As the calendar turns to 2024, it’s that time of the year when we peer into the crystal ball to forecast the trends that will shape our industry. The new year implies an era of insights and personalisation, where marketers will be poised to navigate through uncharted territories with a treasure map of consumer information.
Join us on this journey of discovery and innovation as we unveil the predictions that will guide us through the marketing frontier of 2024. It’s a time to be bold, to be visionary, and to confidently step forward into a future that promises to be as dynamic as it is transformative.
The Cookie Crumbles: Navigating the Shift to First-Party Data in 2024’s Analytics Revolution
By: Simon Wiggins, Director of Media Engineering
The Data and Analytics landscape is due to drastically change in 2024 with the deprecation of 3rd party cookies. The 3rd party cookie has been slowly dying off for a while now with various iterations of Safari’s ITP and Google pushing back the deadline for the Chrome update that will finally kill it from one of the world’s most used browsers. With Google testing the 3rd party deprecation on 1% of Chrome users in Q1 2024 this truly marks the beginning of the end. Q3 2024 is the (current) final deadline which means the first half of the year will be rife with companies looking to solve their impending measurement challenges.
One solution to this is 1st party data and ensuring you are collecting, storing and using your first-party data in a privacy-safe and efficient manner. This data is inherently more valuable than 3rd party data because it’s more accurate and relevant to the customer so will should the backbone of measurement in 2024. With this comes a need to ensure customers continue to get an enticing value proposition in exchange for their valuable information and the consent to use it responsibly.
Beyond the Basics: The Art of Searching in the Age of Advanced AI
By: Yael Heffetz, Search Director
Since ChatGPT emerged in our lives, many of my tasks started with it. Straightforward prompts such as “2024 trends in Google Ads” yield nothing. But when I asked: “Please share your thoughts on the key trends and opportunities that you foresee for 2024 in 150-160 words about Google search”, I got this:
In 2024, Google Search is likely to witness a continued evolution towards more personalized and context-aware results, driven by advancements in natural language processing and machine learning. Enhanced by deep learning algorithms, Google may prioritize understanding user intent and deliver more accurate and relevant information. Voice search could play a pivotal role, with improvements in speech recognition technology leading to a seamless user experience. Additionally, Google may further emphasize E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) criteria to ensure the credibility of search results. With the growing significance of mobile and local searches, optimizing content for mobile platforms and local SEO is expected to remain a crucial strategy. As privacy concerns persist, Google may continue to refine its approach to user data, balancing personalization with stringent privacy measures. Adapting to these trends can empower businesses to optimize their online presence and capitalize on emerging opportunities in the dynamic landscape of Google Search.
ChatGPT blended aspects of Google’s search engine with Google Ads, a mix-up I’ll own since I didn’t clarify ‘Google Ads’ initially. When I did specify, I found its broad response more fitting. While I concur with much of what was said, I want to highlight a few key points that underpin those statements:
“…evolution towards more personalized and context-aware results, driven by advancements in natural language processing and machine learning“.
In a nutshell, exact matches don’t exist; terms have long been used in context-based auctions. Expect increased contextual bidding in 2024.
“Adapting to these trends can empower businesses to optimize their online presence and capitalize on emerging opportunities in the dynamic landscape of Google Search“.
As I see it, there is a very clear trend that Google started to take when it introduced smart bidding a few years back, which has led to reduced manual intervention and customization in advertising. With the shift to automation, like the transition from smart shopping campaigns to Performance Max, search optimization may become obsolete or unavailable.
Google’s move towards automation is minimizing manual ad campaign management and customization. The shift began with Performance Max, replacing smart shopping campaigns without much advertiser choice. Despite some control restored in the new Performance Max, the trend suggests a future where Google Ads’ optimization for search, display, or video will be highly restricted.
Unleashing Creativity at Scale: The Rise of Automation in Digital Marketing
By: Jonathan Brown, Marketing Technology Consultant
Firstly, what is Creative Automation? “Creative automation software is designed for marketing and creative professionals, aiming to eliminate repetitive design tasks associated with high-volume advertising campaigns”. Creative automation is one of the fastest growth areas within the digital space. More and more companies struggle with the need to produce high-quality content for multiple advertising channels, on scope, on budget and on time! Creative automation is bridging the gap, helping companies of all sizes produce what they need, when they need it, fast!
Companies are starting to use tools that have Generative AI prompt engines to supercharge delivery. Taboola has introduced beta software that will create multiple headlines via a query tool where the user enters prompts. Google introduced “Conversational search ads experience” last September, which leverages Google AI to accelerate the creation of search ads. Lastly, video content creation will go from strength to strength. Pika.art is a tool about to hit the market that will create video assets for multiple channels at scale via a prompt engine.
Secondly, amongst creative automation, the power of prompt queries across different software will certainly be as important as the tools themselves. The language for prompting is not the same across different tools. Understanding this today will provide an advantage in the future!
Lastly, companies are loving the speed at which creatives are being produced. However, there’s not enough manpower to approve, certify and validate creative to ensure content is on brand, meeting the correct tone of voice and does not offend their audiences. Companies are still trying to figure out how to incorporate the processes against the speed of content production.
All in all, 2024 will be the year where you can’t ignore Creative Automation. If you consider processes and how to approve on time, you may be on the road to digital campaigns going live as quickly as you’ve read this article!
The Future of Programmatic: Integrating AI and Privacy-First Strategies in 2024
By: Kelsey Corlett, Programmatic Manager
In 2023 CTV and DOOH became more commonplace in the media plan. In 2024 we expect to see these channels incorporated into omni-channel campaigns more strategically. 2024 will see a rise in cross-channel and omni-channel programmatic advertising as brands try to reach users across multiple devices more creatively.
AI is already deeply integrated into many of the DSP/SSPs and marketing tools that we use for programmatic advertising campaigns, however, in 2024 advertisers will look for new ways to leverage AI. We expect a rise in the use of AI for the creation of ad creatives by generating personalized and dynamic content based on user data. AI will also enable advertisers to better understand and segment consumer preferences, interests, and intent helping them to improve the relevance of ad messaging in 2024. AI will also help to improve, automate, and even predict reporting outcomes.
Lastly, the long-expected phase-out of the third-party cookie can’t be ignored. With increasing privacy concerns and changes in browser policies, advertisers are exploring alternative methods for targeting and tracking users. This includes the use of first-party data, contextual targeting, and other privacy-friendly solutions. We expect the number of contextual and first-party-based campaigns to rise in the new year.
The Rise of CTV and VOD: Adapting to the New Norms of Content Consumption
By: Jordan Kernahan, Media Activation Practice Lead
2023 has been a strange year for VOD + CTV. With some of the big players leaning into CTV and the emergence of short-form content as a primary way many users now consume content, which tends to fit well with advertising, considering the positioning of CTV + VOD on a plan is as crucial as ever.
However, surveys by the likes of TheTradeDesk consistently show that users are more engaged and concentrated whilst on CTV platforms than on short-form social media websites, and as a result are more likely to stay with a brand message with more depth. It is no surprise then that more and more of the largest advertisers are continuing to grow in this space.
For 2024, expect to see CTV considered much more as a brand loyalty-building tool with longer-form content traditionally focused on TV starting to carve the path for how we create longer-form content.
Key themes for 2024 will include:
- Increased versioning for customised and personal experiences when watching longer-form content.
- Increased usage of CDPs will mean more audience matching and more use of CTV for customer work and loyalty.
- Improvements in measurement solutions will mean a more justifiable investment in an expensive channel.
The Dawn of a New Era in META Advertising: Embracing Technology and Creativity
By: Davis Tarvans, Paid Social Director
As Meta continues to play a pivotal role in shaping marketing strategies of brands worldwide, we are taking a look at what the biggest areas of focus will likely be for marketers and Meta itself. As we delve into the unfolding trends, it becomes evident that marketers are poised to explore uncharted territories, capitalising on the dynamic capabilities of Meta platforms.
1. Ephemeral Content: The popularity of ephemeral content on platforms like Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories may continue to rise. Marketers will continue if not even increase their focus on creating short-lived, engaging content to capture the attention of users and encourage quick interactions.
2. Influencer Marketing Evolution: As Meta platforms continue to evolve, influencers may play an even more crucial role in marketing strategies. Brands might collaborate with influencers for virtual events, product launches within the metaverse, and other innovative campaigns to reach and engage their target audience.
3. Augmented Reality (AR) Advertising: With Meta heavily investing in augmented reality through products like the Oculus VR headset and AR glasses, marketers may explore more interactive and immersive AR advertising experiences. This could include AR try-on experiences for products, virtual showrooms, and interactive branded filters.
4. Personalisation and AI: Enhanced artificial intelligence tools may be integrated into Meta platforms for more personalised user experiences. Marketers can leverage these capabilities to tailor their advertising content based on user behaviour, preferences, and demographic information. This can be very powerful; however, care needs to be taken to ensure quality and ethical standards are maintained.
As the curtain falls on our exploration of Meta’s evolving marketing landscape, it is evident that we stand at the brink of a new era in digital engagement. The surge in ephemeral content and the symbiotic evolution of influencer marketing within the metaverse underscore the dynamic nature of advertising on Meta platforms. The integration of advanced artificial intelligence tools promises not only personalisation but an intimate understanding of user preferences. In this ever-shifting terrain, one resounding truth prevails – Meta platforms are not mere conduits; they are dynamic arenas where innovation, connectivity, and creativity converge to redefine the very essence of brand-consumer relationships.