Prolific North Live 2023: A Recap

Prolific North Live returned to Manchester this week, where industry experts shared all the latest trends and insights across media, marketing, and digital for 2024 and beyond. Miss out? Not to worry, we’ve summarised the most exciting outcomes and compiled our key takeaways from the event in one useful guide…

Incorporating the new and optimising the old in your 2024 Paid Media Strategy:

The first talk of the day explored how to incorporate the new and optimise the old for your paid media strategy in 2024. With many platforms now incorporating machine learning and AI, it’s important to understand how to integrate them successfully into your current strategy. You should constantly consider and review your audience as they should be at the heart of campaigns.

The pros of Advantage+ shopping campaigns on Meta were then highlighted, which use machine learning in one campaign to help you reach high-value audiences, with less set up and greater efficiency. In addition, the importance of Pmax was emphasised, a new goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign.

Looking to the future, we explored Google’s new conversational tool Bard, which works similarly to a chatbot, as well as AI asset creation using Ads Creative Studio which is a creative management platform designed for creative teams. You can use it to build ads, manage creative assets, and share them with media teams.

Image: screenshot taken from Bard

It was also emphasised that video will be key for Google in 2024 with the launch of Demand Gen, which can be overlaid with conversion objectives. With YouTube shorts also making the list of products to watch next year.

Over on social media, the new lead gen features that link to WhatsApp are set to be a big update in the upcoming year, as well as the new HubSpot integration which has great potential for its audience segmentation.

Social Media Landscape and What To Expect in 2024:

Next up was a panel discussion hosted by Alexandra Balazs, the Managing Director of Prolific North.

The key trend to come out of this talk was the growing prevalence of lo-fi content, which we’ve been hearing about for the last couple of years now with the content type becoming increasingly ubiquitous on channels like TikTok. Another key takeaway was to not just create a cross-channel marketing strategy for all your digital channels, but to think of your cross-channel strategy for social. In other words, consider a separate strategy for Meta, TikTok, LinkedIn etc. Gone are the days we can put the same content on each and hope for it to perform. The importance of UGC and influencers stood out also, particularly as there’s less red tape around the content they can create for your brand.

Finally, on TikTok specifically, marketers need to start reflecting on the opportunities it presents as a search engine: overall search engine searches are down YoY with TikTok stealing some of that market share; should this trend continue it’s likely to be a gamechanger for 2024, so make sure you consider it for your social strategy. For more information check our recent blog: Google and TikTok: A new partnership to strengthen user experience.

AI to ROI:

Next up, we watched a talk given by Stephen Bullivant, head of regional sales at global media platform Teads UK, on “AI to ROI”. His demo consisted of taking a PDF brief and then watching as the system turned the brief into an advertising campaign using copy and imagery from the landing page. This was particularly exciting from a Paid Social perspective, as we’ll be keen to see how the platforms take on the AI technology within channels such as LinkedIn, which has already seen promising signs with the launch of Accelerate BETA (an AI campaign building tool currently in testing).

Keynote: Fireside chat with Jonathan Warburton

One of the most insightful talks of the day came from Jonathan Warburton who gave some great anecdotes about his experience in marketing. The best in my opinion being “marketing is application of common sense!” He went onto share stories about some recent celebrity TV campaigns and gave us some great context of how Warburton’s marketing journey began. A fantastic and inspiring talk!

For any queries about paid media, please get in touch at [email protected] for our expert advice.