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3 big reasons to be optimistic about advertising in 2024, survey reveals

By Bill Wise



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March 18, 2024 | 5 min read

Mediaocean CEO Bill Wise shares key insights from the company's 2024 Advertising Outlook Report.

I’m a glass half-full guy by nature (I’ve been accused of using exclamation marks too liberally, for example). So, with apologies to Larry David, I’ll attempt to curb my enthusiasm here and let data tell the story of how 2024 is shaping up to be a big year for advertising.

Our comprehensive market outlook report, which surveyed over 1,000 industry professionals, provides a plethora of insights into the key trends shaping the industry and makes the case for optimism, if not exuberance, in 2024. These include shifts in media spend, brand advertising strategies, and cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

1. Overall advertising spend is on the rise

This year, we're expecting an increase in advertising spend across a variety of channels. This trend is a notable rebound from previous economic constraints and represents a broad growth across diverse platforms. Particularly striking is the expansion in social media, digital display, and connected TV (CTV).

According to the survey data, 69% of respondents plan to increase their social media spending. Similarly, 65% aim to enhance their digital display and video investments, while 56% intend to grow their CTV budgets. To address the need for more automated workflow in CTV, Mediaocean recently announced a partnership with Magnite for Prisma buyers to access premium CTV and online video (OLV) inventory directly through ClearLine.

This widespread expansion across multiple channels is a testament to a resilient and dynamic advertising ecosystem, capable of thriving amidst macroeconomic fluctuations. At this point, the only channels with more marketers planning to reduce spend then increase it are linear TV and print.

Mediaoceans media channel data infographic

2. The resurgence of brand advertising

Another key development in 2024 is the accelerating investment in brand advertising. Companies are increasingly moving beyond strategies focused solely on conversion, emphasizing long-term brand building.

This shift reflects a growing recognition of the importance of customer loyalty and lifetime value in driving sustainable business growth. Furthermore, successful brand advertising encompasses an omnichannel approach that extends beyond walled gardens.

To that end, 2024 may be a turning point in the balance of power between big tech companies and the independent advertising ecosystem with mounting antitrust pressures against companies like Google, Amazon and Meta. These developments suggest a move towards a more diverse and competitive environment where unbiased technology platforms play a more crucial role in media buying, ad serving, and omnichannel measurement.

3. Evolving perspectives on the role of AI

This year’s survey also marks a transformation in the industry’s perception of AI, with a notable pivot from a previous focus on generative AI for creative applications to an emphasis on AI for data analysis and processes.

This shift is largely a reflection of what’s going on with signal deprecation, in which the decline of cookies has prompted marketers to leverage their first-party data more effectively. AI emerges as a pivotal tool in this context, facilitating sophisticated processes like identity resolution and probabilistic targeting. For identity resolution, AI's role is to integrate disparate data points into a unified, enduring customer profile. In the realm of probabilistic targeting, AI is harnessed to enhance the utility of first-party data, enabling the identification of lookalike audiences with greater precision.

While these applications aren’t as sexy as AI-generated creative, they are as essential as any other, especially with the future of addressability at stake.

On the up and up

The advertising industry in 2024 is poised for sustainable growth across stakeholders. The significant increase in advertising spend, the resurgence of brand advertising, and the adoption of purpose-built AI are key factors reshaping the industry. The breakups within big tech, along with an adaptive response to evolving data privacy norms, are setting the stage for a year characterized by notable achievements and innovation in advertising. Don’t take my word for it, the data speaks for itself.

The insights and analysis presented here are derived from the Mediaocean 2024 Market Outlook Report, which encompasses perspectives from over 1,000 brands, agencies, and media providers. This comprehensive report reflects a diverse range of viewpoints and experiences, offering a robust overview of the current state and future prospects of the advertising industry.




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