Perspective - Watchouts for advertisers in 2024

By Mel Hoptman | 15 December 2023
Melanie Hoptman.

The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.

It has been a challenging year for our customers, and our customers’ customers. 13 interest rate rises over the past 15 months has led to Aussie consumers tightening their purse strings. We’ve felt these ripple effects in the advertising industry, which has led to marketers needing to become even more strategic with their campaigns to ensure sales stay in the green.

Despite these challenges, there has been a lighter side to 2023, where we saw a surge of innovations in adtech, dramatically helping to shape a new advertising landscape.

According to Nielsen’s 2023 marketing report, more than 70% of Aussies aged 14 and older were using the internet to stream videos in 2023, with the average viewer streaming 2.7 hours each day. While we don’t need hard data to tell us CTV has seen explosive growth, it does highlight the accompanying need for data collaboration in order to be able to properly leverage the format. As the fragmentation of the TV market continues at all levels - from publishers each developing a multitude of platforms for their viewers, to different corners of the ecosystem choosing different ways to measure and transact - companies need fluidity that extends beyond individual partners and buyers, in order to activate on their wealth of first-party data.

If there is something we have learnt from 2023, it is how fast the media landscape can transform, and how our learnings and observations from this year will help shape how we approach 2024. 

To be able to strategically plan ahead, it will be crucial for advertisers to capitalize on some of the mega trends that will continue surging in 2024: Gen AI, CTV, and data. Overlooking these opportunities means that brands may find themselves lagging behind competitors. 

Starting with Generative (Gen) AI, while there are companies that may be focusing their efforts on this still very nascent technology, marketers shouldn’t be over-indexing here. While Gen AI will one day help to change marketing top-to-bottom, from AI-powered media buying and targeting, to dynamic creative, marketers can make immediate impact with other technologies that are here today.

Take, for example, CTV. Cord-cutting is surging, which means that the shift of behaviors - and the ad dollars that follow - will continue across video platforms. 2024 will bring more of the same, which means that advertisers in Australia, and globally, will continue shifting their budgets away from traditional, linear TV, in order to continue reaching their audiences.

And why wouldn’t they? In particular, the rise of premium, authenticated CTV should stand out as a weapon for advertisers. As completely logged-in platforms, these platforms offer people-based addressability and open advertisers on these platforms up for exciting and innovative solutions when it comes to measurement and understanding outcomes at a person level. 

However, whether it’s Gen AI or CTV, what all of the “next-level” solutions have in common is data. Without a wealth of first-party data and insights with which to understand their customers, none of these solutions can offer the cutting-edge engagement and personalization that will take customer relationships into the future.

If it’s not clear by now, companies need to have their first-party data strategies in place so that they can take advantage of everything that follows. Even for something the ecosystem has been focused on for years, like data collaboration, companies must have their first-party data strategies in place, in order to layer insights from their network on top of this. Understanding your customer and unifying your customer view are must-haves, in order to then enhance this understanding with the solutions of your choice. 

As discussed, these exciting trends offer promise and results that will help to preserve marketers’ businesses - but what underpins everything is data. Having a solid data strategy at your foundation will set you up well for the wave of data-fueled tools that follows; whether it’s one gamechanger or many that are coming in 2024 and beyond, data will be a prerequisite.

In 2024, the path forward starts with data - but as data collaboration, CTV, and Gen AI (to name just a few) show, it can lead so much further.

Mel Hoptman is Managing Director APAC at LiveRamp

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