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A Year In Review and The Upward Climb: Digital Edition

January 2024 Lynette Loh, Head of Digital

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, the past 12 months have been a rollercoaster ride. As the post-COVID trajectory began its decline, the digital industry faced both peaks and troughs. However, caution emerged as a prevailing trend, mirroring the fluctuating inflationary pressures in the Australian market. Consumers, too, underwent a significant shift, demanding transparency, honesty, and authenticity from brands. 

The past year has been a fascinating journey for Media Precinct. We’ve observed the above changes in our clients' digital spending behaviours. Navigating through this market instability, our focus has been on driving cost efficiencies for clients while also emphasising the importance of privacy and educating them on leveraging their data for business goals. 

The upcoming year, however, promises transformative changes for the Australian and global digital marketing landscape. Data, as the backbone of the industry, will take centre stage, propelled by the final deprecation of third-party cookies (which we delve into in our Cookie Deprecation Update article, here). 

Note: Starting February 2024, Google and Yahoo will be requiring email authentication for all bulk email senders. Emails that are not properly authenticated will be automatically blocked or directed to spam. Need assistance? We can help. Contact us for support.

We’ve identified four key focus areas for 2024: 

  • Artificial Intelligence 

  • Privacy & Compliance 

  • Budget Efficiency & Profitability 

  • Measurement & Attribution 

Data-driven marketing is not merely a trend; it is the future. AI, cookies, and first-party data are integral components of its evolution. At Media Precinct, we leverage a combination of historical campaign data, industry tools, and platform partner data to inform targeting strategies, media flighting, creative, and channel mix. First-party data, especially with the demise of third-party cookies, becomes crucial for measurement, optimization, and targeting. 

Let’s break this down further.  

Data & Artificial Intelligence 

AI capabilities are set to increase exponentially over the next year. We understand the importance of harnessing AI's potential for analysis, optimisation, and personalisation. Effective AI implementation aligns with marketing objectives and overarching business strategy. Our Data & Analytics team have already used AI to discover trends, identify correlations between datasets, understand channel impacts, and drive time efficiencies. 

The rise of 'black box' AI solutions has led big tech firms, including Google, to support AI-driven marketing and fast-tracking initiatives such as Consent Mode and Enhanced Conversions. We actively use in-house 'black box' AI tools like Meta's Advantage+ and Google's Performance Max to continuously seek ways to harness their power as regulations tighten – which brings us to a big consideration; privacy. 

Data & Privacy 

The final blow to third-party cookies emphasises the industry's focus on privacy in 2024. Privacy-centric regulations will usher in an era of consent and reliance on first-party data. The final phase of the transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 is imminent, with Google blocking access to Universal Analytics properties by July 1st, 2024. 

We’re proud to have successfully guided clients through the transition in 2023 and our team uses GA4 daily to assess campaign impact on clients' websites. With the need to explore advanced capabilities, GA4 remains a growth opportunity us. 

Data & Budget Efficiency 

Budget volatility is expected to persist in 2024, linked closely to economic factors. Clients are pushing agencies to 'do more with less,' necessitating a focus on profitability. Here’s how we navigate this: 

  • Invest in Proven Channels: Brands will scrutinise marketing activities, concentrating on top-performing, cost-effective channels. We have already begun focusing media spend on effective platforms like Meta, Google, and content seeding/native advertising. 

  • Identify and Eliminate Wastage: Analysing campaign data is crucial to maximising budget efficiency. Our Data & Analytics team identify strategies or platforms that underperform, ensuring marketing budgets remain effective. 

Data & Measurement 

Measurement, reporting, and audience frameworks are crucial for establishing digital efforts' success, a task that will become more challenging with the loss of third-party cookies. We know the urgency of this issue and are actively implementing privacy-compliant tracking methods like Meta's Conversions API to adapt to the changing landscape. 

Even though the evolution of the digital landscape may seem daunting, there are strategies to put into place that help mitigate and successfully navigate these changes. At Media Precinct, we proactively stand at the forefront of these changes, ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities that 2024 no doubt holds.  

As we embrace the future, we remain committed to helping our clients thrive in the ever-changing digital world. So, if you need some assistance on data, AI, privacy, budget efficiency, and measurement, or are just after a chat, we promise we’ll be here.  

Lynette is an accomplished Head of Digital at TMP with a diverse background in digital marketing, strategy, and team leadership. Lynette currently leads The Media Precinct’s digital product, where she has helped to deliver best-in-class digital campaigns and has been instrumental in streamlining internal operations. With a track record of success spanning multiple markets & verticals, she is known for her strategic thinking, innovation, and dedication to achieving excellence in the dynamic field of digital marketing. 

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