AI, retail media, and CTV: What you missed at POSSIBLE 2024

The POSSIBLE 2024 event zeroed in on frontline issues marketers are wrestling with, devoting significant attention to cutting-edge topics like AI, the cookieless future, retail media, the creator economy, and cultural representation. Here are some highlights:

AI & generative AI:

  • Insightful conversations around AI's business impact featured leaders like Accenture Song's creative chairperson Nick Law, Microsoft’s Colette Stallbaumer, and Claritas’ chief AI officer Rex Briggs.
  • AI was a prevailing theme, with excited chatter at happy hours about leveraging generative AI for personalization, creative, and brand-consumer interactions.
  • There were also debates around the responsible development and deployment of AI technologies by brands.
  • Attendees pondered the potential of AI agents to enable more seamless brand-consumer dialogues.
  • The intersection of AI with immersive and spatial commerce experiences was another area of focus.

The cookieless future—and data privacy:

  • With so many sessions tackling cookie deprecation and the cookieless future, heated conversations occurred at happy hours regarding readiness, new measurement approaches, and the value of data clean rooms.
  • There were spirited discussions around balancing data privacy priorities with the need for intelligent targeting and measurement once third-party cookies go away.
  • Speaking of which: A number of attendees asked us if Google might delay the deprecation of third-party cookies again and if the industry is ready. Our answers: Don’t count on it, and some players are but some are quite behind.
  • With companies making big bets on CDP investments, marketers swapped notes on how to maximize these data platforms in the years to come.

Retail media:

  • In addition to Roundel’s panel we took part in, retail giants like Walmart, McDonald's, and Hershey took the stage to share strategies on shoppable experiences and burgeoning retail media networks.
  • Buzz surrounded retail media's rapid ascent, with chatter about platform differentiation and finding white spaces to optimize performance.
  • A session even posed the provocative idea that retail media is "becoming the future of media."

The creator economy:

  • The topic sparked lively debates around influencer marketing best practices, how to effectively scale these efforts, and measuring impact.
  • There was also dialogue around the evolving role of creators as they transition from just influencers to multi-hyphenate talent with their own product lines, media companies, and more.

CTV and streaming:

  • The rise of free ad-supported streaming (FAST) emerged as an area of focus, with Samsung Ads' Justin Evans sharing insights into this rapidly growing space during a session on unlocking FAST's opportunity for marketers.
  • Connected TV (CTV) measurement and the fragmented ecosystem were hot topics, with a panel featuring execs from FreeWheel, Wurl, EDO, and Media.Monks debating pathways to impactful CTV advertising amidst persistent challenges.
  • During happy hours, you could overhear frustrated marketers lamenting about the lack of unified CTV measurement and inability to deduplicate reach across publishers and platforms.

Other hot topics:

  • The convergence of marketing and commerce took center stage, with a focus on how brands can create seamless shopping experiences by leveraging technologies like AI and immersive activations.
  • Sustainability in advertising was also a talking point, likely sparked by the opening day’s beach cleanup activity.
  • The strong emphasis on diversity catalyzed enthusiastic exchanges about ensuring authentic representation in marketing to effectively connect with multicultural audiences like Gen Z.

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