Insights from eTail Palm Springs 2024

March 01, 2024, 04:03

As the curtain closes on another successful eTail event, the whirlwind of networking, lively discussions, and insights has left a lasting impression on me and the other attendees at eTail Palm Springs 2024. The aisles were filled with great energy and awesome booths — and one common thread emerged as the key takeaway from the event: the pivotal importance of adapting strategies in the face of evolving digital landscapes.

Here are the top 3 topics I found to be at the forefront of conversations at the event, as they pertain to the evolving digital landscapes: 

1. The Cookieless Future

The cookieless future is top of mind for everyone. The consensus was clear: the need to pivot towards cookieless approaches is no longer a choice but a necessity. Getting a clear and successful strategy in place is paramount for brands right now. 

During my presentation at the event, “Breaking The Mold: AI’s Role In Driving Cookieless Advertising,” I shared that 78% of programmatic ad buys across the US retail industry were still using cookies for targeting at the end of Q3’23. It’s clear that the need for a cookieless approach is still out there, and brands are now working overtime to make sure they are set up for success in the cookieless future.

With contextual targeting stepping back into the spotlight, what’s old is new again. However, AI and large language models will be the key to precise brand alignment and relevancy.

Another thing to note: Gen Z is going to be reachable via contextual targeting, which will be a key focus for brands over the next 2 – 5 years.

2. Customer Acquisition

Right behind cookies, brands are also worried about customer acquisition. Regardless of the cookieless future, brands are resolute when it comes to growing their customer base. They’re on the hunt for fresh ways to connect with potential customers and keep them engaged.

While cookies will definitely make this more challenging, having a persistent ID solution will be necessary to target effectively and identify first-party consumers to build lookalike models off of and track conversions.

This rings especially true for direct-to-consumer brands looking to grow their businesses to take on big box retailers and provide intimate, personalized experiences for their audience. 

3. Leveraging Advanced AI

We have all heard this before, but AI is the future and the future is now. Leveraging all forms of Advanced AI, from deep learning to generative and beyond, will not only deliver performance to marketing but also allow time to be spent on brand and creative strategies. AI is delivering a more personalized experience for consumers as they browse retailers’ websites by providing product recommendations outside the norms. 

Leveraging Advanced AI to drive and deliver outcomes is a major topic for brands right now. The promise of AI to unlock efficiency and effectiveness in marketing strategies is something that so many brands are chasing right now. 

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to not only attend this event, but also to give my presentation, “Breaking The Mold: AI’s Role In Driving Cookieless Advertising.” It was great connecting with brands on this larger scale and I’m already looking forward to the next event! 

If you didn’t have the chance to connect with the Cognitiv team at eTail Palm Springs 2024 to learn more about our Deep Learning Advertising Platform, reach out to me via email at or shoot me a message on LinkedIn and let’s talk.

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