Marketing Trends & Insights: March 2024

Let's break down a few trends we've been seeing lately in the industry:

  1. Buying Media in an Election Season
  2. Tech & Innovation in the Grocery Industry
  3. AI & Audio

A few considerations for buying media in an election season:

Timing Considerations

Several key periods typically experience higher demand and prices for ad space during an election year:

  • Primary Elections and Caucuses
  • National Conventions
  • Debates and Major Events
  • Final Weeks of the Campaign

Pricing Considerations

  • Price Increase: Ad inventory on social, search, and programmatic channels typically increases by up to 20%.
  • Political Priority: Media outlets may prioritize political advertising, offering premium placement options and charging higher rates for prime ad slots during key periods.
  • TikTok currently has a ban on all political and PAC advertisers, so it’s a great channel to avoid political chatter.

Ad Space and Targeting Considerations

With a surge in controversial or sensitive content during election season, brands can take a variety of measures to remain safe:

  • Voter Data: Since voter registration data is continuously refreshed, brands leverage this data for targeting.
  • Contextual Targeting: Targeting to place ads alongside content that is unlikely to be controversial (such as entertainment, home, health, hobbies & interests, sports).
  • Brand Safety Tactics: Help avoid placing ads on content that is considered inappropriate or harmful to the brand's image.
  • Blocklists and Allowlists: Create lists to block controversial websites or keywords, or create lists of approved content where ads can be exclusively displayed.

Creative Considerations

  • Quality Control: Social platforms QA political advertisements to flag content accuracy.
  • It’s a great opportunity for brands to be creative to grab attention.

Geographic Considerations

The seven swing states (listed below) will have heavier ad buys on news related content. This is a great opportunity for non-political brands to take advantage of consumer political ad fatigue and run placements on sports and entertainment sites where visitors are look for a break from politics.

  • Arizona
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin

Retail Media Networks

Big names in grocery have been leading the charge when it comes to retail media networks—but smaller chains are working to catch up. 

  • More small grocers are embracing retail media networks and bringing in new CPGs as advertisers.
  • Schnucks rolled out the capability for CPGs to promote to their shoppers directly through social media and third-party platforms, AKA offline media.
    • CPGs are just beginning to consider options like these to connect digitally with shoppers, so both sides are navigating how to make it work. 
  • Save A Lot is bringing hundreds of independent locations together in one platform to streamline the customer experience, increase engagement between shoppers and CPGs, and gain a real-time updates on product availability so the correct ads are served to customers.

Adaptation & New Tech

A buzzy new term is going around—“adaptive retail” an idea centered on improving the digital shopping experience by incorporating new technologies, like AR and AI. Here’s a few ways companies are using new tech:

  • Grocery delivery service Hungryroot grew their revenue 40% last year, while other delivery services are shutting down. Part of their strategy is using AI and machine learning in their app to track and predict consumer preferences, then make suggestions. 
  • UK grocery chain Sainsbury’s has an app that allows customers to see personalized pricing options with discounts before they start shopping, then scan items and pay as they shop. 

Kroger is working with analytics firm Intelligence Node to implement AI into their digital platforms to improve their product listings and content—giving them more dynamic pricing and marketing solutions.

Ai is Changing the Soundscape

Being able to use our voices to interact with machines is becoming more accessible—and AI voice assistants are becoming more powerful. 

  • Voice assistants and audio devices are being used more, with AI making them more sophisticated.
    • This goes beyond Alexa or Siri to things like an AI being able to analyze an airplane and tell you when it needs maintenance. 
    • As people increasingly listen to news, books, and podcasts, marketing will follow them there. 
  • Wearable AI assistants are advancing and becoming more mainstream, which is a huge shift in how we interact with tech.
    • Ex: Meta Ray Bans, Rabbit, Humane AI Pin
    • This is a move toward a more seamless integration of AI-powered super assistants into our lives.

Sources

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