Perspective - 2024 is going to be fun... right?

By Benji Hugh | 11 December 2023
Benji Hugh

What on earth was 2023? 

Change is inevitable, but 2023 has been a massive year. Twitter is now X, SGE is already in more than 120 countries, everyone is struggling to use GA4 and your LinkedIn feed is full of “the best prompts for ChatGPT - things you likely wouldn’t have heard of this time last year. 

Big digital advertising platforms (Meta, Google etc.)  continued to direct advertisers towards a “trust us” approach, where control over delivery of ads is taken away from advertisers and thrown into a black box. 

The examples that jump to mind are PMax and Advantage+.  

Google’s Performance Max is a campaign type in Google Ads where the platform mashes different text and visual assets together to “find the best performing ad”, however, attempting to report on the performance of said assets is infuriatingly impossible. 

Media buyers and performance marketers also have to put up with Meta attempting to add bland stock music and poorly crafted text on top of their ads which have likely already been designed by a designer/creative. Having to trudge through campaigns and ads in order to manually deselect toggles has been part of Meta ads for sometime, yet they continue to make things more difficult. 

2024 is going to be fun - right? 

I’m anticipating that 2024 will bring more of the same - change.  

There are two key areas in which digital advertising will experience considerable change in 2024. 

Google’s Search Generative Experience is going to impact how billions of search results appear every day. 

Snippets from testing environments in other countries show that Ads will remain at the top of search results. This should come as no surprise - we know how much Google loves its ad revenue (type “Google inflated ad auction” into your browser).  

Don’t have a budget for SEO? Good luck scrambling on to page 1 of organic search results. In some instances of SGE, only 1 or 2 organic listings can be seen above the fold. All we can hope is that the relevancy of the generative response doesn’t quite hit the mark and users need more comprehensive answers. 

Arguably the biggest focus of 2024, however, should be on creative. In past years, the skill in running social media advertising campaigns was in targeting the right audience, or at least, targeting an audience better than your competitors. Now that platforms want more control and media buyers all know how to target their audience; the real point of difference is in the creative. 

Only a handful of agencies test creative properly within platforms. Your ads should be set up to objectively indicate when a creative asset that has a distinct feature outperforms other assets that do not have that feature. 

Now more than ever, talent is crucial 

With so much turbulence in recent years throughout the advertising industry in terms of budgets, redundancies and platform changes, having the right team in place is even more important today. 

It seems as though most advertising agencies are now “top-heavy” with lots of the junior talent feeling the harsh consequences of budget reductions. 

Naturally, in order for businesses to work efficiently and to nurture up-and-coming talent, the current state of the market should serve as a reminder that once companies are ready and the budgets are there, the talent is waiting. 

Benji Hugh, Associate Performance Director @ Windsorborn

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