2024 Is the Year to Reframe Your Thinking About Advertising Scale and Performance

A shift to the industry’s balance of power

Despite the advertising industry’s leap forward with technology and data, brands and agencies still apply some legacy lenses to their media planning and buying. Many of these lenses view the advertising landscape as dichotomies: awareness vs. action, branding vs. direct response and scale vs. performance.

It’s time to reframe legacy thinking for the new digital reality of 2024, particularly as it relates to the top and bottom of the marketing funnel. In continuing to talk about scale and performance as mutually exclusive capabilities, the industry is speaking a dead language. Let’s examine the forces in 2024 that will shift how advertising thinks about these dichotomies.

The new network superpowers

To lay the groundwork for the new media reality of 2024, the industry needs to acknowledge the important ways in which the balance of power and value has shifted in advertising. Of course, there’s the power of unique data when it comes to walled gardens—but with companies like T-Mobile, certain added strengths are at play. That’s a game-changer for the industry because it solves several pressing industry needs right now.

Advertising’s multi-decade journey away from the overwhelming dominance of the Big Three TV networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) has now come full circle—except the network superpowers aren’t who they once were.

Today, the power of both scale and performance in advertising is embodied in T-Mobile, a leading telecom that’s becoming a deeply data-informed, AI-enabled, digital-first company. T-Mobile and its Advertising Solutions division (aka T-Ads) are poised to redefine how brands and agencies plan, activate and measure consumers across all channels, digital and traditional, online and off. That’s because T-Mobile has upended the scale vs. performance dichotomy. Following an era of gratuitous media fragmentation in which all eyes turned to emergent performance opportunities in direct digital channels, T-Ads now represents a new industry player whose power spans the full funnel of marketing impact.

Personal, yet privacy-conscious

With third-party cookie deprecation finally due in Chrome and increased privacy regulation expected at the state and federal level in the U.S., 2024 will reshape the media landscape by shifting into a privacy-first landscape.

The digital advertising industry has placed a lot of emphasis on personalizing marketing and experiences for the individual. In most instances, that means the consideration of the use of personal data along with the privacy policies and regulations that guide such data use. The amount of data available—billions of data signals across hundreds of millions of households and customers—means aggregation can occur at a level where the insights available for segmentation can enable nuanced personalization and drive unprecedented returns at both the macro and micro level—all while being compliant with privacy laws.

T-Mobile, by virtue of its role as a mobile carrier, understands that its first relationship is with its customers. And most of those relationships reside at the heart of customers’ media interactions, specifically those happening on their phones. And yet, T-Mobile is also in the unique position of being able to glean actionable insights from the data available to it while respecting consumers’ privacy. That’s because they are the place where insights from app ownership and usage (like how long the app was open and how often it was opened), combined with knowledge of the individual, can be brought together to form holistic, transaction-focused audience personas that can be leveraged at scale—in a privacy-first way and where the actual user actions inside the apps are not seen.

Omnichannel presence

Brands and agencies have known for years that they need to be present on the many channels where their customers spend their time. In 2024, that’s more important than ever—but also more challenging, given the complexity of the data landscape.

The fact that mobile signals are at the core of T-Mobile means that T-Ads is positioned to enable advertisers to activate their audiences when and where it matters most—across apps, desktop, connected TV, digital out-of-home, emerging opportunities like rideshare advertising, and even within physical retail spaces like Metro by T-Mobile and Magenta storefronts.

Foundational customer relationships

In 2024, the true foundation of marketing success starts with relationships.

That’s why the true network power of T-Mobile lies not chiefly in its scale, data and technology, but rather in its foundational customer relationships. For example, T-Mobile customers are more than subscribers to mobile plans. They’re part of a larger community that engages with the brand across several touchpoints, from T-Mobile Tuesdays to T-Mobile Home Internet to T-Mobile MONEY, a high-yield online checking account.  

Customer relationships of this depth breed brand love and trust—both of which can deliver tremendous value to brand partners. That’s why savvy industry leaders that embrace privacy-first, audience-based advertising models provide amazing opportunities—ones that deliver scale and performance, awareness and action, branding and direct response.

In 2024’s privacy-first world, the balance of power has shifted—to the benefit of advertisers and consumers alike.

Jean-Paul “JP” Colaco is the SVP and Chief T-Ads Officer of T-Mobile, where he is responsible for overseeing advertising monetization of the T-Mobile Advertising Solutions’ ad platform by working with brands, agencies, publishers and other tech providers across the U.S. advertising industry. JP is a seasoned marketing leader and a pioneer in the media and advertising space. He has a long track record of fostering growth and revenue generation for businesses of all sizes. His past executive experience includes leading brands like The Walt Disney Company, Hulu, Apple and WarnerMedia.