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7 Trends That Will Define Advertising in 2024

  • 6 min read

LiveRamp experts share predictions for year ahead, from the AI-savvy marketer to media measurement to what will define the industry’s most innovative companies

From policy changes to the demise of the cookie, we’re only a few days into 2024 and the advertising industry is already undergoing transformation.

Google started restricting 1% of third-party cookies in Chrome, marking a major step towards the full deprecation of the identifier later this year. Utah became the latest state to enact a local consumer data privacy law. Similar legislation from Washington, Oregon, Texas, Florida, and Montana is soon to follow.

While the industry ramps up its privacy focus and strategies for signal loss in 2024, enterprises are delivering impressive innovation with data. Brands are finding creative ways to use artificial intelligence to their advantage, such as developing tools to combat costly shopper returns. Verticals beyond retail are harnessing the power of media networks, with travel and services companies adopting these brand-building data collaboration strategies to expand and monetize their first-party data.

With the next 12 months certain to fuel major industry evolution, here’s what LiveRamp’s leaders predict 2024 may have in store:

1. AI will transform the modern marketer’s skillset and KPIs.

Kimberly Bloomston, Chief Product Officer: “Artificial Intelligence – namely large language models and generative AI – will become commonplace within adtech, turning outcomes and increased efficiency into official business directives. As a result of this adoption, organizational structures and roles will require an increased skill set with technical acumen and data expertise, including data operations, data analysts, and data scientists. Teams that have not invested in data scientists will either create those roles, hire outside consultants, or seek out the best tools to make this easier. This evolution of the “modern marketer” will accelerate quickly, reducing needs for process-focused roles, instead relying on technology and AI to accelerate efficiencies in ad operations, copywriting, visual design, and more. As a result, critical thinking, design concepts, and influencing will become highly desirable skills to complement what AI can offer.”

2. Marketers will abandon third-party signals for durable, authenticated identities.

Travis Clinger, Chief Connectivity & Ecosystem Officer: “The deprecation of 1% of third-party cookies in Chrome is a significant milestone towards bidding farewell to third-party cookies. With the full 100% deprecation of third-party cookies just months away, brands, publishers, and their partners will get serious about solidifying their plans for a cookieless internet. Regardless of browser timelines and other macro uncertainty, 2024 will see the final stages of the migration of marketers away from third-party signals to using post-signal, authenticated identity. By the end of the year, all savvy marketers will have determined that the benefits of the few remaining third-party signals are far outweighed by the immediate gains of post-signal identity. They will be sustainably building beyond third-party signals to address other challenges.”

3. Advertisers will increase reliance on the cloud and reach new agreements for media standardization and transparency.

Vihan Sharma, Chief Revenue Officer: “Signal loss is prompting advertisers to rewrite the workflows they’ve been using for decades. This massive shift will see enterprises increasingly look at cloud data warehouses in 2024 as the single place to build first-party identity graphs and audience and measurement workflows. As media propositions spread into more industry verticals, standardization across audience definitions and outcome-based measurement will also become a necessity. Commerce media ad spend will only increase in 2024, prompting advertisers and agencies to demand more transparency from partners in order to optimize media spend across a fragmented landscape. The industry has spent the last two years growing its adoption of third-party and cloud-based data clean rooms to build more strategic partnerships. As data collaboration becomes even more mainstream, advertisers will use clean rooms as another reason to demand greater transparency. Those publishers who embrace collaboration and deliver brands with access to new and unique data sets for targeting and measurement will be those who see more advertisement investment going forward.”

4. Data collaboration will enrich retail media networks in powerful new ways.

Lori Johnshoy, Head of Global Retail and CPG Strategy: “Retail media networks’ next generation will hyperfocus on providing advertisers with products and services that allow them to command a bigger slice of ad budgets. Unsurprisingly, measurement will be the hottest topic in 2024, with an emphasis on providing advertisers with self-service tools that enable the flexibility to build audiences, activate campaigns, and control measurement rules to compare performance across platforms. Proving performance will be critical for RMNs to drive incremental growth, which is why we’ll see more retailers and CPGs accelerate the use of data clean rooms to safely share and collaborate. In 2024, we can also expect new areas of focus such as in-store monetization and full-funnel media to grow in popularity. As shopper behavior continues to shift, it will be critical to provide advertisers with flexibility and personalization by segment and tie these audiences to where media consumption is happening throughout the funnel. RMNs are uniquely positioned to target individuals across media channels and leverage their owned, differentiated assets to influence conversion.”

5. Regulators will shift their focus to artificial intelligence, requiring careful consideration from advertisers.

Amy Lee Stewart, SVP, General Counsel and Global Chief Data Ethics Officer: “The U.S. government is taking action towards comprehensive, federal governance on artificial intelligence while local governments remain challenged to develop their own state-level AI laws. This has placed AI in a ‘Wild West’ phase as we kick off 2024. More organizations will embrace generative AI this year, either through internal software development or third-party vendors, but over the next 12 months, a significant wave of AI regulations may render current practices unstable and non-compliant. It will be critical for advertisers to sufficiently anticipate future regulations or risk leaving the future of existing programs uncertain. Forward-thinking marketers and advertisers will build their AI programs with a privacy-by-design approach. Some innovators will even take initiative toward setting the industry’s first set of privacy-focused AI standards. Those with this future-facing mindset will emerge both as leaders in ethical data use and innovators who will unlock AI’s full capabilities.”

6. Federated technologies will help extract more value from data while it stays put – and protected.

Erin Boelkens, VP of Product, Identity and Connectivity: “As privacy-enhancing technologies and data clean rooms become more mainstream, data federation will grow in adoption in 2024 as advertisers expand their use of the cloud. Federated technologies allow brands to process data where it rests, allowing partners to collaborate across their preferred environments while minimizing the movement of data. This ability will no doubt lead to faster processing speeds and reduced storage and compute costs, but also strengthen strategic partnerships, maximize marketing ROI, and most importantly, add more protection of consumer data. This allows marketers and advertisers to better understand and interact with consumers while simultaneously improving data’s ability to drive value for the business. The companies that serve consumers can better know and engage with them through strategic collaboration with partners who are also looking to build better relationships and outcomes for – and with – their clients.”

7. CTV will go “all in” on data collaboration tools like clean rooms and media networks to transform measurement.

Tara Franceschini, Head of Industry Strategy, Media & Entertainment: “The use of data collaboration in connected TV will grow exponentially this year as CTV consumption continues to surge. Data clean rooms, which are increasingly used in media deals, are likely to be an important part of 2024 Upfronts, especially those negotiated by agencies and brands that know data will be at the core of every big deal next year. The marriage of CTV and retail media networks will also become more evident and impactful as each sector looks to scale and enhance performance. Their joining also presents an opportunity to bring much-desired transparency and measurable impact to advertisers. Access to exposure data that was previously siloed and inaccessible across media partners will allow advertisers to more holistically understand – and better target across – channels and include more enhanced cross-screen measurement capabilities. Data collaboration will be used to connect data across all forms of TV, CTV, social media, and digital advertising, empowering advertisers to better understand media performance, strengthen partnerships, and drive meaningful growth.”

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