AdTech Trends in 2024

11 minutes

In the fast-paced world of advertising, keeping up with the latest trends is essential for b...

By Eda Osman

Marketing Manager

In the fast-paced world of advertising, keeping up with the latest trends is essential for businesses and marketing agencies alike. Trends allow businesses in the industry to stay relevant and competitive. Just as digital technology continues to evolve, so too do the strategies and tools used to reach consumers effectively in AdTech.

As we enter the new year, the advertising technology space is poised for further transformation. 2023 saw significant shifts in how businesses engage with consumers online, but what lies ahead in 2024 remains to be seen. Are we on the cusp of another revolutionary year in AdTech, or will we witness more gradual changes?

In this guide, we will discuss the following areas: 

  • How AdTech has evolved over the last decade
  • Top AdTech trends for 2024 
  • Impact of these trends on AdTech companies

How has AdTech Evolved Over the Last Decade?

Over the past decade, advertising technology (AdTech) has transformed dramatically, driven by technological advancements and shifts in consumer behaviour. This evolution has reshaped how advertisers connect with their audiences and how consumers interact with ads.

One significant advancement has been the rise of programmatic buying, which has made ad purchasing faster, more efficient, and highly targeted. With programmatic buying, advertisers can reach their desired audience in real-time, optimising campaigns for maximum effectiveness.

In parallel, personalised advertising has become increasingly relevant. Using technologies like user data analysis and demographic targeting, advertisers can customise their messages to individual consumers, boosting relevance and engagement.

Social media advertising has also soared in prominence. Platforms like Facebook and Google have become vital channels for targeted ads, offering advertisers access to vast audiences and sophisticated targeting tools.

However, these advancements have raised concerns about privacy and data protection. Governments and regulatory bodies have introduced stricter regulations to safeguard consumer data and promote transparency in data practices.

Looking ahead, the AdTech market is expected to continue growing rapidly, with projections indicating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5% from 2023 to 2030, reaching USD 1,496.2 billion. This growth highlights the increasing importance of AdTech and the opportunities it presents for brands to reach and engage their target audiences effectively.

Top AdTech Trends for 2024 

As we have discussed, advertising technology (AdTech) constantly changes, with advancements reshaping how businesses connect with consumers. Over the years, we've witnessed a staggering rise in AdTech spending, reflecting the industry's exponential growth. In 2017, global AdTech expenditure amounted to 177.8 billion dollars; by 2024, programmatic advertising spending alone is predicted to reach 594.81 billion. 

Although how we utilise AdTech is constantly changing, we can identify several key themes progressing into 2024. Let’s delve into this. 

The Rise of AI

Fueled by the rising demand for personalised experiences, AI is becoming a cornerstone of AdTech. Imagine ads that adapt to individual preferences based on browsing behaviour and purchase history. This focus, particularly desired by younger generations, drives a projected revenue of $42.3 billion for AI-powered AdTech by 2025.

As we move through 2024, AI is constantly learning and gaining a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour.  This allows advertisers to react to current trends and predict future preferences. With 81% of Gen Z preferring personalised ads, AI-driven personalisation is no longer an option; it's necessary.

AI's influence extends beyond targeting.  It's now stepping into the realm of creative ad generation. Imagine AI assisting with creating different ad copy variations or personalising visuals to resonate with specific audience segments. This, combined with Dynamic Content Adjustments, further optimises ad performance. 

Personalisation, targeting, ethics and automated processes are critical themes within this year's Adtech and AI duo. But how exactly is AI making progress this year? Let’s discuss this:

  • Revolutionising Targeting and Optimisation: AI streamlines ad targeting and campaign management, ensuring greater efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Personalised Experiences: AI tailors ad content to individual interests and behaviours, enabling more profound consumer connections.
  • Data-Driven Targeting: AI leverages vast datasets to deliver highly focused advertising campaigns.
  • Consumer Behavior Insights: AI provides advertisers with valuable information about evolving consumer preferences and behaviour patterns.
  • Ethical Ad Practices: AI assists in navigating complex privacy regulations, ensuring responsible data usage.

As we progress, AI will continue to evolve and shape the future of AdTech. Its advancements will likely focus on enhancing personalisation, refining targeting strategies, and ensuring compliance with evolving privacy regulations. AI's development will drive innovation and efficiency in advertising, ultimately transforming how companies engage with their target audiences.

Sustainability and Targeted Marketing

Advertising technology will significantly shift in 2024, creating various focuses for competing businesses. Sustainability and eco-conscious practices are becoming increasingly crucial, driven by growing environmental concerns, particularly among younger generations like Gen Z and Millennials.

You may be surprised to read about the connection between global warming and advertising, especially when, in 2024, we are moving away from print and to cyberspace. In reality, the advertising technology industry is being held accountable for sustainable impact, causing a shift in priorities and promises to keep. 

A heightened awareness of our digital footprint fuels this shift. Research suggests that roughly 75% of Millennials prioritise eco-consciousness, making them a key target audience in an era of heightened environmental responsibility. The impetus for this change gained momentum after COP26 in 2021, which emphasised the digital advertising industry's contribution to global warming. Online advertising alone accounts for a significant portion of global energy consumption. 

As a result, the AdTech industry is adapting to align with evolving regulations and societal expectations regarding sustainability.

Sources of Environmental Impact

AdTech's environmental impact primarily stems from energy-intensive processes like data centre operations, the energy devices consumed to display ads, and the vast amount of data processing required for ad delivery and campaign measurement. Additionally, trends like high-resolution ad formats and increased ad volume worsen this impact. 

Efforts are underway to address these concerns and promote sustainable practices. The industry is leveraging intelligent advertising technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise ad targeting and delivery, ultimately reducing energy consumption. These include:

  • AI-powered: These tools enable sharper audience segmentation, ensuring ads reach the intended viewers while minimising data and energy usage.
  • Techniques: Techniques like generating smaller file sizes and employing contextual targeting technologies like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and collaborative filtering contribute to lowering the energy consumption associated with data processing and transfers.

In 2024, sustainability presents a significant challenge for advertising companies. The AdTech industry disagrees on navigating sustainability concerns while maintaining the effectiveness of its services. This involves finding ways to address environmental impacts without compromising targeted marketing efforts. AI and smarter advertising tools are being explored to strike this balance, but the future remains to be determined.

First-Party Data Over Third-party

In the 2024 AdTech space, a standout trend is the growing reliance on first-party data while gradually distancing from third-party data sources. This shift reflects a fundamental change in how advertisers approach audience targeting, data acquisition, and regulatory compliance.

In the past, third-party data has been a fundamental and non-negotiable of digital advertising, providing valuable insights into consumer behaviour and preferences. However, advertisers are re-evaluating their data strategies, with significant web browsers phasing out third-party cookies and implementing stringent data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA.

The phasing out of third-party cookies presents a significant challenge for advertisers accustomed to using these cookies for audience targeting and tracking. As a result, there's a growing recognition of the importance of first-party data collected directly from consumers through interactions with a brand's owned channels, such as websites, apps, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

In response to these shifts, advertisers invest in strategies to leverage first-party data effectively. This includes optimising data collection processes, enhancing analytics capabilities, and developing personalised advertising experiences based on rich audience insights.

There are several reasons for the adaptation and importance of first-party data in 2024, including: 

  • Phasing Out of Third-Party Cookies: Major web browsers are eliminating support for third-party cookies, prompting advertisers to seek alternative audience targeting and tracking methods.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Stricter data privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, necessitate a shift towards first-party data to ensure compliance and mitigate legal risks.
  • Control and Ownership: First-party data grants advertisers greater control and ownership over the data they collect, enabling them to maintain transparency and build trust with consumers.
  • Enhanced Audience Insights: First-party data provides more profound and accurate insights into consumer behaviour and preferences, empowering advertisers to deliver more personalised and relevant advertising experiences.

The trend towards prioritising first-party data reflects a broader industry shift towards data ownership, compliance, and personalisation. Advertisers who embrace this trend are better equipped to navigate regulatory challenges, build stronger relationships with consumers, and drive meaningful results in their advertising campaigns.

Impact on AdTech Companies

The evolving trends in AdTech have significant implications for advertising companies and businesses, shaping their strategies and approaches to engaging with consumers. Here's how these trends are affecting the industry and the businesses using AdTech. 

Engagement and User Experience 

Consumers constantly change how they interact with online content, demanding more from advertisers. Traditional methods are losing ground. The cookieless future and a focus on user experience require businesses and AdTech to innovate. Building a solid online presence, personalising the ad experience, and prioritising engaging content are crucial for capturing attention and supporting meaningful interactions in this evolving industry.

Cookieless Future

AdTech companies are grappling with the impending loss of third-party cookies, which have long been vital to digital advertising. This necessitates shifting towards first-party data collection and alternative targeting methods to maintain personalised advertising while respecting user privacy. 

Businesses must build consumer trust by being transparent about data usage and offering valuable, consent-based experiences.

Enhanced Online Presence

Consumer online activity is rising, making it essential for businesses to strategically position themselves to capture attention and effectively engage with their target audience in the digital realm. This requires more than just having an online presence; it involves creating compelling digital experiences that resonate deeply with users. By leveraging advanced technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), advertisers can significantly enhance the impact of their campaigns by immersing users in captivating brand narratives and interactive content. 

Additionally, staying up-to-date with emerging communication platforms like TikTok and Instagram is essential for maintaining relevance and effectively reaching younger demographics, who increasingly influence digital trends.

Focus on User Engagement and Experience

In the highly competitive world of digital advertising, success depends on prioritising user engagement and delivering exceptional experiences that leave a lasting impression. AdTech companies must invest in personalised strategies that resonate with individual preferences, using data-driven insights to tailor content and interactions accordingly. 

By incorporating interactive elements and compelling storytelling techniques, advertisers can form deeper connections with their audience, evoking emotional responses and driving brand affinity. From multimedia campaigns to immersive storytelling formats, the focus should be on creating meaningful interactions that captivate and resonate with users, ultimately building long-term relationships and brand loyalty in the digital space.

Evolving Skillsets

As AdTech continues to evolve, the skillsets required for success are also transforming. Integrating AI into AdTech platforms creates a demand for professionals with expertise in machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision. Businesses need data scientists, AI engineers, and AI strategists capable of harnessing AI technologies to drive advertising innovation and performance.

Though with automation, we may see particular roles related to now streamlined tasks become redundant, several opportunities arise for professionals and businesses in the form of new roles. 

Data Analysis

With the proliferation of data in digital advertising, proficiency in data analysis is essential for deriving actionable insights and optimising ad campaigns. Businesses require skilled analysts capable of extracting meaningful patterns from large datasets and using them to inform strategic decisions and campaign optimisations.

AI Expertise

AI technologies are crucial for ad targeting, personalisation, and creative optimisation. Marketers need to understand how to leverage AI-driven insights to enhance campaign performance and deliver more relevant experiences to consumers. 

Expertise in AI technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing is becoming increasingly valuable for driving innovation in AdTech. Advertising companies or businesses employing AdTech must adjust their hiring requirements to stay competitive. 

Programmatic Campaign Management

Programmatic advertising offers efficiency and scalability but requires specialised skills to manage effectively. Professionals must be proficient in programmatic buying platforms, ad exchanges, and demand-side platforms (DSPs). This includes expertise in ad placement optimisation, bidding strategies, and real-time performance monitoring to maximise ROI and campaign success.

Enhancing Online Presence

Contextual targeting emerges as a vital strategy for enhancing online presence. This approach involves delivering advertisements that are contextually relevant to the content being consumed by users. Contextual targeting becomes particularly crucial for engaging younger demographics with shorter attention spans. 

Whether it's placing ads alongside relevant articles, videos, or social media content, contextual targeting helps capture attention and drive engagement in a cluttered digital environment. To keep up with this trend and ensure message resonance with their target audience, businesses must continuously refine their contextual targeting strategies.

Another aspect of enhancing online presence involves decreasing third-party ads. With the impending loss of third-party cookies and increasing privacy concerns, AdTech companies prioritise first-party data and direct consumer relationships. This shift allows for more personalised advertising strategies tailored to individual preferences and behaviours. 

Advertisers can deliver more relevant and meaningful content using user first-party data, supporting stronger connections and brand loyalty. This move towards personalised advertising enhances users' online experience and ensures the effectiveness and efficiency of ad campaigns.

Changing the Focus 

As we move forward into 2024, it's evident that advertising technologies must be employed with greater mindfulness to resonate with advertisers' overarching target audience. Companies leveraging AdTech must adjust to a shifting generational environment characterised by evolving technologies like AI.

In the section below, let's explore how to align with this year's predominant themes, such as hyper-personalisation and contextual targeting. 

Establishing Trust

Reaching your target audience requires a commitment to openness.  Advertisers must prioritise transparency, user control, and ethical data practices. This means being straightforward about how information is gathered, stored, and utilised for advertising.  Clarity and user preference options are crucial for building trust. 

Additionally, ethical practices like limiting data collection and anonymisation demonstrate a dedication to user privacy and respecting their choices.

Advertisers can build a strong foundation for long-lasting consumer relationships by prioritising transparency and acting ethically.

User-Centric Marketing

Sustainability in advertising requires a shift towards user-centric marketing. Prioritising user experience and ethical data practices benefits consumers and contributes to the long-term success of advertising campaigns. Advertisers can create meaningful and relevant interactions by putting users' needs and preferences first. This involves delivering content that adds value to users' lives while respecting their privacy and data rights. 

Adopting sustainable marketing practices that align with environmental and social responsibility initiatives can enhance brand reputation and resonate with socially conscious consumers. Enforcing user-centric marketing and utilising AI tools to focus advertising segmentation encourages sustainable advertising practices that benefit businesses and their audience.

Adapting to Change: Final Thoughts on the 2024 AdTech Industry

As we consider the current state of AdTech trends in 2024, it's clear that the industry is undergoing significant transformations driven by technological advancements, shifts in consumer behaviour, and regulatory changes. These trends have shaped the AdTech industry, from the increasing prominence of AI and programmatic advertising to the rising importance of sustainability and first-party data strategies.

Over the past decade, the AdTech industry has experienced remarkable growth, marked by advancements in data-driven targeting, programmatic advertising, and the adoption of innovative ad formats. With projections indicating strong market growth in the years ahead, AdTech companies and marketing agencies must remain vigilant about emerging trends and adapt their strategies accordingly to stay competitive in this rapidly evolving environment.

Embracing these trends and investing in the requisite skills are essential for thriving businesses and marketing agencies. By harnessing innovative technologies, adhering to ethical practices, and prioritising user-centric marketing approaches, organisations can position themselves for success and unlock new avenues for growth in the digital era.

AdTech Recruitment Solutions that Align with Industry Trends

As specialists in digital recruitment, we are dedicated to matching exceptional talent with e-commerce and digital marketing positions. We understand the importance of embracing the digital space in job-seeking and business operations, and we're committed to effortlessly guiding individuals and companies through this transition. We are known for our innovative recruitment strategies, meaning we have the expertise to assist you in realising your career aspirations or staffing objectives. 

Contact us today to discover how we can assist you with your recruitment requirements.

Sphere Digital Recruitment 2024
Site by Venn