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6 Must-See Digital Advertising Strategies From CES 2024

January 24, 2024
Yanina Erman

CES 2024 showcased a seismic shift in the very foundation upon which our industry stands. The tech conference ushered in what is new with the tech that contextualizes advertising and closed a chapter on what is no longer including the official demise of third-party cookies. But beyond these technological shifts, there's a more profound transformation at play — an industry-wide inflection point.

Big Bets For Your 2024 Strategy 

New and established advertising principles are converging, the traditional marketing funnel has collapsed, where advertising is entertainment and entertainment itself has become experience. Creative is now the prevailing currency, and leaders from various generations are uniting to set a new tone for the workforce—just take a moment to observe the collective energy around us.

This year marks an inflection point, the entry into the era of AI-powered everything. This paradigm shift presents boundless opportunities, along with challenges that demand the collective expertise of leaders—with seasoned experience and those bringing fresh perspectives—to address. At Smartly we’re excited about navigating this fresh chapter for our customers and partners and helping achieve true breakthrough results and business goals. 

Sharing from our perspective a few of the trends highlights from CES 2024 and how they will affect marketers in the year to come:

Overheard at CES:

What's next in tech: "Technology will continue to make our workforce more creative, more efficient, and more powerful than we've ever been before" - Jill Kelly, GroupM

The evolution of storytelling "We always know relevancy drives effectiveness. It's really about understanding context. It's about how much we can give the creator to help them create the most exciting story they can tell" - Christina Juhl, GroupM

The rise of streaming: Technology and automation have to happen across all marketing; what we're aiming for is simplicity and making advertising work well for consumers - Matt Sweeney, GroupM

First-party data is more valuable. "With the deprecation of third-party cookies, first-party data is increasingly valuable. This is most positive for retail media networks as we expect more retailers to move off-network as Walmart has with Connect while Instacart (CART, MO, $35 PT) recently announced an extension of its ad platform to Google Shopping ads. Additionally, we heard expectations of greater use of clean rooms with people pointing to Snowflake (SNOW, MO, $212 PT, Walravens) as an obvious beneficiary."  –Andrew Boone, Senior Analyst JMP Securities.

On GenAI "we're just starting to see how this foundational tech of AI is going to change the way we work, live and engage with the world." -Connie Guglielm, CNET's AI guru 

JMP Securities Sr. Analyst Andrew Boone highlighted Smartly creative tech results for footlocker in his CES trends report: “Generative AI is being worked into more advertising workflows and already is improving performance. While still early and with most products just now being tested, we heard from Smartly that its generative AI tool that optimizes the background of images improved click-through rates by 32% for a publicly traded retailer. Separately, we heard from a company that it is helping customers understand and optimize landing pages for conversion, helping to improve ROAS. Stepping back, with ~50% of ad performance coming from creative (per Meta), we expect creative optimization based on better understanding of content and now explicitly connecting creative to outcomes to significantly improve ad performance over the next couple of years, potentially offsetting consumer privacy headwinds."

AI also is moving beyond generative AI into an evolving ecosystem along with new chips and sensors. “While generative AI can be tools like chat GPT, which rightfully has been the subject of intense excitement, the AI ecosystem is a much larger expanse from chips all the way to robots. You're going to see the chip makers and AI hardware companies like Intel and Qualcomm involved. They really make the brains for AI that powers a lot of innovation.” -Brian Comiskey, director of thematic processing at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) 

These trends from the show floor at CES emulate the findings of our recent global survey of marketing leaders, in which we delved into the concerns, budget planning, and strategies moving into 2024. 

The dynamic nature of the world, coupled with evolving consumer preferences, demands marketers to stay agile, creating deeper connections with their customers and at every stage of their shopping journeys. We invite you to uncover more trends to inspire and ignite your digital advertising by checking out the full report.

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