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By Jenni Baker, Senior Editor

February 13, 2024 | 8 min read

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Leaders from Google, Kingfisher and Jellyfish help marketers navigate marketing’s 2024 inflection point to create a path to durable measurement and business growth.

The Drum Predictions 2024 panel: An inflection point for marketing

The Drum Predictions 2024 panel: an inflection point for marketing

This year marks an inflection point for marketing - where two big shifts are coming together, influencing the way digital marketing works: the acceleration of AI and the planned deprecation of third-party cookies on Chrome, subject to resolution of any remaining competition issues with the CMA. Underpinning this is an evolving regulatory and tech landscape driven by user expectations around data privacy.

Having a plan in place is so important this year; it’s at this moment that the decisions that advertisers choose to make will determine their path to future growth and success. While the core role of marketing remains the same - to build brands and drive business growth - the way marketers do it is changing.

“This is the moment for marketers to seize the opportunity that 2024 presents and be the leaders who will create an edge for their business with AI” - that was the call out to the industry from Biren Kalaria, managing director, data, measurement & analytics, Google UK, as he kicked off The Drum Predictions 2024 event.

As for what that ‘edge’ looks like, “seizing the AI opportunity in marketing will create different opportunities at different times for marketers: for some it will be improving ROI, for others it will help to focus on higher value tasks such as measurement or creative,” explains Kalaria. “We’ve been through these transformational moments before, together as an industry, with the initial shift to digital advertising and then to mobile. Each time we saw that often those who got ahead, stayed ahead.”

Future-ready measurement

Those who act now to embrace tools and technology to build durable, future-facing measurement solutions from a strong base of consented first-party data will be the ones who unlock growth. To do that, marketers will need to get some “fundamental steps” in place, according to Alicia Harkness, analytics director, Jellyfish UK.

“In order to use AI responsibly and effectively, we need to be providing high quality, consented first-party data,” she says. “This is also the foundation for best practice measurement implementations. Put simply, if you don’t take time to invest in the fundamentals of future data, you’re not going to end up where you want to be in terms of advertising performance.”

This consent-led approach has been central to Kingfisher’s marketing as it has been building a privacy-centric measurement strategy. With six brands across multiple European markets, Eloi Casali, head of media at Kingfisher, explains that “for an organization our size, it’s extremely important that we have central legal and marketing functions that share learnings across markets to speed up implementation. We find the middle ground, set the foundations and have local teams to tailor to their market.”

Kingfisher’s baseline approach to future-ready measurement has been the implementation of Consent Mode, Enhanced Conversions, all underlined by good consent capture methodologies. “We have seen some of our brands grow their measured revenues by 47% and ROAS by 73% after implementing server side measurement and modeling features,” says Casali. “So not only does it help activate against clean, consented customer lists, it also helps us show the true value generated by the media.”

Foundations for success

But “durable foundations” are not the end of the journey, says Google’s Kalaria. “It’s about making sure that you’ve got a really good plan around how you’re going to implement these solutions and move away from third-party cookies, but also changing your organizational culture to be testing, learning and iterating all the time to find the right sweet spot between profitability and volume for your business.”

“Measurement has transformed significantly over the past 10 years - but nothing like what we are currently seeing,” says Harkness. “Advertisers who invest time in understanding and educating themselves on the possibilities of modern measurement and are open to a test and learn mindset, all underpinned by AI, are going to be the ones that excel in this new landscape. None of these approaches are necessarily new but the reliance on having multiple measurement solutions in place is going to be greater.”

Kingfisher uses what Casali calls “the ideal trifecta of measurement: econometrics, digital attribution and incrementality testing to have the best decision points possible and different methodologies to model marketing data and the business impact.” He explains: “Good data will lead to great marketing. Those three pieces together is what really brings marketing to life and how it helps permeate the rest of the business beyond the marketing function.”

It’s like your GPS, adds Kalaria, in the sense that you’re using multiple signals and information to make better decisions. “The more information you have, the better decisions you can make. What you don’t want is decision fatigue across the organization but done correctly, these things can help guide the business and steer it towards ultimately better decisions in the short, medium and long term.”

To navigate the changes coming in 2024, marketing leaders should:

  • Embrace: Those who are seizing AI at scale have the edge. Like all previous industry transformations, those who get ahead, stay ahead.
  • Invest: Privacy-first technology that collects high quality first-party data to fuel AI solutions will enable advertisers to maximize long term advertising performance.
  • Evolve: Consider multiple approaches for a measurement strategy to drive media effectiveness - high level, granular and incremental. Econometrics (or marketing mix modeling (MMM), attribution and incrementality testing will be key for delivering cross channel measurement and relative impact.

Catch up on the full discussion ‘2024: an inflection point for marketing’ from the Predictions event here on The Drum TV.

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