Online Marketing Trends 2024: Between Automation and Artificial Intelligence
Posted on 2023 Dec,17

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At the turn of the year, the online marketing experts Smarketer Group publish their key predictions for the new year based on in-depth analyses. They provide an outlook on crucial market developments and explain how companies can align their digital marketing accordingly.


Trend 1: A comprehensive online marketing strategy is essential to coordinate various disciplines and guide them in a goal-oriented and strictly data-driven manner.

The complexity of different online marketing disciplines has significantly increased in recent years. While in the past, companies could rely on separate sub-areas and multiple service providers, a comprehensive cross-channel approach will provide even more decisive added value to marketing in 2024. However, implementing such a target group-oriented and future-oriented marketing approach requires a strategically-minded, overarching authority. Its task is to maintain a 360-degree view of marketing and orchestrate the strengths of individual disciplines, or specialized agencies, while keeping track of guidelines and goals through monitoring.

“Ultimately, the goal is to create a well-thought-out strategy that meaningfully connects all components. The basis of any strategy is to analyze one's position in the market. As only when companies know their own positioning, opportunities, and risks, as well as current market growth, can they achieve sustainable alignment and development," says Asbjörn G. Rosenberg, Head of Group Consulting at Smarketer Group.


Trend 2: The Advertising Market Has Been Democratized by AI and Automation. In 2024, it will be crucial to use corresponding tools to optimize the effect of advertising budgets.

AI and automation now play a role in many areas of marketing and have a high priority in campaign planning. For instance, Google has launched Performance Max, a solution that designs and executes a campaign for the entire Google Ads portfolio based on specific guidelines and marketing goals. Companies can easily design these campaigns, but they should pay attention to the optimal cost-benefit ratio with regard to the budgets used.

"The apparent simplicity is tempting, but it should not be overlooked that proactive monitoring of Ads campaigns is needed to achieve maximum performance. Therefore, in the future, it will be particularly important for companies and their agencies to keep costs under control despite the ever-increasing degree of automation," says Sarah Vögeli, marketing expert at Smarketer.

Trend 3: First-Party Data will become a sensible replacement for Third-Party Cookies, allowing companies to use their advertising budgets efficiently and with little wastage.

The debate about the future of advertising without cookies is nothing new. It has been evident for some time that the value of insights gained from third-party cookies is decreasing for advertisers. This is due to technical measures implemented by browser manufacturers and the use of ad blockers by users, resulting in an increasing number of users who cannot be effectively tracked. As an alternative to data obtained from tracking tools, data from one's own merchandise management or CRM software can be used. By targeting specific audiences, companies can avoid scatter losses and achieve better conversions.

"Especially companies that read and save the corresponding data with every contact request, such as which channel the contact came about, can attribute their marketing budgets more targeted and better," explains Thorsten Abrahamczik, Senior Team Lead for Webanalytics and Digital Strategy at Smarketer. "And they prevent users from being addressed twice, for example in retargeting, by clearly separating the channels."


Trend 4: Chatbots and automated customer interaction will play a more significant role in e-commerce, improving the customer experience.

For years, marketers and online retailers have been striving to offer customers the best possible (hyper-) personalized customer experience. This involves the pre-sales and sales phase, but also a close and long-term relationship with the customer, which increases engagement and loyalty and opens up cross- and upselling opportunities. AI can provide optimal support by advising more accurately over time and providing the company with valuable insights from customer interactions. Advertisers will benefit from this and receive impulses for continuous improvement.

"Ultimately, it's about customers feeling understood and being offered tailored solutions as part of the purchasing process and beyond," explains Matthias Rohde, Product Lead Conversion Optimization at Smarketer.


Trend 5: In 2024, Amazon brands and sellers will use AI-generated lifestyle images to increase sales.

Amazon has implemented a new AI image generation feature on its platform, making it easier for sellers to present their products professionally. With generative image AI, sellers can upload a simple, freestanding product image, and the AI will create a lifestyle image with a suitable background for the product. Research has demonstrated that incorporating product images in a real-life context can enhance the advertising experience for customers, ultimately resulting in an increase in sales. For instance, mobile Sponsored Brand ads that feature product images in a real context have been found to have a 40% higher click-through rate compared to those with standard product images.

"Amazon sellers and brand owners will use this new feature on a large scale in 2024 and generate additional sales from it – an opportunity that no company should miss," explains Robert Schulze, Managing Director at AMZELL, the Amazon agency of the Smarketer Group.


Trend 6: video marketing in portrait format will become a must for advertisers in all sectors for resource-optimal content delivery.

The mobile-optimized 9:16 format has become the standard on almost all social media and content platforms. It enables optimal content delivery to devices and facilitates sharing videos across various platforms without requiring readjustment. This saves time and resources while still allowing for high-quality content. Particularly in e-commerce, this is crucial for a good conversion rate and the use of advertising budgets.

"High-quality production and captivating stories can emotionally engage viewers and create a stronger brand loyalty," says Josef Raasch, Co-Founder and CEO of, a social media agency belonging to the Smarketer Group. "Visual content in general and 9:16 format content in particular is a crucial element for companies to effectively reach their target groups and generate engagement."