Advertising technology, or adtech, is an ever-shifting landscape. Like the rest of digital marketing, it experiences fresh changes and trends every year — and keeping up with those changes is a must for your dealership. If you don’t stay on top of things, you’ll fall behind your competitors.
To that end, we’re reviewing some of the most significant automotive advertising technology trends going into 2024. Knowing these trends is important for staying ahead of the curve, so even if you don’t follow every one of these trends yourself, at least be aware of their significance.
The five biggest auto adtech trends to watch in 2024:
- First-party data
- Data enablement
- Artificial intelligence
- Increase in video ads
- Audio and connected TV
1. First-party data
The first item on our list of 2024 adtech trends is first-party data.
In the first half of 2023, Google announced plans to phase out third-party cookies — that is, cookies that are placed on a user’s device by websites other than the ones they visit. This change is being made to help improve user privacy, and it will roll out over the course of 2024.
In the wake of this shift, businesses are moving toward a heavier reliance on first-party cookies — those that only function on the websites users actually visit. That indicates a shift in the way that user data is tracked and stored, which in turn will affect the way that ad targeting is set up.
Activating first-party data will be more important than ever in 2024. Dealers will win when they leverage owned data in ad formats across digital experiences and segment audiences to reach people at the right time, on the right channel, and with the right message.
2. Data enablement
The advancement of technology and data management is enabling marketers and business leaders to manage human data in a complex way that simply did not exist five years ago.
Dealers can now understand the true value of every sales and service customer. Why is this important? If we are able to identify and understand our best customers, we can better identify how and where we should invest our marketing dollars. This ultimately increases dealership revenue and saves advertising costs.
3. Artificial intelligence
Another of the biggest 2024 trends for adtech — unsurprisingly — is artificial intelligence (AI). AI has been making enormous waves in many different areas of the business and marketing world, including digital advertising.
Specifically, many businesses and agencies will likely invest in AI advertising models specific to their industries or companies. These models will be used to create advertising content, as well as to refine ad targeting and distribute ads to the right channels and users.
It’s debatable whether this trend is good or bad. For some dealerships, it could reap notable rewards. But AI is still largely uncharted territory, so it could also potentially spell disaster for dealers who dive into it too deeply and recklessly. Proceed with caution.
4. Increase in video ads
Video advertising has grown more popular and effective. It’s always been a great way to engage your audience, but that’s even more true today, with faster Internet speeds and the increased impact of channels like social media and YouTube. In recent years, video ad spend has consistently increased.
This trend is fully expected to continue in 2024, with video ads becoming more prominent than ever. Many dealers view it as more effective than text- or image-based ads.
5. Audio and connectedTV
It might seem like television ads are a relic of days gone by, but that’s not quite true — TV ads are still around, they’ve simply evolved into a new format. That format is known as connected TV (CTV). CTV ads are typically shown through streaming platforms, and unlike traditional TV ads, they can be targeted to specific users based on their interests.
The same applies to audio ads, which appear in audio content like podcasts or between songs on music streaming services. Just like with CTV ads, they can be directed to specific audiences to reach the people most likely to respond positively to them.
Audio and connected TV ad formats will continue to grow as opportunities for marketers and dealerships to reach potential car buyers in ways they can’t through other forms of digital advertising.
Both of these advertising advancements have been around for a few years now, but they’ve picked up popularity over time, and they’re expected to be one of the biggest trends for adtech going into 2024.
If you’re wondering which of this year’s trends are most important for your dealership, give the PureCars team a call and we’ll take a complimentary look at your current advertising mix (and your competitors!) and recommend the best path to a highly successful 2024.