The 2024 Forecast for Sales and Rev Ops Leaders
2023 has been full of surprises for the digital ad market. After a brutal start and slow spring, most industries are seeing at least a mild upswing in advertising spend that is projected to last into 2024, led by categories like retail The advertising industry is poised for moderate growth in the new year, projected at 4.3%, with digital advertising positioned to capture slightly more dollars and see more growth than other channels.
This shift toward digital is nothing new. Most brands have increased their digital spending over the past decade, with retail media and other emergent channels accelerating the shift. This proliferation of media options, coupled with advancements in areas like AI and out-of-home advertising, has created more opportunities for digital channels to capture ad dollars.
Sellers are in for more good news in 2024 since the new year will also bring the Summer Olympics and a presidential election cycle—two events that are a boon for media companies everywhere.
The most successful Sales and Rev Ops leaders stay on top of trends in the broader landscape. Partnering with hundreds of publishers, Boostr is lucky to participate in many conversations about what’s next in our industry. These insights can fuel strategies for the year ahead and help savvy sellers identify growth opportunities. Our top three predictions for Sales and Rev Ops in 2024 are:
- AI-powered media and marketing will continue to alter the industry
- Elections and the Olympics will inject extra cash
- TikTok will become the preeminent social and influencer marketing platform
Keep reading for all the details to inform a winning 2024 strategy.
Prediction #1: AI expands influence
We simply cannot talk about the future without talking about AI. 2023 was a breakout year for all things artificial intelligence, including the release and widespread adoption of chatbots such as Bard and ChatGPT. The excitement about the technology has no end in sight, and with investment pouring in, we’re on track to see more advancements and adoption of AI-powered technology.
In 2024, we’ll see the expansion of AI in several key areas:
- AI-powered ads: Machine learning (ML) algorithms are getting better at analyzing user data to deliver personalized content that caters to individual preferences and behaviors. This highly targeted and relevant content can boost customer engagement, loyalty, and sales. New AI-driven software makes it possible to deliver the best creative at the right moments to the right consumers, unlocking new opportunities for publisher growth. Savvy publishers are already investing in AI.
- Consumer behavior analysis: Marketers are using AI to get better intel on consumer trends faster. With granular insights into buying habits and preferences, advertisers can tailor campaigns more effectively. Publishers would do well to ask their advertising partners about these insights—and share their own in return.
- Automation: Sales teams have been liberated from busy work thanks to AI, which is increasingly handling tasks such as lead generation and qualification, call summaries, and appointment scheduling. Sellers can use the time savings to focus on more important things—like closing deals.
- Content creation: We’re still in the early days of generative AI for content creation, but it will continue to improve and assume a greater role. Many teams are already using AI for ideation, fast-tracking content keyword research, and clustering. It will increasingly be used to generate social media and blog posts, articles, and campaign emails. AI is also being deployed to enhance existing content retroactively. Meanwhile, DALL-E 2 and other tools are applying AI to visuals. All of these developments are a boon to large-scale publishers, which can get more mileage out of their existing creative assets.
Prediction #2: An influx of cash
In the coming year, the US will account for almost one-third of global ad spending, reaching $ 325.7 billion. A large surge in spending will be driven by two key events.
First, the Summer Olympics will be held in Paris beginning in late July. The US already spends more than any other country on advertising in general, and its ad spending will swell during this global event, particularly in linear TV. Traditional TV advertising, however, has been in a years-long decline, falling 8% in 2023, the third largest year-over-year decline since the 2008 recession.
Digital channels are poised to usurp some linear TV ad dollars as several non-sponsors drop their TV campaigns to avoid getting lost in the noise and or paying inflated rates. Digital’s refined targeting capabilities make it possible not just to connect with Olympic audiences but also with others who are perhaps less enthusiastic about the games. Messages targeting the latter can act as a service, providing consumers with alternatives during the games. Regardless, at the heart of many successful campaigns will be a personalized, people-centric approach.
As the new year approaches, publishers should ask themselves how they can maximize Olympics-related opportunities. We recommended focusing on thoughtful content with a meaningful tie-in that connects to relevant images from the games, which are always visually rich. Effective monetization tools must underpin all of that great content, of course, to increase ad engagement, ensure optimal user experience, and ultimately increase revenue.
The second major event that will supercharge US ad spending in 2024 will be the presidential election. In addition to the White House, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be contested, along with 34 seats in the Senate.
2024 political ad spending is set to break records, predicted to top $10 billion due to the charged political climate, a highly contested presidential seat, and slim margins in Congress. Digital mediums, especially programmatic, offer opportunities during the election cycle. Programmatic, for example, lets candidates use precise targeting to connect with voters across devices.
While there is significant upside to political advertising, publishers should be mindful of the pros and cons of specific ads and weigh the potential for backlash. In 2022, for instance, Hulu faced controversy for not running specific ads with a liberal slant. What’s most important for publishers is to ensure that political ads do not detract from the content that has built their brands. Political advertising can be very lucrative—but it must be approached mindfully.
Prediction #3: TikTok supremacy
TikTok is already one of the highest-grossing apps on the market, and its popularity will continue growing in 2024. Its prominence matters for publishers and marketers as it becomes the preeminent platform for influencer marketing—a category that will also see strong growth in the new year.
There’s power in the platform. TikTok defied the market slowdown that hurt others in 2023 while expanding and introducing new features like TikTok Shop. This one-stop shop for e-commerce allows users to buy products from various vendors in the app. It launched with great success in the US, UK, and parts of Asia, and it will likely go global in 2024.
TikTok’s $4 billion revenue is on track to double in 2024. Publishers have many opportunities to both react and strategically integrate TikTok into their 2024 plans.
Publishers typically leverage TikTok as content creators, sharing trending pieces. Around half of news publishers have now integrated TikTok into their publishing strategy, and that proportion is expected to grow. The channel can be a meaningful way to connect and engage with audiences, especially as more social media trends toward short-form videos. A strong social presence requires publishers to be where their audiences are. In 2024, that’s TikTok.
Capitalizing on 2024 opportunities
Budgets are growing, tools are proliferating, and innovation is at the forefront as new channels and strategies challenge the tried and true. The new year represents a moment of opportunity, where a mix of technological advancement and shifting consumer behavior have created a demand to stand out in a crowded digital space. Capturing ad dollars requires a tailored strategy.
Adaptability and long-range planning are key to long-term success in media publishing. Tools that enable quick decision-making and precision forecasting support these capabilities so publishers can stay ahead of the market.
Here are a few tactical tips:
- Put your AI plan down on paper. Will you start with automating repetitive tasks? Should we deploy software to summarize client calls and suggest the next steps? Putting your goals down on paper is the first step to ensuring AI works for you this coming year – and not the other way around.
- Put the finishing touches on your Olympics and Elections packages before the holidays. Brands have been notoriously slow in approving their budgets since the pandemic, but you’ll want to be first in line once they are ready to commit – if they haven’t already.
- Refresh your TikTok competitive strategy. Is your audience development team regularly posting? Or will you have a branded content offering that’s complementary to what’s happening on the platform? Think through your Gen Z (and millennial) story for brands to ensure you capture dollars at risk of moving to TikTok.
Find out more about how Boostr can support you with your sales efforts in 2024 and beyond by contacting one of our experts. Book a personalized demo today!
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