Predictions 2024: Economy 

It has been a testing year, as inflation and the cost of living crisis have brought about challenges for advertisers and consumers alike. What does 2024 have in store?

With good reason, most marketers remained cautious with their ad spend throughout 2023. The latest IPA Bellwether report showed that 15.8% of marketers had registered a downgrade in their budgets, despite the rise in main media spend. Their caution persists as we look to the year ahead – just a few weeks ago, Channel 4 reported that it was considering tapping into its emergency credit facility next year, due to the TV industry’s worst advertising downturn in 15 years.

Ad spend has certainly not surged this year, but what will 2024 bring? With major sporting events on the calendar such as the Euros, Paris Olympics, and Paralympics, we’re very likely to see an increase in budgets. These events will be responsible for the ad spend spike we can expect to see during Q3 2024, according to Dentsu’s ad spend forecast for next year. The 2024 US elections are also guaranteed to cause a dramatic ad spend rise in the political sector. 

What do the industry experts predict for next year? We asked for their weigh in.  

Next year we’ll see brands continue to capitalise on the increased availability of third party technologies 

With the pressures of high interest rates, lingering uncertainty, and stagnant economic growth, coupled with ongoing geopolitical strife and energy crises, it is likely that UK marketing budgets will remain static in 2024. However, rather than spelling a slowdown of innovation, what we will likely see next year is brands continuing to capitalise on the increased availability of third party technologies. Especially those that can deliver at a cheaper cost richer ad experiences to consumers and brand-specific outcomes to businesses.

Indeed, the mainstream adoption of Artificial Intelligence by advertisers in 2023 marked a significant shift in industry dynamics. In 2024, we can expect it to become a cornerstone for campaign optimisation in particular. 

Equipped with AI’s sophisticated analytics, advertisers can determine which ad objects are driving attention, unlocking valuable creative intelligence that will inform long-term efficiency and enable them to stay agile in a rapidly changing market.

Sarah Aird-Mash, global VP of marketing, Adludio

Future success depends on enhancing efficiency and automating processes 

In the face of widespread economic downturns, there's a growing imperative for publishers and networks to reassess advertising expenditure and campaign orchestration. Future success depends on enhancing efficiency and automating processes, making a case for specialised systems over monolithic approaches.

goTom believe that specialised systems foster more streamlined processes and increased automation, translating to superior service, revenue management, and ultimately, heightened turnover. 

Alban Grossenbacher, CEO, goTom AG

2024 will bring growth and meaningful audience connections  

As I navigate the challenges of my career, moments of doubt are swiftly replaced by inspiration, and the recent IAB UK report, 'The Digital Dividend,' offers just that. In 2022, digital advertising's impact on the UK soared to £129 billion, supporting 2 million jobs and propelling businesses with a £73 billion sales uplift. Beyond economic contributions, the industry saves UK consumers £18 billion annually, fostering free access to online services. An integral part of daily life, 87% of UK residents communicate through ad-supported platforms. Overall, the digital advertising sector evolved positively in 2023, emphasising transparency, collaboration, efficiency, and sustainability. 

As we step into 2024, anticipating the cookie deprecation, the industry readies for growth, fostering meaningful audience connections and embracing data-driven strategies. The growth of a total video approach, the rise of commerce media, and enhanced programmatic advertising highlight our industry's resilience and commitment to progress amid ongoing challenges.

Emma Newman, CRO, EMEA, PubMatic

Mobile will absorb a large portion of budgets 

As the advertising industry transitions away from cookies, mobile will absorb a large portion of budgets globally and provide a surge of economic success due to the platform’s unique user-level attribution. Marketers will lean toward mobile to capture consumer attention as it allows for engaging formats and the performance KPIs that brand and performance marketers increasingly seek. Mobile has the unique opportunity to unlock economic advantage as well with lock screens evolving to become smart agents. In addition, we expect to see economic growth due to new solutions such as attention metrics and AI-powered ID-less audiences. 

Pamela Ibarra, vice president, partner management, InMobi Exchange