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Thursday 30th of June 2022

7 Programmatic Ad Trends Shaping Adtech Innovation The Future of Media Buying


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The average share of programmatic advertising in 2021 has reached nearly 72% of the total digital display advertising spending worldwide. That means almost three out of every four display ad dollars are being spent programmatically.

Programmatic advertising refers to the automated buying and selling of digital ad space. In contrast to the manual advertising process which relies on human interaction and negotiation between publishers and marketers, the programmatic approach harnesses technology to purchase digital display space. Programmatic advertising is extremely efficient and unparalleled in its ability to pair rich audience data with ad inventory and targeting.

The use of software and algorithms streamlines the ad buying and selling process, which is why programmatic has become one of the most indispensable digital marketing tools worldwide.

Moreover, with technological capabilities advancing every year, the power of enhanced software and machine-learning algorithms is poised to make programmatic advertising an exciting space.

While the future is hard to predict, here are some programmatic ads trends that will accelerate the adtech momentum:

  1. Consent-Driven First-Party Data Models

With the deprecation of third-party cookies, marketers are under pressure to explore alternative ways to collect customer data. This has opened up a new data collection framework with consent-driven first-party data as the cornerstone. Data management platforms will likely re-architect their algorithms to collect consented, personally identifiable data and transfer it to programmatic platforms without defining anonymous segments. Here’s how marketers can pivot their data collection strategies and cope in a cookie-less:

  • Federated Learning of Cohorts – A proposed privacy sandbox approach by Google that aims to target consumers by clustering large groups of people with similar interests and protect the individual identity of users.
  • Shared ID Solutions – Shared ID tokens use a combination of soft signals (including IP address, user agent, page URL, page referrers, etc.), with consistent first-party identifiers like email address, phone number to identify users and share user data amongst all stakeholders in the ad tech industry.
  • Bidstream Data – The data attached to the bids and auctions process of programmatic advertising provide another alternate avenue to parse, utilize and share data including location such as IP address or zip code, mobile or browser information and ad-related data.
  1. The Meteoric Rise of Connected TV and OTT

Media consumers are moving away from traditional broadcast or cable consumption to over-the-top (OTT) streaming services usually on a connected TV device. According to Allied Market Research, the global OTT market size was valued at $121.61 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2027. This presents a tremendous opportunity to merge programmatic tactics with OTT and CTV advertising mediums to automate the ad buying process and optimize consumer experiences. Programmatic combined with OTT/CTV will take media consumption to the next level — taking real-time household data and presenting targeted advertisements to the most relevant consumers via real-time bidding.

  1. Growth of Mobile Programmatic Ads

The big screen is an absolute new favorite arena for advertising, but let’s not forgets about small yet mobile ones. With the increasing accessibility to mobile devices, programmatic ad spending on smartphones is projected to surge. A recent study revealed that there were 60 billion more programmatic ad requests in Q2 2021 as compared to Q1. Furthermore, while 60% of all ads were static banners, the remaining 40% were interstitials and videos. Some other trending mobile programmatic ad formats include:

  • In-app rewarded ads
  • Native ads
  • CTV/OTT to Mobile retargeting
  • Carousel
  • In-line videos
  1. AI and Machine Learning Revolution

The big data revolution has accelerated the use of AI and machine learning in programmatic ads and this trend is likely to persist. Firstly, AI can be applied to contextual and behavioural targeting to process loads of data quickly and generate enriched audience cohorts. In addition, it’s also possible to leverage AI for bidding optimization and maximizing the ROI of programmatic ads.

  1. Omnichannel Expansion

As consumers are oscillating between multiple devices, screens and platforms, it only makes sense to invest in omnichannel programmatic ad campaigns. Identifying users that hop across channels and orchestrating a seamless customer journey is the topmost priority for ad publishers and marketers alike. Adopting an omnichannel focus in the programmatic approach is vital to gather customer data, target users with a relevant offer, retarget them across channels with a cohesive messaging and ultimately drive programmatic performance.

  1. Prepare for Programmatic Digital Out-of-home (DOOH) Advertising

As the world marches towards recovery from the Covid-19 waves, more people are likely to step out of their homes. Thus, 76% of marketers have planned to increase their ad spend in DOOH in 2022. Though out-of-home advertising is one of the traditional forms of promotion, it’s set to regain its prominence. Particularly, as publishers and programmatic DOOH technology partners forge more relationships, brands can leverage this ad medium for increased exposure. Using social media posts, tomorrow’s weather forecast, real-time navigation times and livestreams in your DOOH creative will make for captivating, head-turning experiences.

  1. From Hyper-Personalization to Relevance

The focus in ad targeting will shift from hyper-personalization to relevance. According to a Google study, ads that are relevant to the viewer got 3x the attention of the average ad. Personalized ads create experiences in alignment with the overall interests of the consumers, whereas relevancy refers to shaping timely experiences in the moment. This widens the scope for adapting ad messaging to shifts in consumer behaviour and interests, based on their dynamic journey and life-stage. Combining the power of the next best action approach with programmatic ads will aid in crafting personalized messaging with relevant and timely experiences.

Programmatic ad tech is going through a massive upheaval with the deprecation of third-party cookies at the forefront. However, there will be effective and innovative alternatives to turn to when the cookies finally pass away. First-party data will be crucial to activating programmatic growth moving forward and tapping into new ad mediums such as OTT, mobile gaming and DOOH will unlock new marketing opportunities. As marketers, it’s imperative to keep your finger on the pulse of modern programmatic adtech trends to improve outreach and communications.


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