Predictions 2024: Adtechs gaze into the year ahead

predictions-2024-adtech

As the current year draws to a close, we want to know what 2024 may have in store for brands and advertisers from the point of view of the adtech world.

While 2023 was dominated by economic woe, geopolitical tensions and increasing legislation, our leading experts in the adtech sector share their predictions for brands, agencies and digital publishers for the coming year.

The long-awaited end of the cookie, the rise of AI in marketing, and new approaches to digital tech in the marketing industry are among the top trends to watch.

So read on to find out more…

Faye-LeneghanFaye Leneghan, Creative Strategy Lead, AMA

“According to Mintel, 2023 was the year of hyper-fatigue – a state of continuous physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.

“As some of the stresses of 2023 persist, such as the economic crisis and global political instability, we expect this overwhelm among consumers to continue, and is likely to affect the way they interact with the media.

“It seems likely that 2024 will be the year of intentional media consumption, and consumers will become increasingly discerning about what they consume.

“Consumers are actively searching for ways to reduce their screen time, and digital audio provides an escape from the overwhelming feeling that can come from constantly being online.

Research found that over a third of listeners tune into digital audio as a way to destress, with 3 in 10 seeing digital audio as a break from screens.

“Therefore, we can expect the popularity of digital audio formats such as podcasts, audio books and digital radio  to continue to impact how individuals consume media and thus how advertisers engage with them.

“In 2024, consumers will not only be consuming media more intentionally, they will also be spending their money more intentionally. The effects of economic uncertainty will continue to prevail, causing consumers to think harder before spending.

“As a result, I suspect brands will take a more personalised approach to messaging to ensure they are targeting the correct audiences with content that is relevant to them.

“The capabilities of digital audio means that brands can tap into real-time data, such as weather and location to produce highly personalised ads that truly resonate with each individual listener.”

Permutive-Chloe-GrutchfieldChloe Grutchfield, VP of Products, Permutive

“As Google finally deprecates the third party cookie and consumers continue to be given more opportunities to opt-out, 2024 will be the year when the magnitude of the addressability challenge becomes such that it forces a huge shift in advertiser buying behaviour.

“With tides shifting from OMP to direct, publishers are finding themselves in a powerful position when it comes to filling the growing data gap.

“They have the ability to leverage their known audience (along with all the behavioural, lifestyle and demographic signals they capture “on and offline”) and model it out to reach advertisers’ target audience with 100% addressability.

“Rather than searching for solutions that replicate the third-party data era, marketers must get closer to the audiences they are trying to reach and work more closely with premium publishers.”

Ian-Liddicoat-AdludioIan Liddicoat, CTO and Head of Data Science, Adludio

“In 2024, we can expect the integration of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to steadily increase in digital advertising applications. Most notably, campaign optimisation, creative development, and search.

“Indeed, as AI evolves and the industry continues to align itself with the pace of innovation, there will be major shifts in the advertising landscape.

“For example, creative agencies will likely diverge into two distinct propositions: those that fully embrace and endorse AI in creative development and production and those that resist this transformative shift.

“Likewise, programmatic advertising volumes will become more polarised as some brands opt to manage it in-house, while new vendors will launch AI-led, open programmatic platforms that offer a better solution.

“Of course, it won’t just be brands and companies taking advantage of AI. We may begin to see instances in which consumers themselves start to use AI technologies to govern how their profiles are accessed and visualised across a range of platforms.

“This could see a resurgence in positive ad preferences, where Machine Learning is used to direct ad content to consumers that is more likely to be relevant.”

Tim Geenen-raynTim Geenen, CEO and Co-Founder, Rayn

“In 2024, digital advertising is poised for a transformative phase, responding dynamically to industry shifts.

“This evolution will encompass a surge in adopting tools like clean rooms, contextual solutions, and validation providers.

“And with the increasing concerns around data privacy, more techniques to protect users’ data, such as synthetic data and anonymisation, will be implemented to build trust while at the same time ensuring effective campaigns.

“What’s more, there will be a deeper focus on understanding user intent and tailoring ads to specific moments in time, reflecting a trend towards more targeted and personalised advertising.

“This will be marked by the widespread adoption of AI-powered probabilistic predictions, driving the need for validation points as decisions increasingly rely on these insights.

“As the next year approaches, marketers must prioritise verifying their efforts and implementing creative, contextually relevant strategies that go beyond traditional boundaries.

“They should rethink planning and decision-making habits, and consider how these have changed in today’s world.

“For instance, contextual advertising shouldn’t be limited to the main topic of the website; it should extend into other adjacent areas that tie into the subject matter and the modelling of personas.

“By keeping this in mind, marketers can craft impactful and successful campaigns that resonate with their target audience in the coming year.”

Hugh_StevensHugh Stevens, UK MD, LiveRamp

“The proliferation of media networks was profound this year. According to the latest Global Ad Trends report from WARC, retail media is forecast to hit $128.2bn this year and is set to grow another 10% in 2024.

“As a result of this massive growth, the industry can expect more and more announced partnerships but also added complexities and measurement challenges.

“For example, the lack of standardisation across retail media networks has made it difficult to evaluate campaign performance and see a clear return-on-investment (ROI).

“Retailers will need to work together to define ROI in a common way and provide insights that truly show the advertisers the success of their objectives. This will mean competitive media networks working together (especially the smaller ones).

“While we haven’t quite solved transparent measurement for everyone, there are solutions available that will give brands more confidence in their media performance.

“Exploring data collaboration as a means to validate whether an online advertisement influenced an in-store purchase, or vice versa, will help advertisers make informed decisions about their spend and ultimately achieve a higher ROI.

“Additionally, it presents retailers the opportunity to revisit a loyalty program which not only bolsters the in-store experience but creates a powerful data set for the media network as well.

“I do anticipate media networks will increasingly blur the line between in-store and digital estates, as well as grow in new verticals such as entertainment, travel and auto.

“Building a media network requires a level of data sophistication and a good level of first-party data to launch.

“That said, pretty much any brand can operate a good level of data collaboration utilising first, second and third-party data to deliver those personalised experiences customers crave, and the measurement that brands demand.”

Picnic-CEO-Matthew-Goldhill-ledeMatthew Goldhill, Founder and CEO, Picnic

“As we head into 2024, the focus for e-commerce brands and retail media planners will be on quality and creativity. Whilst digital media is exploding, we’re facing a real challenge – the attention deficit.

“YouGov/Picnic’s recent Ad User Experience survey revealed that some ads on the ad-funded web are actually doing more harm than good for brand reputation, due to issues such as ad overload and poor user experiences.

“In fact, poor user experience is leading to colossal volumes of ad waste, with a report by CreativeX forecasting that brands will squander $73 billion on suboptimal ads in Q4 2023 alone.

“To drive better performance for brands, while reducing ad waste (both emissions and ad campaign budget), the focus has to be firmly on intuitively engaging, creative ad formats, as well as optimising towards quality user experiences to make each impression count.

“Under the umbrella of quality, marketers will need to focus on activities such as meaningful attention measurement, reducing ad density, and optimising CWVs (Core Web Vitals) including page loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of the page.

“If e-commerce brands and retail media planners can shift their approach to prioritise ad solutions that resolve user experience issues, the industry can drastically reduce the levels of ineffective, wasted and even damaging ad spend.”

Peter_Wallace_GumGumPeter Wallace, GM for EMEA, GumGum

“Faced with increasingly tough and widespread data privacy regulations, along with the impending demise of third-party cookies on Chrome, many brands are looking to cookieless contextual targeting to future-proof their ad strategies.

“But advertisers are still only touching the surface of what this game-changing technology can achieve.

“AI-led contextual intelligence is now so advanced, it’s possible to analyse digital environments on a granular level, right down to individual scenes within digital videos.

“This gives advertisers a deeper understanding of the content a user is viewing at any moment in time and how a contextual ad message can perfectly tap into their active mindset, with no need for personal data.

“But it’s when contextual technology is combined with attention measurement that the potential to capture a consumer’s mindset is truly realised.

“Contextual ads can be continually optimised based on the digital environments and creatives that garner the highest consumer attention, helping to drive in-the-moment resonance and delivering next-level brand and business outcomes.

“This is a tactic that will gain considerable pace in 2024.”

Piero-PavonePiero Pavone, CEO, Preciso

”This year was one of the busiest on record, and the industry seems to have hit a higher gear as it moves further away from the pandemic, and financial headwinds ease (slightly).

“There was so much to like about 2023, and many of the trends that characterised the year will mature as they shape 2024.

“Clearly, generative AI will play a huge part in next year. I can see continued integration of AI into various industries and advances in natural language processing and large language models.

“Advertisers will learn to harness AI’s power to process huge data sets, and contextually target audiences and optimise campaign performance.

“Inevitably, contextual targeting will grow in significance and influence, as Google finally rids its Chrome browser of cookies and advertisers adopt contextual as the solution to privacy-compliant targeting.

“Video content will come to dominate social and influencer marketing, while e-commerce and retail media will build on a stellar 2023.

“I predict that the latter will become a significant advertising channel for brands, and there will be a growth of direct-to-consumer brands for the former.

“And finally, CTV will come of age as audiences move further from linear TV scheduling and exciting new formats announce the channel’s arrival on the main stage.”

Hailey-Denenberg-GumGumHailey Denenberg, VP Strategic Initiatives, GumGum

“Advertisers that win in the new year will make the most of next-generation contextual technologies to raise the bar with safe and innovative CTV ads.

“The evolution of AI-led contextual technologies mean that the more advanced solutions in the market can now understand CTV content on a deeper, granular level.

“Image Recognition allows advertisers to analyse CTV videos on a scene-by-scene basis, while Natural Language Processing provides full audio transcription and analysis.

“With these capabilities, we can serve brand safe and suitable ads that resonate in the moment and perfectly tap into the active mindset of CTV audiences.

“The importance of these contextual capabilities will be further heightened in 2024 because of the challenges associated with more traditional forms of audience targeting.

“Cookie-based tracking in CTV, for example, continues to be impossible. And there are question marks over the longevity of IP-based tracking too.

“Because IP addresses are a form of personal data, they will continue to be on shaky ground as privacy regulations become increasingly tough and widespread.

“Alongside the huge potential of next-gen contextual targeting for CTV, we’ll also see the technology increasingly revolutionising other key emerging environments, including ads in gaming and the metaverse.”

Raphael Rodier, CRO Global, OguryRaphael Rodier, Global Chief Revenue Officer, Ogury

“Advertisers have lost a great deal of time chasing new innovation in 2023, putting the most immediate change to come on the backburner – the disablement of Google’s cookies for all Chrome users starting in January.

“While emerging tech such as Connected TV (CTV) and generative AI have distracted the industry, agencies and brands alike have missed the window of opportunity to better prepare themselves for this upcoming challenge.

“It’s therefore vital that the industry prioritises the exploration of alternative solutions to advertising identifiers, to gain a strategic advantage in the coming cookie-less world.

“Thankfully, there are forward-thinking players that preempted the ecosystem’s privacy shift and have already developed alternative cookieless and ID-less solutions that enable accurate and scaled effective ad targeting.

“Under pressure to maximise their ad budgets, advertisers are no longer able to postpone the demise of third-party cookies, and need to work overtime to explore solutions and partnerships to weather the privacy storm on the horizon.”

Anthony_Lamy_VidMobAnthony Lamy, VP EMEA Client Partnerships, VidMob

“With ongoing economic pressure and falling advertising spending, many marketers are looking at viable short-term gains to maximise ROI, something that will inevitably creep into 2024.

“However, this can be damaging in the long run. In order to ensure long-term connections are made with consumers, brands need to now hone in on measuring creative effectiveness to better promote and drive campaign performance.

“By using creative data, brands can measure and optimise content based on in-flight analysis and scalable learnings from past campaigns.

“This will ensure that every available penny of spend is maximised to create unique and impactful campaigns.

“A stronger outlook, powered by creative performance tools and media data, this will help brands to develop more meaningful connections with customers and allow ad budgets to stretch further –  making them sustainable beyond simply short-term gains.”

Alex-Khan-amplified-intellAlex Khan, EVP Global Partnerships & Strategy, Amplified Intelligence

“The attention measurement revolution is over and we’re entering a new evolutionary era.

“With advertisers recognising its power to answer the two biggest performance questions — what impact campaigns actually make and how to optimise ROI — next year will see increased adoption and major advances in market maturity.

“Innovative forces will start harnessing emotional and contextual data to offer an even deeper picture of cross-channel engagement.

“Combined with accurate insights about human viewing, these additional layers of data will enable brands to identify exactly what creative, format, and platform mix will achieve their core objectives.

“At the same time, greater moves towards standardisation will curb confusion around what attention assessment should be.

“As the space has grown, media buyers and sellers have found it increasingly difficult to sort between vendors providing both ground truth data and impression level data to provide the most accurate and scaled data sets that deliver  genuine audience behaviour.

“Efforts from the IAB and ARF to create clearer universal guidelines will play a critical role in addressing misconceptions, and most importantly, ensuring all industry players can leverage tools that deliver real value by delivering precise understanding of real ad effectiveness.”

Mattia-salvi-aryelMattia Salvi, CEO & Co-Founder, Aryel

“Necessity has already driven significant industry change, with data privacy regulations and evolving consumer expectations driving a move away from user-level targeting.

“But while increased focus on purpose has given digital advertising greater meaning, more work is still needed to demonstrate that brands are committed to putting audience needs first.”

“Next year must bring further development of the human-centric paradigm, with campaigns offering truly immersive and emotionally resonant ad experiences that provide real value for consumers.

“Advances in AI and augmented reality will be key to place ads within the unique context of each individual, and allow them to build their own connections with brands.”