Digital Advertising

The Digital Lead: 2024 Advertising Insights & Tech Trends

New insights show how advertisers and agencies are succeeding and spending in an era of advertising targeting, social media and AI

A new research report conducted by Material and NewtonX reveals data and insights into the future of advertising, spotlighting trends in targeting, technology, social media and the impact of AI on marketing. The report, The Digital Lead: 2024 Advertising Insights & Tech Trends, provides insights into where brands will be spending in 2024, based on a national survey of agency and advertising professionals.

AI: the future of advertising

With its potential to revolutionize business operations and optimize campaigns, no topic commands more interest among modern advertising professionals than AI. 59% of respondents (unaided) cite AI as the top subject on their minds, and it is viewed more favorably than not, emphasizing its potential to transform industry practices in the short and long term. However, concerns persist, with many unknowns about how AI will be applied, which social media platforms are using it most effectively and whether it will result in more accurate targeting or reduced costs.

More spending in 2024

After several lean post-pandemic years, most advertising and agency executives report budget increases for 2024. Digital advertising is expected to constitute around two thirds of total ad spend among advertisers. Social media is the most desired allocation of spend for brand-focused advertising, with search engine marketing and social media tied with the lead for performance advertising.

Cookie deprecation only draws moderate concern

With the end of third-party cookies looming, advertisers believe they are more prepared than previously anticipated. Many are already shifting to embrace first-party customer data strategies; other emerging approaches include contextual and cohort-based targeting, machine-learning systems and CPC/CPA models.

Key findings

  • 45% of professionals anticipate a change to their media mix because of third-party cookie deprecation.
  • 56% of agencies and advertisers expect their budgets to increase in the next year.
  • 59% of participants see AI as the greatest influence in the future of advertising.
  • 48% of respondents say strengthening their national advertising is the top priority for 2024, followed by 26% whose top focus is on improving local advertising.

“It has never been more important for advertising professionals to be dialed in to the shifts and innovations happening across the business landscape, to enable future-forward strategies,” said Jeremy Sack, president, Material. “Our goal with this report is to provide some key answers and provoke more questions and learning.”

“It’s no surprise AI has emerged as the key theme on advertisers’ minds in this study,” said Jackie Cutrone, CMO of NewtonX. “We’ve harnessed the power of AI to gather and analyze this data, and along with our partners at Material, we’re committed to leveraging AI technology to provide business insights that help advertisers and brands navigate the challenges of 2024 and beyond.”

Read the full report

To read the complete “The Digital Lead: 2024 Advertising Insights & Tech Trends” study, please visit our website where you can learn more about the findings and download your copy of the report.

Survey methodology

Survey participants in the national study consisted of 250 advertising professionals who have influence in advertising/marketing strategy and/or execution. 125 participants were agency professionals and 125 were in-house advertising professionals. Respondents were also broken out by gender, size of company/agency, industry and management vs. individual performers. Additional details on survey respondents are available in the full report.

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