OptiMine's 2024 Marketing Predictions

Waves of disruption will hit the marketing ecosystem in 2024, creating challenges and new opportunities for brands. But, most of these disruptions have been brewing for years with plenty of advance notice, so only those marketers who’ve been willingly ignoring these signs will be caught by surprise. The bad news? Marketers can be procrastinators, so expect plenty of scrambling, hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing and woe as players play catch-up in a changed game. With this in mind, here are OptiMine’s top 5 marketing and analytics predictions for 2024:


1. The Cookie Finally Dies (Seriously)


"death" of cookie graphic


Google’s oft-delayed Privacy Sandbox initiative is finally here with in-market testing happening on a larger scale in 2023. When they finally shut down 3rd party cookies in Chrome, and roll out their dramatic spate of privacy changes and enhancements, entire industries will be impacted. From programmatic advertising, user targeting, personalization to marketing attribution, the impact will be sudden and severe. One oft unnoticed change in the Privacy Sandbox will impact marketing attribution and A/B testing particularly hard: Google will be shutting down the ability to individually identify users in Chrome and Android, thereby severely limiting both user-based tracking and attribution, but also the ability to run clean user-based A/B tests. Marketing Mix Modeling – particularly modern, agile MMM – will fill the attribution void, and A/B testing will shift to geo-based test and control groups making it easier for marketing teams to operate and measure their own tests without the need for software and platforms.


2. What’s Old is New Again – Contextual Advertising Makes a Triumphant Return


contextual advertising graphic


Riding the wave of cookie death in 2024, contextual advertising will become the new norm. Heck, even Google’s TOPICS API which is meant to replace cookie-based ad targeting is the classic definition of “contextual advertising” as groups of consumers will be placed into buckets based on their browsing history’s content subjects and topics. Publishers will race to supplant lost revenues by participating in this scheme and classifying their sites based on the TOPICS topics making contextual the topical topic of the day.


3. Accelerated Privacy Wave Hits Shore


Consumer privacy graphic


The consumer data privacy wave has been moving slowly for years, gathering steam offshore, building momentum and now “Praia Do Norte”-sized mayhem will hit in 2024. The reason is twofold:

  1. More and more states are adopting their own unique privacy regulation variants, creating more and more complexity for brands, and forcing brands to finally get serious about their compliance regimes. There are few issues in America that have bipartisan support, and consumer privacy is one of them, which spells bad news for brands that lack systems, controls, and people to manage and protect PII properly.
  2. Enforcement will start to hit in an impactful way as those same states begin to ramp up their efforts to force compliance. States learned from California’s example of creating and funding an enforcement body, and those same states will initially choose large targets to make very public examples of, but the enforcement will then move rapidly into the mainstream where brands large and small will get caught in the privacy web. And similar to the last ten years, nothing will happen at the Federal level. Again.


4. Retail Media Networks Will Strain Brands’ Ability to Measure their Incremental Impact

Marketing incrementality graphic

Retailers have woken up to the magical margin producing effects of retail media. Old-school MDF programs have morphed into sophisticated advertising programs and those retailers are forcing brands to play. What’s missing? The ability to objectively measure the incremental impacts of these investments. The “just-trust-us” measurement schemes rolled out by these retailers will be seen rightly as tilted toward the house, and brands will need to find new ways to measure the truly incremental lift of these investments at granular levels – all without PII and MTA. *Enter modern MMM* which will deliver detailed measures of incremental value (or lack of value) arming brands with the intelligence they need to rationalize their retail media efforts.


5. AI Expands in Unpredictable Ways


AI graphic


What prediction list would be complete without a nod to AI? AI will impact all of our lives, but it sometimes feels difficult to know when, where and how. But early signs in the marketing arena are showing AI’s promise across rapid-scale content development and automated testing, intelligent automation that will boost the marketing ops team’s capabilities, to fueling better insights and insight delivery speed for brands in hyper-competitive markets that seek an information and speed advantage over their rivals. Brand safety will also show new strains as deep fakes and a lack of safety controls will create issues for companies who invest heavily in the quality and reputation of their brands. The easiest AI prediction: we don’t know where this is going and we’re going to be really surprised along the way.