Six of WFA's strategic partners of WFA share their global marketing predictions for 2024.
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Clockwise from top left: Ali Hanan (Creative Equals), J. Walker Smith (Kantar), Nick Waters (Ebiquity), Ryan Kangisser (MediaSense), Matt Wardle (Oxford) and Jamie Barnard (Compliant).
Renewed interest in media quality will drive adoption of new brand integrity metrics
Jamie Barnard, CEO, Compliant
In the face of massive ad fraud, the alienation of MFAs, unquantifiable privacy risk across the media supply chain and rising concern over the carbon impact of failed bids and wasted impressions, CMOs are under increasing pressure to audit their digital supply chain.
From a privacy and brand safety perspective, 85% of impressions are served on sites that fall below baseline data compliance standards. While a typical open web programmatic campaign will run across 44,000 websites, 86% of impressions come from just 3,000.
By failing to measure data compliance, advertisers are blindly buying risk (and funding risky practices). In 2024 they will need to take urgent action, and that begins with measurement.
DEI will drive business growth
Ali Hanan, Founder of Creative Equals
In 2024, inclusive marketing will ‘come of age’ as a powerful way to tackle advertising’s biggest challenges. This includes investing in diverse talent, a proven driver for more effective and better decision-making and innovation profit (BCG), particularly in a challenging operating landscape.
World demographics are shapeshifting for 2030, which is why marketers who embed inclusion now will leverage DEI as ‘the right thing to do’ with strong commercial outcomes. And with two billion people heading to the election polls this year, listening and being attuned to cultural movements will be essential to navigating ‘polarisation’.
Expect smarter integration
Ryan Kangisser, Managing Partner, MediaSense
Our 2023 study into the future of agency models was illuminating in signalling the gap in expectations (vs reality) by advertisers around their desire for speed and integration. Many feel ill-equipped to meet the needs of their customers through relevant and timely communications.
Just one in 10 advertisers surveyed felt their current agency model was fit for their future requirements and 2024 will see a much greater focus on aligning agency models and ways of working.
Culture comes first
J. Walker Smith, Knowledge Lead, Consulting Division, Kantar
Marketers follow culture to connect with consumers and identify relatable elements such as characters, fashion, music and lingo. Kantar MONITOR tracking’s US data, for example, reveals that nearly two-thirds of people seek brands mirroring their values. Globally, 80% make an effort to buy from companies that support causes important to them.
However, consumers don’t always do what they say, and beyond purchases, they express cultural preferences by 'acting out’. Kantar's Futures Practice notes consumers are more confrontational, with higher expectations of brands. In 2024, marketing plans must integrate such confrontational risk while staying in harmony with cultural trends.
A year of two themes: economic woes vs new challenges
Matt Wardle, Head of Capability, North America, Oxford
Marketing seems to favour dualities. There’s ‘art & science’, ATL/ BTL, the long & short, generalists vs. specialists. In 2024 marketers and leaders will need to grapple with an additional duality.
On the one hand, with the possibility of economic stagnation, marketers must ensure their brand foundations are absolutely nailed. In times of squeezed consumer spending, brands need to be laser-focused on what makes them distinctive.
At the same time, marketers must grapple with the intersecting implications of AI, zero-party data, brand sustainability and responsible marketing and ethics.
Once future trends, these topics are very much here and now. In 2024 we’ll see a dual-track approach to 2024 marketing priorities, capability building and investment.
Bullish about 2024
Nick Waters, Group CEO, Ebiquity
In the annual ‘Media Budgets Survey’ we run in partnership with the WFA, we found that the world’s biggest advertisers are considerably more ‘bullish’ about future trading – and media investment – than the prevailing economic mood might suggest. Sixty percent of the world’s leading brands are planning to increase total media budgets, twice as many as planned to do so just 12 months ago.
The big opportunities for 2024 lie in three areas:
- Investing in the growing diversity of media inventory, with a particular focus on advanced TV.
- Exploiting the potential of retail media and the opportunity to reach consumers directly.
- Experimenting with new social ad formats, including search ads, to grow impressions, cut costs and hold up click-through rates.