2024 promises to be a defining year for advertising. As we stand on the threshold of a new year, the landscape of advertising is poised for yet another seismic shift. The ever-evolving dynamics of consumer behavior, market trends and technological evolutions, such as the deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome, will continuously reshape the advertising world, presenting both challenges and opportunities. Marketers must embrace agility and find ways to thrive amid uncertainty while driving business growth.
To shed light on what lies ahead, we gathered insights and foresights from several of Criteo’s experts on some of advertising’s most pressing topics. Their observations and predictions paint a picture of what the advertising landscape might look like in the upcoming year.
1. Addressability changes will prompt marketers, publishers, and retailers to fortify their first-party data strategies.
It’s become ever more critical for all players in the ecosystem with direct relationships to consumers (marketers, publishers, retailers) to prepare for the impending addressability changes catalyzed by Google Chrome’s phasing out of third-party cookies. Sustaining performance and monetization will hinge on their readiness, and that of their tech partners, to adapt swiftly to these impending changes.
A key factor to success will be the robustness of opted-in first-party data strategies—it’s not simply owning or collecting data, but also being able to readily activate it in scalable ways that benefit the consumer experience. That’s why marketers, publishers, and retailers will continue fortifying their data strategies by giving consumers incentives to authenticate through clear value exchanges, such as with coupons, early sales access or personalized experiences.
We’ll continue to help our clients and partners navigate this evolving landscape, and invite you to bookmark our addressability hub, where we’ll share ongoing updates and announcements in the next year.
2. AI will continue revolutionizing the landscape for marketers.
AI dominated adtech discussions this year—and pretty much all tech discussion for that matter—and will maintain its pivotal role in 2024. We’ve seen AI transcend its origins in backend business operations and behind-the-scenes magic of machine learning scientists, engineers and researchers and step into the limelight with a wider net of web users. Products like ChatGPT and Google Bard are unlocking an unprecedented array of possibilities. For instance, we’ll likely see generative AI be used to build hyper-personalized images, messaging, and video creatives in campaigns, building on the current natural language processing models.
AI will continue to transform performance optimization by building deep learning models heading towards the first commerce foundation models, such as Criteo’s DEEPKNN models. The use cases for these models will continue to expand with AI-based bidding, recommendations, pricing, and revenue forecasting, making AI marketers’ new co-pilot on budget execution and media planning.
In terms of operational efficiency, marketers will become even more comfortable using AI in the future to help cut down their team’s time on menial tasks, so they can focus on new opportunities. For instance, Forrester predicts that Enterprise AI initiatives will boost productivity and creative problem-solving by 50%, which will help marketers get out of the minutiae and back to seeing the big picture.
3. Performance marketers will unleash the power of SKU data for granular personalization and reporting.
In 2024, against the backdrop of addressability changes, SKU data will emerge as a guiding light for performance marketers to drive unprecedented campaign precision. Its granular tracking capabilities will empower marketers to attribute specific products directly to their advertising efforts, allowing them to optimize campaigns and tailor strategies based on SKU performance—including fine-tuning targeting, messaging and overall campaign resonance.
SKU data will also enable personalized marketing efforts, enabling the creation of hyper-targeted campaigns that resonate deeply with individual customer segments, based on their preferences and purchase history. With SKU-level insights enhancing reporting and guiding data-driven decisions, performance marketers will navigate the terrain armed with a deep understanding of product performance, customer behavior and market dynamics, leading to unparalleled optimization and ROI in their campaigns.
4. Retail media networks will surge toward a state of standardized maturity.
As retailers increasingly recognize the value of their first-party data and direct consumer relationships, the allure of these networks will grow exponentially. The year ahead will witness a concerted effort towards standardization, where industry players collaborate to establish common metrics, formats and guidelines. One such example is Criteo’s partnership with Integral Ad Science to offer apples-to-apples retail media measurement, which we announced earlier this year. Collaboration like this unites the industry, fighting fragmentation that hinders marketers and retailers from achieving their full potential in retail media.
As these networks mature and coalesce, their impact on the advertising landscape will amplify, opening doors of new opportunities to retailers and their brand partners such as offsite and physical store retail media. This push for standardization will also aim to streamline operations, enhance transparency and facilitate seamless interactions across various retail media networks, fostering a more cohesive and accessible ecosystem for advertisers.
5. Physical stores and ecommerce will converge into a seamless shopping experience.
Omnichannel has always been important, but in 2024 we’ll see the digital and physical advertising worlds come together to provide more value to consumers. For instance, in 2023, UK grocery retailer Tesco went from having 400 digital screens to 1,800 in their stores since March, investing in their physical retail media opportunities to complement digital campaigns.
Digital displays like these will help retailers get more creative in offering personalized, in-the-moment messaging to in-store shoppers and offer new ways to highlight their brand partners and their new products in physical retail environments. This is a win-win for retailers looking to grow their networks and brands aiming to reach new consumers or drive incremental sales from existing customers.
We’re running full speed into 2024.
2024 will no doubt be an incredibly dynamic year for advertising. We are an industry in transition, but with that evolution will come growth. No matter what, marketers, media owners and their tech partners will continue to test and learn to continue providing value to consumers while also ensuring their own business growth.
For Criteo, we’ll continue to help advance the $290 billion Commerce Media ecosystem toward reaching its full potential over the next two years, helping marketers and media owners achieve stable performance and growth amid all this change. We’ll continue to unite the industry in ways that benefit all of its players, rather than increasing fragmentation, and strengthening the next era of advertising.
For more insights from Criteo leaders, including Criteo’s Chief Product Officer, Todd Parsons, read on for an overview of our multi-pronged addressability strategy that will help our clients drive performance in 2024 and beyond.