Five emerging digital advertising trends to watch in 2024

As we look into the digital horizon of 2024, the advertising world is on the brink of a transformative era.

Ori Gold, CEO and co-founder of Bench Media gives his perspective on five emerging trends in digital marketing, each set to write a new chapter in the way brands connect with people, sell, and innovate.

The below trends reshape the advertising landscape and redefine our interaction with technology and consumer engagement. Together, they paint a picture of a future where marketing is more integrated, transparent, and intelligent, promising a very exciting 2024 for us marketers

Streaming Success: CTV’s $30 Billion Ad Revolution

Connected TV (CTV) has already revolutionised global advertising and will continue to be the main disruptor of the communication world in 2024. Ad spending is projected to reach $30 billion, driven by AI integration, ad-supported tiers (AVOD) growth on major streaming services, and a shift towards blending into performance marketing. CTV programmatic buying alone is expected to hit $43.59 billion by 2026. Enhanced targeting and shoppable ads are key innovations, integrating seamlessly into cross-channel strategies. In Australia, the focus is on premium and local content, tech rollouts of all major networks, automated buying processes, and interactive video ads. CTV video advertising has grown by 15%, with an expected shift to open-market buying. These are significant opportunities for medium and large brands to incorporate CTV into their cross-channel and performance marketing media mix.

Retail Media’s Digital Leap

Retail media is emerging as a pivotal force in advertising, with Australian retailers like Woolworths and Coles leading the way alongside global players like Amazon and Uber. This booming trend is expected to generate $1 billion in ad revenue by 2025. The real magic of this sector is the ability to leverage customer relationships to offer high-margin advertising avenues. Beyond FMCG, it is expanding into areas like consumer electronics, fashion and medicine, empowered by digital and data technologies. Retail media’s growth is also driven by e-commerce and privacy legislation changes, focusing on closed-loop attribution and direct spending-to-transaction analytics. Key trends in this area are partnerships with retail media networks, transactional data targeting, dynamic creative options and new shoppable ad formats in video and display channels. These are blurring the lines between above-the-line advertising and bottom-of-the-funnel performance activity.  

Digital Democracy: Beyond the Walled Gardens

A significant trend to watch in 2024 is the shift from the dominance of digital ‘walled gardens’ like Meta and Google to a more open web approach that will counter the over-reliance on a few platforms. This moves away from closed ecosystems, where big global tech platforms control data and insights, and addresses concerns of transparency, privacy and anti-competition raised by consumers, local businesses and governments. Marketing teams diversify their efforts across multiple platforms to mitigate risks like policy changes, increased ad costs and user behaviour changes. Embracing the open web allows for broader data access, the reach of new audiences and more control over advertising strategies, This trend signifies a move towards greater transparency and ownership of digital and ad tech capabilities, offering a competitive advantage to early adaptors. 

From Hype to Reality: AI’s Transformative Role in Advertising

2023 was the year of ChatGPT, with AI’s hitting a boiling point to revolutionise many aspects of our lives, specifically marketing and advertising. In 2024, brands will start leveraging AI tools for brand safety and compliance to ensure consistent messaging across various channels. We’ll also see new data management tools developed using AI for normalising and standardising disparate data sets, automating tasks usually managed by data science and analyst teams. This will extend to AI-driven reporting tools with rapid analysis and prompt client delivery.

AI has always played a key role in programmatic advertising and is anticipated to broaden mainly to ease the production of targeted ad messaging via language and image models for enhanced ad versioning and optimisation. And another AI-driven area that is on the rise in voice search advertising with the widespread adoption of voice-activated devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos One. It is reported that 55% of the total households in the US have one of these three voice system in use. This is a great ground for a new audio based ad-format tailored for voice-activated devices to emerge.

Overall, 2024 is set to bring more grounded and actual application using advanced AI technologies after the 2023 acceleration and hype. 

The Future of Privacy-First AdTech

The adTech industry, both globally and in Australia, is undergoing a significant transformation driven by stricter data and privacy regulations. The EU’s GDPR, established in 2018, has set a precedent, influencing similar laws worldwide and impacting thousands of advertising and marketing technology platforms. These changes, prompted by both consumer and government concerns around transparency, particularly in AI-driven data processing, impose tough penalties for non-compliant actors. The evolving landscape in the US, marked by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2020, added further complexity to this international privacy ecosystem. In Australia, launched last year, the proposed Online Privacy Bill and Privacy Act Review aims to redefine ‘personal information’ and requirements of consumer consent and enforce stronger penalties, with fines reaching up to $10 million. The year 2024 is pivotal for the local industry, which is keenly awaiting the outcome of this review and anticipating a shift towards tighter privacy protections that will reshape digital marketing strategies and the overall advertising industry in Australia.

Ori Gold is CEO and co-founder, Bench Media 


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