Businesses that early adopt ad tech and martech novelties, normally adjust their practices to the new market requirements faster than others. Sometimes trends appear suddenly and capture the market in a landslide, in other cases, new trends are stirred by the fundamental changes in privacy or entire advertising regulation framework.
Let’s consider in more detail which adtech and martech trends are shaping the programmatic market this year.
1. Martech and ad tech solutions seize the moment
According to the research, the number of ventures in the martech and adtech industries has multiplied and scaled during the last couple of years. For instance, at the start of 2021 the HubSpot’s worth of the martech ecosystem was estimated at $6.4 billion and it is expected to grow until it reaches 12.5 billion in 2024.
When it comes to ad tech, the software market is growing at a CAGR of 7.9% (from 2019 to 2026). In 2026 it is expected to reach $29.85 Billion.
Advertising and marketing technologies significantly simplify the daily grinds of brands that strive to automate processes of data segmentation, ad placement, finding the right audiences, and delivering ads to the user screens.
With this, scalability, ease of use, and customer support, are the key features that motivate companies to adopt certain marketing or advertising solutions.
While trying to adopt such technologies in-house companies more often take a look at no-code platforms that eliminate the burdens of platform installation from scratch.
White-label, one of the models of this concept, helps ad tech businesses to launch their own advertising solution as quickly as 7 days (that becomes possible thanks to the prebuilt tech core). Thanks to this, more and more mid-sized companies can bring their ideas to functional realities without much investment or risk.
2. Metaverse pops in as new communication channel
In October 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Metaverse – a so-called collective virtual space that exists at the junction of virtual and reality. Everyone is talking about the metaverse and the concept of web3. In the wake of such interest, many brands are making their first meta-projects.
For example, hypermarket Walmart plans to launch its own digital currency and sale of NFT goods based on VR and AR technologies; Nike is also gearing up for the metaverse and is registering virtual brands for online sales; Gucci introduced their virtual space called Vault and presented an NFT collection that will be implemented as an addition to the project.
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Their key effect of meta-projects for brands is media and audience attention. While Web3 Internet also still exists as a concept, but not as a functioning reality, for brands meta projects can work as a tool for attracting attention and building communication with audiences. In certain, much fewer cases, they can work as a sales growth tool.
Meta will have a stronger impact on digital marketing in the long-term perspective. Metaverses will give brands new opportunities to communicate with the target audience, in a new way.
How? Web3 can lead to significant changes in user perception of content and even changes in consumer behavior, as all metaverses are built on the concept of merging real life and virtual realities.
Such projects however, can be labor-intensive and thus, will require a seriously thought-out strategy regarding customer interaction and involvement.
3. Advertising goes cookieless
As cookies crumble, mobile app identifiers get restricted, and privacy regulations tighten up, ad tech and martech faces more and more “blind spots” and inaccuracies in targeting and attributions. These inaccuracies and lack of available data significantly limit advertiser’s ability to measure and analyze.
The walled gardens further complicate the attribution funnel analysis process. Tech giants have almost exclusive access to user data and the leverage to control the web space (Apple’s IDFA restriction and Cookie shutdown by Google Chrome are just tip of the iceberg).
In these realms, models that use the mosaic principle of attribution are likely to become widespread. For example, solutions that will replace third-party cookies are currently being developed, they include Unified ID, Google Privacy Sandbox and SkadNetwork. It is expected that brands will utilize different tools at the same time.
The purpose of this approach will be to unify the results, so that they could be unbiased and not dependent only on a certain mechanism of attribution.
In targeting brands will put their attention to first-party data that will be accumulated with CRMs and channeled to advertising platforms thanks to the integration with CDPs or DMPs.
More so, advertisers will be paying more attention to contextual targeting for ad serving since it relies on the keywords and the context of a web page rather than on digital footprints of a particular user.
4. CTV, audio, and in-game ad formats grow popular
As time spent in front of the screens increased after pandemics, brands got used to the idea that they should keep investing their ad budget in CTV ads. The increasing access of households to CTV also plays an important role in CTV advertising popularity.
Although programmatic CTV advertising has yet to overcome challenges such as lack of standardization, it offers tremendous opportunities for the brands that strive to reach previously unexplored audiences. CTV ad formats are immersive and memorable, this is why ad spend on CTV reached $6.9 billion in 2021 and is expected to jump to $8 billion in 2022.
Meanwhile, podcasts and digital radio listening has become the typical routine of a young tech-savvy audience. Such a way of content consumption provides a comfortable hands-free experience that’s highly appreciated by busy people. In 2021 the average online content listening time reached 16 hours and 14 minutes.
Unlike on the web, where banners compete for user attention on every corner, audio ads are delivered one at a time which provides an uninterrupted and seamless advertising experience.
As the number of games in app stores multiply, they become an integral part of any advertising campaign. In fact, users downloaded 82.98 billion mobile games in 2021 according to stats. It gives birth to the new ad formats including original in-game formats such as playable ads (with mini versions of a game), and rewarded videos (that reward viewers for ad watching).
5. DOOH prepares to be define future of programmatic
Smart technologies will make outdoor advertising more effective, and this, first of all, involves interactive billboards. In 2022 DOOH is expected to see impressive progress – since the world is gradually getting recovered from global pandemics people will soon spend more time outside of their homes.
Programmatic is the main component that made advertising on billboards interactive and more personalized. Changes in weather, traffic, levels of allergenic pollen in the air, sports results, financial market data and more – all of those are triggers allow advertisers to demonstrate ads to potential customers, so that those could be up to the point.
The further evolution of the DOOH ecosystem will most likely run with the continued adoption of the web practices such as header-bidding, supply path optimization, and addition of immersive creatives that support interaction with viewers.
To sum up
We are going to see a lot of ad tech and martech transformation in 2022, many of which take their roots in 2021. As publishers and advertisers prepare for cookieless advertising, brands and businesses are finding innovative ways to personalize and maximize user experience with innovative channels and ad formats.
No one knows for sure how the future is going to unfold but one thing is already clear – those businesses that embrace the new tech first will gain competitive advantages as they will stay ahead of the curve.