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Predictions for 2024





Thought Leadership

From the Times Square ball drop to the crystal ball, Rain the Growth Agency leaders weigh in with predictions for 2024.

Ringing in the new year always means several time-honored traditions: From the daddies (Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen) getting “juiced” in Times Square to college bowl games to those soon to be forgotten resolutions. A tradition we like to uphold here at Rain the Growth Agency is making some bold predictions for what marketers should expect to see in the coming year. So we asked our leadership to put on their swami hats, peer into their crystal balls and tell us what they see on the marketing horizon in 2024.

Mark Brown, Chief Investment Officer

I believe that 2024 will see a continued adoption of media currency alternatives to Nielsen. The 2024-2025 video upfront will be the first one conducted with currencies that have conditional certification from the Joint Industry Committee (though not the Media Rating Council (MRC))and that will increase the willingness of both buyers and sellers to guarantee deals on something other than Nielsen ratings. I don’t predict that this will be a sea change in the industry, though. The majority of transactions, especially for the big players like Disney, Paramount, Comcast/NBCUniversal, and WBD will still be done on Nielsen. But enough deals will be done using iSpot, Comscore, and VideoAmp that the MRC will take notice and move those services closer to full accreditation in 2024.

Robin Cohen, Executive Vice President, Integrated Media Investment and Planning

Couple an election year with an Olympic year and we expect to see differences in media consumption patterns and marketplace dynamics driven by both of those events. Regarding the election, the media marketplace will see the most competition in local markets in key battleground states, which will begin to impact national video inventory as we get closer to November. On the Olympic front, we expect to see even stronger consumption in streaming than during the last summer games, when Peacock had just launched. In fact, NBC is predicting 4 times the streaming minutes for the upcoming Paris games (source: NBCUniversal).

Kyle Eckhart, Senior Vice President, Growth

I predict that while some marketers will move advertising services in-house in 2024, that trend will be limited to Fortune 500 companies who have traditionally outsourced all advertising activities. In our mid-market space—where digitally native brands were built with in-house teams—we will see the opposite. These companies will outsource more advertising services in 2024, primarily due to the continued fragmentation of the media and an ad tech landscape that is getting too complicated for in-house teams to manage alone.

Dan Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Brand & Communications Strategy

Given the rapidly accelerating changes in society and technology, consumers are suffering from overstimulation and Future Shock. Rather than seek solace in community (the pandemic killed community), people will turn inwards and focus on self-care, health & wellness, and experiences. We call this the “Take Care Economy.” The Take Care Economy will include a focus on personal (pickleball, virtual fitness) and professional sports and on personal care (decluttering toxic things from their lives). Brands will need to incorporate care into their offerings and go beyond the transaction to support customers facing challenging personal and societal circumstances.

David Gelt, Director, Paid Search

The most important issue of 2024 will be the development of AI within search. Both Google and Bing have made substantial investments in the AI space, and those investments are going to need to drive revenue. I expect that these platforms will start to roll out that plan this year, and advertisers should be prepared to participate in those Alpha tests to garner learnings and drive improved results.

Ryan Gilbert, Vice President, Digital Media

Cookie deprecation will continue to be one of the biggest hurdles for advertisers and media buyers alike. I predict that Google will finally move ahead with the full deprecation of cookies from Chrome, after delaying that action for several years. With less actionable signals to reach intended target audiences, advertisers will need to further lean into first-party data, contextual advertising, and unified ID maps to build confidence in the digital media inventory they’re purchasing.

Kyle Knutsen, Associate Director, Digital Video

In 2024, we’ll continue to see the rise of advertising-supported streaming services, giving audiences more ways to watch, and advertisers more touchpoints to reach them. Amazon Prime will roll out their Ad-supported Video on Demand (AVOD) service in January, following the path of Netflix and Max. With over 150 million current subscribers, Amazon’s entry into the CTV ad market will have a massive impact on available inventory.

Scott McClure, Senior Vice President, Creative

I predict there are several cultural trends that will find their way into creative executions this year. Pop culture will continue to become increasingly decentralized, providing more room for expression to both audiences and content creators in 2024. Smart advertising campaigns can leverage this trend. Retro—yet timeless—will continue to emerge as a trend since it appeals to multiple generations. Breaking down gender stereotypes to make way for a focus on personality will gain momentum this year. And the concept of serious playfulness will become more common: balancing serious messaging with a playful and lighthearted approach. Advertisers can use humor and creativity to address serious issues while maintaining consumer engagement.

Staci Otterson, Vice President, Integrated Media Investment

Last year we saw the beginning of a shift from a focus on branding and reach to performance and efficiency. I expect that trend will be even stronger in 2024, with traditional brand advertisers jumping on the bandwagon. While predictions of a recession didn’t come true last year (thankfully!) marketers are still going to be under tremendous pressure to deliver greater results with reduced resources in the year ahead. Expect that ROI will be part of every conversation. That will lead to pressure on media partners to either deliver greater value in measurable ways, or see their budgets reduced or cut. It may also mean more marketers will lean into performance measurement and attributions tools like iSpot to determine which partners are delivering results for them.

Artem Peplov, Vice President, Analytics

2024 is the year when AI-assisted data management and analytics will become ubiquitous. ChatGPT and its competitors are increasingly being used to rewrite code and generate efficient scripts from scratch—shaking up and blending traditional analyst and developer roles. Companies and platforms are embedding natural-language bots for querying marketing performance data sets, improving ease of access to campaign and business data. Customized machine learning will become more accessible to a wider range of small and medium-sized marketing organizations and agencies.

This article is featured in Media Impact Report No. 51. View the full report here.

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