Embracing the Future for Paid Media & Advertising Trends

  • Video Ads Continue to Dominate the Digital Space. Video ads, especially shorter ones, are becoming increasingly popular due to the audience’s short attention spans, with mobile video ad spending projected to reach $53.9 billion by 2025.
  • Emerging Advertising Formats and Platforms Offer Competitive Advantage. Brands that quickly adopt new advertising formats and platforms, such as streaming TV, social AR filters, in-game ads, digital audio/podcast ads, and messaging app ads, can gain a competitive edge.
  • Brands Must Adapt to a Cookie-less World. The phasing out of third-party cookies necessitates a shift in advertising strategies, focusing on first-party data, contextual targeting, cohort modeling, location targeting, and predictive audiences.
  • Consumer Behavior is Constantly Evolving. Brands need to stay attuned to shifts in consumer behavior, such as the preference for convenience, personalization, and companies that align with their values, and adjust their advertising strategies accordingly.
  • First-Party Data is Invaluable for Custom Benchmarks. In the privacy-focused era, first-party data is crucial for establishing customized benchmarks and KPIs, with brands needing to activate owned data sources to gain an edge.
  • The Paid Media Landscape is Undergoing Rapid Change. New platforms and ad formats are emerging, consumer behavior and regulations are shifting, and brands must be ready to adapt to these changes to succeed in the paid media landscape.
  • Agility and Forward-Thinking are Key to Success. Brands that embrace agility and forward-thinking and implement strategies such as testing new ad formats, preparing for a cookie-less future, aligning messaging with consumer trends, maximizing first-party data, and diversifying their media mix will be poised for continued success.

The paid media and advertising landscape constantly evolves with new technologies, platforms, and consumer behaviors. Brands that want to succeed need to stay ahead of emerging trends and be willing to embrace innovative strategies. This article will highlight some key developments brands should prepare for to future-proof their paid media strategy.

We’ll explore new advertising formats gaining traction, strategies for a cookie-less world, adapting to changes in consumer behavior, leveraging first-party data, and navigating the shifting paid media environment. Forward-thinking brands implementing these strategies will be poised for continued success even as the industry transforms.


Video ads continue to dominate, though shorter ads are becoming more popular due to short attention spans. Mobile video ad spending is projected to reach $53.9 billion by 2025 (source)

Staying Ahead of Emerging Formats and Advertising Trends

The digital advertising landscape is constantly shifting as new formats and channels emerge. Brands that want to stay ahead of the curve need to evaluate and test cutting-edge options continuously. The companies that move quickly to adopt the latest high-potential ad formats and platforms will have a competitive advantage.

EmergingReach PotentialEngagement PotentialOther Factors
Streaming TV (e.g. Roku)High – Large audience cutting cable for streamingModerate – Ad skipping possible but engaged mindsetLeverages TV viewing behaviors in digital
Social AR FiltersModerate – Growing in popularity but smaller user baseHigh – Interactive, branded experienceInspires user-generated content
In-Game AdsHigh – Large gaming audience, especially younger demosModerate – Engaged but ad blocking existsContextual targeting in virtual environments
Digital Audio/Podcast AdsHigh – Increased digital audio consumptionModerate – Passive listening environmentIntimate, screenless format
Messaging App AdsModerate – Dependent on specific apps usedHigh – Active engagement in appContextual targeting in the messaging environment

Identifying New Formats and Channels

When it comes to new ad formats, video marketing and influencer marketing are two of the fastest-growing digital advertising tactics. Brands should look for opportunities to produce engaging video content and partner with relevant influencers to connect with audiences.

Streaming ads on OTT platforms like Roku are also gaining popularity. As consumers shift to streaming, brands need to reallocate ad dollars accordingly. Innovative formats like social AR filters and in-game ads also present new brand awareness opportunities.

For emerging channels, brands should pay attention to digital audio and podcast ads as listening increases. Advertising in messaging apps like WhatsApp or WeChat allows hyper-targeting of engaged users. As consumers spend more time in these apps, they present prime real estate for highly relevant messaging.

Implementing Strategies for New Advertising Trends

When capitalizing on new formats and channels, brands should focus on agility, maximizing relevancy, and optimizing performance.

Test new formats iteratively, starting with small budgets to determine effectiveness. Use data to double down on top performers. Partner with influencers who authentically align with your brand and niche. Produce video content optimized for the platform it will run on. Personalize messaging for each channel and the specific use case.

Leverage automation and programmatic buying to capitalize on emerging channels reaching your audience. Work with ad tech partners who provide access to new inventory sources. Measure paid media performance across formats and reallocate spend to the highest ROI options.

Staying at the forefront of paid media trends takes dedication, but early adoption of impactful formats and channels delivers outsized rewards. Brands that embrace this process will advance further faster.

How Brands Are Adapting to Ads Without Cookies

The digital advertising ecosystem is experiencing a major shift as support for third-party cookies is phased out. This change will have significant implications that require brands to reevaluate their advertising strategies.

Targeting StrategyApplication in Cookie-less World
First-Party DataLeverage owned, declared data like emails or customer IDs to reach known audiences
Contextual TargetingTarget ads based on page content, searches, etc. without behavior tracking
Cohort ModelingCreate custom segments based on shared attributes and behaviors
Location TargetingTarget ads to store visitors, specific geofences, etc., based on consented data
Predictive AudiencesUse machine learning to model lookalike audiences from first-party data
Registration WallsIncentivize logins/email capture to build authenticated audiences
Customer Data SharingCollaborate with partners to combine 1st party data for larger reach

Understanding the Impact of Cookie-less Advertising

Third-party cookies have enabled precise targeting and attribution based on users’ browsing history across sites. Without cookies, these cross-site tracking capabilities go away.

For brands, this means digital advertising will become more anonymous. Retargeting users or measuring conversions from ads across different sites will be extremely difficult. Advertising will rely more on context than personalization.

Additionally, walled gardens like Google, Facebook, and Amazon will hold even more power as they own rich first-party data. Brands must find ways to augment their first-party data to remain competitive.

Strategies for Cookie-less Advertising

To adapt to the cookie-less future, brands should adopt cohort-based targeting, incrementality testing, and registration walls.

Cohort targeting uses data signals like device type and browsing habits to create groups with shared behaviors to target. Testing ad effectiveness via lift studies will also become more important for proving incrementality.

Registration walls can incentivize email sign-ups and app downloads to build first-party data. Collaborating with trusted partners who bring their first-party data can also help brands activate custom audiences. Curating owned, declared data directly from customers will be more critical than ever. Strategies like loyalty programs and CRM audience syncing are essential.

While third-party cookies provide precise convenience, the cookie-less future brings the opportunity to refocus on more sustainable, consumer-centric strategies. Brands willing to evolve their approach to data will thrive.

Adapting to Changes in Consumer Behavior

Consumer preferences, habits, and media consumption are constantly evolving. Brands need to stay in tune with behavioral shifts and adjust strategies accordingly. Understanding the motivations behind audience trends allows smarter adaptation.


Personalized and contextual advertising trends based on consumer data and behaviors are on the rise to deliver more relevant ads (source)

Analyzing Consumer Trends

Today’s consumers increasingly value convenience, personalization, and companies that align with their values. Mobile usage continues to dominate, so paid optimization for small screens is critical.

Audiences gravitate toward snackable short-form content and expect interactive, engaging ad experiences. Greater emphasis is placed on diversity, inclusion, and sustainability in branding and messaging.

With the rise of digital privacy, consumers prefer more transparent, consent-based approaches to data collection. Brands need to balance relevance with respecting privacy boundaries.

Strategies for Adapting to Consumer Trends

The strategies brands implement should aim to reflect changing consumer expectations and behaviors. This means an emphasis on mobile-first, short-form content designed for thumb stops.

Integrating interactive elements and gamification makes ads more welcoming. Allowing customization and personalization satisfies the desire for tailored experiences.

Aligning branding and messaging with corporate values on diversity, sustainability, etc., helps connect with what consumers care about. Transparent data usage policies and consent-based data collection build trust. Testing new formats like stories and live video on social platforms reaches audiences in-feed. Optimizing landing pages for quick transactions matches the convenience trend.

While adapting to the latest consumer behaviors takes work, brands that embrace this responsive approach will forge stronger connections with audiences. They’ll meet customers where they are instead of where they used to be.

Leveraging First-Party Data for Custom Benchmarks

In today’s privacy-focused era, first-party data is increasingly valuable for establishing customized benchmarks and KPIs. Brands that learn how to activate owned data sources will gain an edge.

First-Party Data SourceActivation Strategies
Customer relationship management (CRM) dataSync CRM IDs for targeting across media; Analyze customer lifetime value data to optimize targeting
First-party cookies and identifiersUse to identify site visitors; Link with other data sources for a unified profile
Email lists and newslettersUpload emails to enable targeting across channels; Survey subscribers for insights into preferences
Loyalty and rewards programsIdentify high-value customer behaviors; Target member levels differently based on value
UGC data (product reviews, social content)Analyze for insights into brand sentiment; Monitor ratings and reviews over time
App usage dataAnalyze in-app behaviors to personalize advertising; Target engaged app user segments

The Importance of First-Party Data

First-party data comes directly from customers engaging with a brand, such as through email sign-ups, loyalty programs, product reviews, etc. It provides a transparent view of real people.

With third-party data fading due to restrictions, first-party data offers a more sustainable way to understand customers. This helps brands set metrics and goals based on real insights vs. industry averages.

First-party data allows evaluation success on your audience rather than broad assumptions. You can calculate benchmarks like ideal cost per lead or expected conversion rates based on past performance with your customers specifically.

Strategies for Utilizing First-Party Data

To leverage first-party data for custom benchmarking, focus on unifying data from all owned properties to create a single customer view. Look at past response rates and engagement metrics.

Analyze your high-value customer attributes and behaviors. Use this to estimate projected costs for acquiring similar customers through paid media. Build conversion rate benchmarks by source to measure against.

Track custom engagement and retention metrics beyond clicks and conversions to gauge advertising resonance. Survey customers on ad relevance to set optimization goals.

Look beyond default industry CTR and conversion benchmarks. Let the stable truth of your customer data guide your goals. The brands that embrace first-party-powered custom benchmarking will pull ahead.

Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Paid Media Advertising

The world of paid media advertising undergoes constant change. New platforms and ad formats regularly emerge while consumer behavior and regulations shift. For brands to succeed, they must understand the evolving landscape and be ready to adapt.

PlatformKey BenefitsKey Drawbacks
Connected TV (CTV)Engaged viewing experience; Large and growing audience; More addressable than linear TVHigher cost per impression; Fragmented ecosystem; Ad frequency concerns
Amazon Advertising100% share of voice for keywords; Advanced targeting capabilities; Closed-loop attributionWalled garden lacking transparency; Higher cost of entry for smaller brands
Retail Media NetworksValuable shopping-mindset audience; Detailed CRM data for targetingStill evolving space; Complexity of retail partnerships
RokuFirst-mover advantage in CTV Cross-screen reachLimitations in targeting vs. walled gardens; Content gaps compared to other CTV
TikTokReach and engagement with Gen Z, Viral entertaining ad formatsEvolving ad platform lacking sophistication; Short-form content not ideal for all brands

Understanding the Changes in Paid Media Trends

Several key factors are driving the continued evolution of paid media. The digital duopoly of Google and Facebook faces rising competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart. Streaming TV services like Roku offer new brand awareness opportunities.

At the same time, costs on major platforms are increasing due to growing demand and inflation. iOS privacy changes are also causing major platforms like Facebook to lose efficacy. These dynamics require regular reevaluation of channel strategies.

On top of the changing platforms, new formats like connected TV and digital audio ads require new creative. And compliance demands around data privacy continue to increase.

Strategies for Navigating the Evolving Landscape

Brands must constantly evaluate emerging technologies and be willing to test and adopt cutting-edge options to stay competitive in digital advertising. By proactively experimenting with new tech-enabled formats, marketers can determine which innovations provide the greatest impact and ROI while audiences are still receptive to early adoption.

One area full of potential is artificial intelligence. As machine learning and AI grow more sophisticated, their applications in areas like predictive modeling, dynamic creative optimization, and campaign management automation expand. Brands that leverage AI-powered ad platforms and martech solutions position themselves to maximize relevancy and performance. Testing different AI capabilities and use cases today paves the way for full integration into paid strategies as the tech advances.

Augmented and virtual reality also brings fresh opportunities to engage audiences. As AR/VR headsets become mainstream, marketers can craft immersive branded experiences that inspire loyalty and word-of-mouth. Early experiments around virtual product demos, AR retail applications, and interactive video ads provide valuable learnings for honing this craft. Those who build in-house skills with AR/VR storytelling and activation will have an edge as these formats gain traction.

Voice-enabled advertising, shoppable livestreams, and interactive display units allow novel ways to connect with customers digitally. By piloting innovative options like these early, brands establish expertise in the most promising areas. They gain valuable data to double down on what provides real returns. The future competitive landscape belongs to advertisers willing to test and optimize what’s new consistently.

Final Thoughts

The paid media landscape will rapidly evolve with new formats, platforms, regulations, and consumer behaviors emerging. Brands need to stay vigilant about these changes and be willing to optimize their strategies constantly.

As we’ve explored, crucial moves for brands include testing and adopting high-potential new ad formats, preparing for a cookie-less future, aligning their messaging and experiences with changing consumer trends, maximizing first-party data, and diversifying their media mix.

Companies that take the initiative to get ahead of these advertising trends will gain a competitive advantage. They will build stronger customer connections and see greater returns from their advertising spend.

Advertisers that embrace agility and forward-thinking will be poised to flourish amidst the pace of change. By implementing the strategies covered here, brands can future-proof their paid media campaigns for continued success.


What is a current trend in advertising?

Video and social media advertising driven by influencers are rapidly growing trends.

What are the trends for advertising in 2023?

Key 2023 trends are adopting new formats like streaming TV ads, preparing for cookieless targeting, and leveraging artificial intelligence.

What are the advertising trends in 2024?

Connected TV, retail media networks, digital audio, and messaging app ads will likely gain more traction in 2024. Contextual targeting and virtual/augmented reality also have potential.

How can brands adapt to new ad formats?

Test budgets iteratively on emerging ad formats to gauge resonance. Tailor creative assets and messaging to optimize performance on each new channel.

What is the impact of third-party cookie loss?

Cross-site tracking and retargeting will be reduced. Advertising will rely more on contextual signals and first-party data vs 3P cookies.

How should advertisers respond to cookie loss?

Strategies like cohort modeling, registration walls, and collaborating with data partners will be key to customer insight.

Why is first-party data becoming more important?

First-party data enables more reliable customer benchmarking and insight in a privacy-focused world.

What are strategies for leveraging first-party data?

Unifying data into a customer data platform, analyzing past performance metrics, and surveying customers help activate first-party data.

How can brands adapt messaging to changing consumer behaviors?

Aligning branding with audience values on social issues and emphasizing convenience and personalization help connect with modern consumers.

What is key to navigating the evolving advertising trends landscape?

Brands must stay informed on rapid changes, diversify their media mix, monitor performance, and be ready to optimize strategies constantly.

Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.