A photo of Jules, our Head of Paid Media, with a person using a phone in the background.

Navigating change: Key insights from Oban’s webinar on paid media in 2024

Oban’s recent webinar provided a glimpse into the future of paid media, particularly focusing on the potential revolution brought about by generative search. While this innovation is set to transform our Google experience, the landscape of paid advertising won’t necessarily see an immediate upheaval. Read on for a useful summary of the key trends and insights discussed in the webinar.


SGE (Search Generative Experience) will transform our experience of Google

  • But it won’t revolutionise the ad landscape just yet
  • This is because Google aims to prioritise user satisfaction before ad products, so we’re likely to see a phased roll out to ensure a good UX
  • Remember all the chatter about voice search ads? They were supposed to revolutionise the ad industry but it didn’t quite work out like that
  • While generative search will revolutionise organic search, the ad landscape remains stable for now, with other revenue opportunities on the horizon


We need to guard against the disruptive impact of SGE on organic search

  • We can expect impression volume and therefore traffic to decrease as a result of SGE, which will lead to performance disruption
  • It’s like zero click searches but worse…
  • However, overall user experience should improve so it’s a case of working through the impact on measurability
  • Around 10% of organic traffic could be at risk, so brands should set aside extra paid media budget to offset the loss


Microsoft is pioneering AI in ad tech

  • Microsoft is taking a distinctive approach, offering an AI chat product for businesses, aiming to monetise it through various ad formats
  • The new Bing will introduce innovative ad formats to its chat experience, highlighting Microsoft’s leadership in ad tech
  • However, despite rising interest, Bing’s market share has not grown significantly. Unless you’re in China, Russia, or Korea, search still equals Google
  • Microsoft Audience Network, akin to programmatic, promises a performance channel comparable to Google’s positioning
  • Microsoft Start, a news app, faces challenges in gaining market share, with recent innovations falling short of advertisers’ expectations
  • Channel 4 is set to be the first UK broadcaster to leverage Microsoft’s automated ad buying platform, Xandr


Google’s strategy for 2024

  • Google’s focus for 2024 includes accelerating and simplifying user journeys through SGE
  • Rich and dynamic ad formats will be favoured
  • Google seems to have played down Perspectives but this could still be a big deal in 2024:
    • It’s a new tab or filter for search results
    • It pulls in content formats that users would traditionally find on other platforms, making it feel familiar
    • Google seems poised to monetise this with ads as soon as it launches
    • The UX implies that Google aiming to capture a share of the social media market


The scale of social media and what it means for planning

  • Monthly active users for the top ten social media platforms have become massive
  • Facebook clearly dominates, offering solid ad products and scalability (as Meta also owns Instagram)
  • TikTok is in the top 10 already despite being only six years old
  • Twitter/X and Pinterest are smallest of the top 10 but remain huge – X for real-time conversations and Pinterest for visual discovery
  • There is significant audience overlap between platforms – most of us are on multiple platforms (but for different purposes)
  • Ease of content production varies significantly by platform – some favour visually engaging content while others thrive on impactful, concise messaging


Automation and AI transformations

  • In 2024, automation and AI are expected to lead to transformative changes rather than just acceleration
  • Organic and paid teams should integrate around SGE developments and measurability, with a focus on user-generated content (UGC) and content creators
  • Businesses should update best practices to align with automated solutions becoming the norm
  • Prioritise platform-specific skills, invest in rich content production, and research consumer audiences holistically to maximise automation benefits in 2024


Act now: Strategic recommendations for businesses in 2024

  • Acknowledge that Search Generative Experience (SGE) is set to revolutionise Google but won’t immediately disrupt the ad landscape
  • Expect a potential decrease in impression volume and traffic due to SGE, leading to performance disruptions
  • Recognise the user experience improvements while working through the impact on measurability
  • Allocate additional paid media budget to offset potential traffic loss, estimated at around 10%
  • Develop platform-specific skills and experiences
  • Invest in rich content production capabilities
  • Research consumer audiences more holistically to maximise the benefits of automation
  • Understand audience overlap between social media platforms and tailor content production based on platform characteristics and user intent
  • Embrace rich and dynamic ad formats, and stay tuned for the potential launch of Google’s Perspectives feature


By incorporating these strategic actions, businesses can position themselves to adapt to the evolving landscape of paid media in 2024, using new technologies and insights for sustainable growth and success.

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Stay tuned for more webinars from Oban in 2024. Below, you can gain access to a recording of this webinar.

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Stay tuned for more webinars from Oban in 2024. In the meantime, to find out how we can accelerate your brand’s international growth using our unique network of Local In-Market Experts, get in touch.

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