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5 ad trends you should be paying attention to now, according to an agency expert

While Meta, Google, Apple, and programmatic display are all investment areas for M&C Saatchi Performance, the agency is shaking up some approaches for 2024. “We’re investing in all the tried-and-true performance basics,” said Jonathan Yantz, managing partner at M&C Saatchi Performance. “But we’re most excited about the CTV [connected TV] and influencer/creator spaces, since both are so dynamic now.”

The agency is also focusing on creative content and holistic measurement, and it’s moving away from authenticity—sort of. Here are five trends M&C Saatchi Performance is keeping in mind for 2024.

1. Creative is crucial

Even with AI on the rise, high-quality creative content is vital, both to stand out and to learn what works within social algorithms. Creative execution is the No. 2 most important factor for US brand-side marketers when selecting an agency, second only to price, according to March data from the Association of National Advertisers, 4A’s, and Advertiser Perceptions.

“With the further loss of data in an increasingly privacy-centric world, creative becomes more crucial, almost as its own targeting lever to help these social algorithms determine which content to serve to which person,” said Yantz.

2. Dynamic approaches to CTV

As measurement improves, M&C Saatchi Performance is increasingly interested in CTV and particularly in multiscreening, where users watch TV while scrolling on a phone or tablet. This trend is particularly pronounced in Gen Z. Nine in 10 US internet users ages 18 to 24 watch TV while on the internet, according to our forecast.

“Reaching someone on CTV and retargeting them to their phone with a direct-response message is proving valuable and efficient,” said Yantz.

3. Keeping TikTok targeted

US influencer marketing spend is growing faster than more traditional social ads on every major platform, according to our forecast. On TikTok, where US influencer marketing spend will grow by 27.8% this year, M&C Saatchi Performance is focused on creators with small, targeted audiences.

“We’re finding greater success with smaller influencers who’ve carved out a specific niche,” said Yantz.

4. A holistic approach to measurement

It’s difficult to attribute marketing data across multiple channels. “We’re seeing more value in having a diversified approach and leaning into more holistic measurement solutions, such as media mix modeling and incrementality testing,” said Yantz.

Media mix modeling is hot right now for maximizing omnichannel investment to achieve better outcomes, according to our analyst Evelyn Mitchell-Wolf in our Ad Measurement Trends H2 2023 report.

5. The anti-authenticity movement

Marketing professionals are consistently pushing for authenticity as a way of reaching Gen Z and Gen Alpha. It’s something we’ve heard from Brooklinen, Abercrombie & Fitch, TikTok, and more. But “the definition of what’s ‘authentic’ may evolve,” according to Yantz.

AI isn’t commonly associated with authenticity, but it may still play a role in creating marketing campaigns that feel genuine. “AI will become particularly valuable for marketers as a clear tool to enable the endless creative testing we’ve always wanted,” said Yantz.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.