Gartner: 26% of Marketing Leaders Plan Job Cuts Due to GenAI

Google to Face Lawsuits over Claims of Anti-Competitive Ad Markets

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Venture capitalist continue putting money into AI marketing and advertising innovators, while many incumbent pros in the field worry how their jobs might be affected by the new tech wave.


  • Top News: Google to Face Lawsuits over Claims of Anti-Competitive Ad Markets

  • New Money: Topsort Raises $20M | Ideogram Takes $80M

  • Top AI Marketing Trend: Gartner: 26% of Marketing Leaders Plan Job Cuts Due to GenAI

  • Gen Alpha Survey: The Kids Are Alright With Shopping in Brick-and-Mortar Stores

  • Master Marketing Tip: Bill Gates, co-Founder of Microsoft


Google to Face Lawsuits over Claims of Anti-Competitive Ad Markets

A federal judge has ruled that Google must face a class-action lawsuit brought by advertisers who claim the company engages in anti-competitive practices on its ad exchange market.

In his decision, Judge Kevin Castel wrote that the advertisers “plausibly allege antitrust standing as to injuries they purportedly suffered from anti-competitive practices in the ad-exchange market and the market for small advertisers' buying tools."

Google’s suite of Ad Manager tools allows website publishers to offer advertising space for sale, as well as a marketplace that automatically matches advertisers with publishers. Advertisers and publishers allied in the anti-competition case against Google argue the company has not provided transparency about what percentage of sales go to publishers and what size cut Google takes for itself.

Separately in his ruling, the judge decided that Gannett, the largest US newspaper chain and publisher of USA Today, can further pursue a case that claims Google made some of Gannett’s ad inventory available for auction on Google’s exchange, in order to accrue transaction fees for its own benefit—even though Gannet had sold the same inventory directly to advertisers.


AI-Powered Ad Platform Topsort Raises $20 Million

Topsort, a machine learning-powered advertising platform, has raised $20 million in its first round of venture capital “to further scale its clean advertising platform that's free of creepy third-party cookie tracking and privacy-invasive data,” the company announced.

Topsort offers a "prediction machine" that works on a self-learning algorithm, using human feedback to maintain a constant state of improvement, according to Topsort.

“As the industry closes the chapter on third-party cookies, Topsort's platform serves as the connective tissue for the post-cookie world of ads that doesn't work around the privacy issue, but solves it entirely for enterprise-level customers,” according to the announcement.

Topsort’s CEO and co-founder is Regina Ye, who previously founded ZIRUI, a beauty product packaging company. Her co-founders at Topsort include Francisco Larrain, a serial entrepreneur who previously led Groupon’s engineering operations, and Michael Ostrovsky, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business and a renowned economist on auction theory, game theory, and marketplace design.

The company’s new financing deal was led by Upload Ventures, with additional participation from Quiet Capital and Pear Ventures.

Text-to-Image Platform Ideogram Raises $80 Million

Ideogram, a text-to-image AI platform that launched last August, has raised $80 million in its first round of venture capital, which was led by Andreessen Horowitz and included participation from Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Pear VC, and SV Angel.

The company was founded by former AI researchers at Google Brain, and just released version 1.0 of its software, which is “trained from scratch,” according to Ideogram.

“The improved typography support [in Ideogram] is hard to overstate,” Andressen Horowitz announced. “Not only does it allow a direct addition to the image, but the text is blended into the image with perfect composition and matching style, making the expression much more pronounced.”

“We have been investors in Ideogram since their seed round, and are very excited to lead their Series A as they continue to push the boundaries of generative model research,” write Andressen Horowitz partners Martin Casado and Jennifer Li, in a blog post. “They’re innovating on an intuitive product that acts as a printer of imagination to millions of users.”


Gartner: 26% of Marketing Leaders Plan Job Cuts Due to GenAI

A survey of 822 business executives conducted by the market research firm Gartner revealed that 26% of marketing leaders plan headcount reductions in 2024 as a result of GenAI.

Unsurprisingly, a separate Gartner survey of 627 marketing employees found that 89% of them are concerned about layoffs at their company. But at the same time, a majority of the marketers surveyed say they’re optimistic about their own career futures and skill preparedness.

Notably, 55% of the marketers reported experiencing mismatched job expectations in their current roles. The survey identified a general environment of “uncertainty and undue burden from marketing technology: 61% of marketers reveal they have encountered a technology and/or process change in the past 12 months,” according to Gartner.

In addition, marketers also cited instability in company leadership as a contributing factor to their sense of uncertainty, with 20% having experienced a recent change in senior marketing leadership, the survey found.

“These findings should be a red flag for CMOs, as high environmental uncertainty, mismatched role expectations and martech burden can lead to burnout as well as increased attrition,” said Iliyana Hadjistoyanova, director of advisory in Gartner’s marketing practice.

“CMOs must refocus their talent strategy and prioritize development with a strong focus on upskilling and change management to ensure their function is prepared in the face of ongoing disruption.”


Generation Alpha Prefer Shopping in Stores

A survey of 2,000 youths across the UK aged 6-to-16 reveals that a higher percentage of them enjoy the experience of shopping in brick-and-mortar stores (69%) as opposed to online (63%).

“Often the tendency is to think of this age group as an entirely screen-bound demographic,” according to VML, which sponsored the “Trailblazers of Tomorrow” report. “But in many ways, as with their enjoyment of in-store shopping, they are quite traditional.”

Still, the average survey respondent said they spend 2.4 hours a day on social media, which promises to be among the biggest winners among commerce channels in the next decade. All age groups aside from those over 55 expect they will eventually spend even more money than they already do through social media and more than on Amazon, according to the survey.

“As social shopping becomes more popular the role and effectiveness of influencers will increasingly come into focus,” according to VML. “Over a third (36%) of consumers have found a new product or brand through an influencer, a figure which leaps to 52% among Generation Alpha, the majority of whom (52%) feel influencers give better product insights than brands and marketplaces.”


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

— Bill Gates, Co Founder of Microsoft


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