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2024 Paid Media Industry Predictions

 In AI, Business Insights, Performance Marketing, PPC

As we move through the 2023 holiday season, most brands and advertisers will start working through marketing plans for the upcoming year. 2023 was a tricky year for digital ads and investments in general, with continued macroeconomic headwinds driving reduced investment in key performance advertising verticals like DtC ecommerce and B2B SaaS. 

Many agencies did not have good performance in 2023 overall, with weaker client investment driving lower spends and less agency business. Of course there were bright spots in 2023 with huge growth in AI businesses and improvements in public market performance. 

What are some trends for 2024? OpenMoves predicts – 

Generative AI Drives Changes to Creative Teams 

Even disinterested observers will understand that the text and image generation capabilities of AI tools are already making a big impact on creative processes and teams. In 2024 we expect this impact will continue and accelerate. 

Many marketing and agency teams are already using ChatGPT and similar tools to write marketing copy for ads, websites and print materials. We expect this to continue, grow and normalize to the point where it is simply assumed that marketing copy is AI generated or supported. 

We expect image generation AI such as DALL-E, MidJourney and others to become better equipped and tooled for ad creative. We expect these and similar models to become closely embedded in ad platforms and design tools. Both Google and Facebook are beginning to add automatic image improvement features to ad platforms – for example in Google Merchant Center and Facebook Ads Advantage+ Creative. 

Users’ Relationships to Text Content Changes 

This will take longer than 2024 to fully mature but we can already start to see that LLM text generation will begin to change how everyone considers and interacts with text content online. 

There are already text bots loose online simply mass generating articles and comments for SEO spam, social media reach and so on. Text content based platforms like Reddit, Quora, and even LinkedIn may begin to shift in concept when text content becomes more automated and spammed in mass and the idea overall of online text becomes inherently associated with AI. 

Will we start getting to a point where people just assume all text online is written by an AI? Will platforms based on commentary, Q&A, social reach and so on basically reach an end state where all possible text has already been written? These are speculative and personal ideas but in general, 2024 will likely be a year where the overall relationship between humans and text begins to permanently shift. 

Short Vertical Video Reigns

Short vertical video was already more or less the dominant content trend of 2023 and will continue to grow in 24. Per the prior point – with AI spamming text answers to every possible prompt, video will be “proof of human” – although video AI capabilities are growing fast too and have a whole different set of implications for content, marketing, news and so on. 

We’ll continue to see TikTok style content spread across platforms – as it already has with YouTube Shorts, IG Reels and others. We’ll also see the general tone of TikTok creative become more mainstream across channels and in more historically serious or professional platforms and industries. 

For example I am seeing much more personal and entertaining content on LinkedIn than in past years. We’re starting to see B2B brands be more comfortable with influencer-style creative. The “Ugly Ads” trend is growing and really means more fun, fast, social creative than truly ugly. These trends we think are likely to all continue in 2024. 

Analytics and Measurement Continues to be a Huge Challenge 

Interestingly despite enormous advances in AI tech we still seem to be struggling at an industry level with rather basic issues of tracking, measurement, media spend allocation strategy and more. Obviously we know one trend for 2024 will be the continued decay of cookies-and-pixels types of tracking tech. These are being replaced with other tools like server side tracking

However even with this shift we are seeing in personal experience that most advertisers still really struggle with fully lining up tracking and measurement across media, CRM, calls, live chats, online orders and so on. Combining this with questions on incrementality, lifetime value and profitability and the analytical core of most mid-market performance advertisers remains unsolved at best. 

In 2024 we don’t predict a single solution here – in fact we seem to be as confused as ever with the GA4 migration in 2023 adding a ton of workload to analysts’ plates without really helping solve anything. General sentiment for 2024 in our view is that analytics becomes increasingly a point of leverage and frustration in media and marketing teams across both DtC and B2B. 

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