Programmatic Ad Trends 2024

2024 is poised to be an eventful year in programmatic advertising, with significant shifts and challenges. The industry faces the phasing out of third-party cookies in Google Chrome, impacting targeting strategies. Economic uncertainties and complex consumer behaviors are demanding more flexibility and creativity from advertisers. Additionally, the 2024 US presidential election will likely lead to record political ad spending, affecting programmatic inventory. Despite these challenges, programmatic advertising is expected to grow, with advertisers needing to stay informed about key trends to enhance their campaigns effectively.

Trend #1: Navigating the Shift from Third-Party Cookies in Programmatic Advertising

For two decades, programmatic advertising has heavily relied on third-party cookies for tracking and targeting. However, this era is coming to an end with major browsers phasing out cookies and increased data privacy regulations. By 2024, adapting to these changes and adopting privacy-centric approaches will be crucial. Advertisers will need to pivot towards strategies like using first-party data, contextual targeting, and privacy-friendly identifiers to maintain effectiveness in their programmatic campaigns.

Trend #2: The Impact of Generative AI on Programmatic Advertising in 2024

Since its debut in late 2022, generative AI has significantly influenced digital advertising. In 2024, this technology will bring new opportunities and challenges in the programmatic landscape. Advertisers must carefully navigate its use, especially in managing issues like low-quality ad inventory and adapting to changes in the paid search environment. While generative AI poses certain risks, it also offers benefits in streamlining content creation and personalizing advertising experiences, provided there’s human oversight for accuracy and brand alignment.

Trend #3: Capturing Consumer Attention in the Digital Age

In today’s world of instant access and overwhelming content, capturing and retaining consumer attention is more challenging and crucial than ever for marketing teams. Advertisers in 2024 should shift focus from the sheer number of ad views to the quality and impact of these views. Emphasizing the creation of compelling content and strategic placement can lead to more meaningful engagement and effective campaigns. This approach requires prioritizing the attention of target audiences over merely accumulating views.

Trend #4: Navigating Advertising Strategies Amidst the 2024 Election Cycle

As the 2024 election cycle ramps up with significant awareness-building and fundraising, advertisers across all sectors must prepare for the unique challenges of an election year. With an unprecedented $12 billion ad spend forecasted, advertising teams need to strategize for periods when programmatic inventory will be scarce and costs high due to political ad purchases. Key focus periods include the lead-up to primaries and the critical days before Election Day, especially in pivotal swing states.

Non-political advertisers can navigate this landscape by exploring less crowded channels like digital out-of-home and audio, or platforms that restrict political advertising, such as certain streaming services. Furthermore, the rise of generative AI amplifies the challenge of misinformation, which is particularly acute in a politically charged atmosphere.

To ensure effective and safe advertising during this tumultuous period, it’s crucial to prioritize brand safety, utilize tools for ad placement control, and partner with organizations offering solutions for maintaining ad integrity. These measures will help advertisers maintain campaign effectiveness while aligning with their brand values amidst the complexities of the 2024 election cycle.

Trend #5: The Surge of Connected TV in Programmatic Advertising

2023 witnessed a significant shift in programmatic ad spending, with over 40% allocated to Connected TV (CTV). In 2024, the trend continues as US CTV programmatic video ad spend is expected to grow by nearly 18%, making up 88% of total CTV ad spending. This shift aligns with the decline in traditional TV viewership and the rise of ad-supported streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and Max, which are experiencing consistent growth. Amazon is also entering the fray with plans for an ad tier on Prime Video.

CTV’s growth is further fueled by its cookieless nature, making it an attractive option amidst the deprecation of third-party cookies. By utilizing various channels such as social media, streaming, digital out-of-home, and display advertising, digital video advertisers are poised to create comprehensive omnichannel experiences, engaging audiences effectively across their preferred content platforms.

Trend #6: Embracing Efficiency in Programmatic Advertising for 2024

The trend towards sustainability and efficiency has permeated various aspects of life and industry, and it’s now time for the programmatic advertising ecosystem to join this movement. With growing concerns over digital ad waste such as bot traffic, ad fraud, and the environmental impact of digital ads, 2024 should be the year where advertising teams prioritize value over sheer volume.

This shift entails avoiding low-quality inventory like made-for-advertising sites and exploring more controlled environments like programmatic guaranteed and private marketplaces. Focusing on quality placements and audience-aligned creatives, rather than just accumulating impressions, will maximize the effectiveness of ad spends.

Moreover, this approach is not only financially prudent but also environmentally responsible. As studies show, more engaging ads that hold viewer attention longer can significantly reduce carbon emissions. In an era where programmatic advertising contributes substantially to digital carbon footprints, a commitment to reducing low-quality impressions can have far-reaching benefits, aligning advertising strategies with global sustainability efforts.

Trend #7: Navigating the Shifting Landscape of Social Media Advertising in 2024

Social media advertising has experienced a rollercoaster of changes in recent years, and 2024 continues this trend of unpredictability. One notable development is the unsuitability of certain platforms for brand safety, leading to major brands withdrawing their advertising. Conversely, Reddit is attracting more attention, TikTok remains a powerhouse with its ongoing popularity, and Meta is adapting with substantial targeting capabilities amid regulatory challenges.

With social media growth slowing in the US and users less inclined to join new platforms, advertisers need to be flexible and strategic in their social media campaigns. Emphasizing engagement and attention, adapting to short user attention spans, and experimenting with innovative ad formats like social search ads are key strategies for success. As the social media landscape evolves, identifying the right platforms for genuine audience connections will be crucial for advertisers.

Conclusion

Digital advertisers face a challenging yet exciting year ahead, tackling obstacles like the end of third-party cookies in Google Chrome, the intricacies of the 2024 election cycle, increasing demands for consumer privacy, and economic uncertainties. By embracing pivotal programmatic trends, they can effectively reach consumers in their preferred spaces, optimizing the impact and efficiency of their programmatic advertising efforts.