Be an Industry Leader, Not a Laggard: 3 Trends Shaping the 2024 Advertising Industry

By Jay Wolff, CRO, KERV

The advertising industry continues evolving as an abundance of innovation floods the market. That’s why it’s more important than ever for industry stakeholders—tech leaders, media executives, leading brands, subject matter experts, and more—to collaborate to navigate these changes.

This is going to be a big year for advertisers. Cookies are going away. AI is changing how we measure and optimize campaigns. Plus, it’s never been more challenging to capture viewer attention.

Where some see challenge, industry leaders see opportunity. In this article, we share 2024 trends that you should have on your radar to innovate, transform your audience connections, and lead the charge in molding advertising’s future.

#1 Ad Performance Matters More Than Ever

You can have the most creative or revolutionary ad on the market, but it’s all for naught if it fails to drive results. Simply put, numbers speak volumes. While advertising is a creative field, our industry is also increasingly focused on using data to inform our media campaigns and optimize in real-time to ensure we’re making the most of our media spend.

A lot of conversations were rooted in measurement analysis. Across the board, everyone felt that ad tech is a must-use for advertisers to achieve their marketing goals

Traditionally, our industry has gauged an ad’s success using metrics like clicks. But, this is a minimal metric to determine audience engagement. That’s why we always say, “clicks are not created equal.” Clicks only show half the story. There’s no way of knowing if someone accidentally clicked on your ad or did so intending to learn more. To get the full view of audience engagement, savvy advertisers are using deterministic metrics within interactive video like Active Attention. With this metric, you can dig deep into engagement with account object-level data and other user signals, like how many times a viewer saves a scene.

With a detailed look into engagement, you can optimize your creative in real-time and intelligently plan for future campaigns. You may even get more buy-in for ad spend, as research shows that marketers who regularly calculate ROI are 1.6 times more likely to secure budget increases for their marketing activities.

As 2024 approaches and we enter a cookieless future, there’s a huge opportunity for marketers to use technology to measure performance and make genuine connections with their audience.

#2 AI’s Takeover Continues and It’s Personal (In a Good Way)

While that headline may be a bit dramatic, AI is on everyone’s minds this year. AI has the power to not only transform our field, but also how we connect with each other on a human level. This is revolutionary for advertisers who can use technology to tailor their video creative to their audience to maximize engagement.

Personalization goes a long way, especially when it comes to your brand’s bottom line. A McKinsey & Company report found that among companies with accelerated growth, they drove 40 percent more of their revenue from personalization compared to competitors with a slower growth rate. Why is personalization so effective? It stems back to the principles of successful marketing: right time, right audience, and right content.

Location personalization is key; a Culver’s ad will make a lot more sense to a Kansas City Chief’s fan while an In-N-Out  Burger ad will land better with someone rooting for the San Francisco 49ers. Not an NFL Taylor Swift fan? Let’s try clothing. A Vineyard Vines ad will likely pique the interest of an East Coast shopper, whereas a Colorado biker will have the newest navy Pactimo vest ready in their checkout window.

Using AI to personalize content will continue to push the envelope in how advertisers connect with viewers and start seeing major results from their campaigns. Personalizing your messaging leads to an increase in shoppability, which drives your campaign’s success. This, in turn, turns leads into acquisitions which brings dollars in the door.

#3 Brands Are Preparing for a Cookieless Future and Hedging Their Bets

Looking for ways to diversify revenue streams, more non-traditional retailers are exploring retail media networks.

A lot of major brands are looking to create their own retail media network.  Augmenting first-party data is something that everyone is thinking about and that’s because the cookie is going away. That’s what is keeping our industry up at night, especially marketers.

Advertisers have used cookies to get closer to their audiences by analyzing their behavior, delivering targeted ads, and measuring campaign ROI. But as browsers eliminate cookies due to privacy concerns, advertisers are looking for ways to get access to first-party data. Enter retail media networks—advertising platforms that enable retailers to sell ad space on their digital channels to third-party brands. These networks allow retailers to use first-party data to engage their audience at each stage of their shopping journey.

Walmart is one such brand that has launched a successful retail media network. In August 2023, Walmart expanded its network, Walmart Connect, by adding spots on in-store radio and demo stations during the weekends at certain stores. Walmart’s tech savviness doesn’t end there. The brand partnered with NBCUniverisal to allow Bravo’s “Below Deck Mediterranean” Peacock viewers to directly buy items they found on the show via Walmart’s online store.

This is going to be a monumental year for the advertising industry. That’s why we plan to continue building on this energy and work with stakeholders to redefine how advertisers and brands make meaningful connections with viewers, everywhere.

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