker will maintain a presence at CIAS. This presence will include the popular "Camp Jeep" off-road test track, known for attracting 26,000 attendees at last year's event. Participants get to experience the latest Jeep models navigating challenging obstacles that showcase the vehicles' capabilities.

Earlier decisions made by Stellantis to forego participation in the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show held in November, and the Consumer Electronics Show in January reflect the company's strategic realignment. Stellantis emphasized executing comprehensive measures to counter financial impacts and preserve capital. This strategy aligns with the company's focus on transforming into a mobility tech entity.

Many happy returns?

With the holiday season's passing, retailers and ecommerce brands typically celebrate their sales achievements. However, amidst the jubilation, it's crucial to shine a light on the often-overlooked aspect of the retail cycle: returns. Recent insights offer a compelling narrative that sheds light on the significant impact returns have on the post-holiday retail landscape.

December 26, known as Boxing Day, witnessed a staggering 35% year-over-year increase in returns, signaling a substantial surge in post-holiday returns this year. However, amidst this surge, brands have discovered strategic avenues to navigate the return process effectively.

The emphasis on return strategies has enabled brands to retain an impressive 40.4% more revenue. Encouraging consumers to opt for exchanges or accept gift cards has been pivotal in retaining revenue that might have otherwise been lost in return transactions.

Another emerging trend this holiday season has been the practice of allowing consumers to keep items rather than bear the cost of return shipping—an approach that saw a remarkable 55% increase. Such practices can turn the returns process into a profitable endeavor for businesses.

Furthermore, small businesses face distinct challenges in managing returns, and many lack strategies to retain new customers effectively. A recent study revealed that only 49% of consumers receive post-purchase emails from small businesses, with 27% never hearing from these businesses again. This presents a significant opportunity for small businesses, as 81% of consumers are open to continued communication from businesses they've engaged with during the holidays.

Are websites and apps facing extinction?

AI's large language models, such as Chat GPT, are not merely here to redefine search; they are poised to reshape the very foundations of websites and apps. Traditionally, websites have served as destinations, meticulously designed to balance user convenience with site owners' objectives. But what if AI models, like Chat GPT, become the primary interface for user interaction?

AI models will leapfrog over pre-structured content and utilities, rendering many websites and apps as intermediaries on the verge of disintermediation. The very fabric of user navigation, once intricately woven through search engines, direct navigation, and links, is now shifting toward direct interaction with AI models.

AI models are poised to work for the users and their creators rather than serving the interests of companies, publishers, brands, or merchants. Prepare for a massive disruption in current business models on the web. The familiar structures of websites and apps will evolve into knowledge bases, optimized for seamless AI model interactions. The question arises: How are you adapting to this impending revolution? The impacts will be universal, touching every corner of the digital landscape.

Are you prepared for the AI revolution, and are you moving fast enough? The tech landscape is shifting beneath our feet, and proactive adaptation is the key to staying ahead.

Are your ads getting lost?

As we embark on a new year, it's time to set the stage for the next era of advertising evolution. While contextual targeting has been a staple in reaching the right audience, the often-overlooked element is contextual creativity. It's not just about being in the right place; it's about standing out, entertaining, and informing in a way that captivates your audience. The mantra is clear: Good advertising must earn the right to speak to its audience.

Contextual creative, when too similar to its surroundings, risks fading into the background. Imagine showcasing a motorcycle jacket ad on a page dedicated to motorcycles. The ad, although relevant, might get lost in the mix. The key lies in finding the delicate balance and infusing a creative spark that earns the viewer's attention.

Celebrity marketing, for example, works wonders because celebrities stand out. Whether they are aspirational or tap into an emotional connection, they cut through the noise. The digital space, which has long focused on media and context, is ready for a creative resurgence.

As we raise our glasses to 2024, let your New Year's resolution involve tapping into that "other" part of your brain—the part that thrives on creativity, innovation, and the unexpected. It's an opportunity to truly stand out and make your mark.

Are we headed towards an ad boom?

As we step into the bustling landscape of 2024, S&P Global Ratings has delivered a forecast that's turning heads in the advertising industry, promising a stronger-than-expected surge in U.S. ad spending.

S&P Global Ratings projects a remarkable 7.6% rise in U.S. ad spending. This figure outshines even IPG Mediabrands' 7.2% U.S. ad-growth projection. It seems the stage is set for an advertising boom in 2024.

Looking ahead, S&P's optimism extends to 2025, with a projection of +4.3%, perfectly aligning with IPG Mediabrands' consensus of +4.2% for the same year. The forecast paints a picture of sustained growth, indicating a positive trajectory for the advertising industry in the coming years.

S&P emphasizes the pivotal role of digital in shaping the advertising landscape. U.S. digital ad spending is expected to skyrocket by 10.2% and 8.5% in 2024 and 2025, respectively. The digital frontier is not just growing; it's becoming the epicenter of advertising strategies, reflecting a seismic shift in the industry's dynamics.


Here is a recent highlight from Marketing Keys' blog page. Please start following our blogs and let us know what you think.

How 2024 could be your best year yet

Get the latest insight here!


Whether you've been at your marketing position for 1 year or for 20 years, the pressure to produce and come up with the right strategies to reach your target audience is always there.

Did you hear that the average consumer today is exposed to 10,000 plus promotional messages a day?

Recently, Google put out a study that determined to even exist in a consumer’s mind, a brand needs to make

22 impressions a month digitally with that consumer. Therefore, you really need to make sure you have enough

frequency with your campaigns to get through the clutter in your target’s mind.

It is also critical to reach your customer on multiple platforms. This is how they are spending their media day. Therefore, it is critical that your messaging gets targeted and delivered in multiple online and offline ways.


As a 12 year former Disney executive and 30+ years in the business, I have discovered the best ways on how brands can cut through the clutter to reach their target.

By teaming up with us, we make the process enjoyable with minimal stress.

Furthermore, we will listen to you and always be committed to you. We strive to run our business with passion and humility all with the utmost integrity.

We look forward to empowering you to do your best work.

Until next month,

Roger Keys

Founder and CEO

Marketing Keys

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Expand Your Mind in 2024!

Make it a New Year's Resolution to expand your mind at The Newberry Library!

You may want to delve into a topic that's always interested you, or pursue a creative hobby, or finally research your family history.

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"Hut, Hut, Hut, Hooters!"

Do you ever wonder what you, your family and guests would love to snack on while watching the NFL playoff games? We have a really good idea.

Head to your nearest Hooters location or order to go! World famous wings, delicious seafood, stacked burgers and ice cold beer. Head here to order!

Are you Socially Challenged?

During my 16 years as a business owner, I have discovered there are (4) main challenges that businesses have when it comes to managing their social media platforms:

1) A lack of time to post consistently enabling your company to grow its following

2) A lack of strategy/knowledge on the type of content and messaging to post in order to grow your following

3) A lack of knowledge of which social media platform(s) a company should utilize in order to effectively target on social media

4) A lack of graphic design/video ability to post eye-catching images to grab your target's attention.

If one or more of these challenges hits home, we can help! We have a reasonable and effective solution to manage your social media platforms. Our solution combines the wisdom of a 30-year media vet with the talents and creativity of our Gen Z social media expert, Cate Bender. 


For more information, please contact Marketing Keys at (312) 375-5007 or you can email us HERE!

Fill up your lead funnel!

In the days of Mad Men, creativity was everything. The goal was for a brand to be the most creative creating a tag line to resonate with the audience. Now, creativity takes a back seat to targeting through data and reaching your target synergistically through multiple mediums with an integrated marketing campaign.

Find out how Marketing Keys can help leverage your current database list and reach those people along with others that have similar traits and characteristics through other online platforms.

For more details, Contact us here!

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