The global pandemic has made it harder than ever to make predictions about what may happen in 2022.
Nonetheless, as we head into the final weeks of another tumultuous year, we’re itching to know what themes in the adtech sector you think are going to dominate the year ahead.
So we’ve been checking in with a broad cross-section of leading lights from across the media and marketing landscape to get an insight into your ideas and predictions, and how they’re likely to shape and drive our strategies into 2022.
One thing’s for sure – with big changes on the horizon around data privacy, the continued rise of programmatic and AI tech in marketing, and opportunities on offer in Connected TV, we’re all going to be kept on our toes…
Filippo Gramigna, CEO, Audiencerate
“2022 will be the year of marketing at scale and the rise of CDPs. While the pandemic has undeniably been a challenging time for businesses, it has also been incredibly enlightening.
“As technology helped customers access the goods and services they needed, and vice versa, supported companies in providing them, it highlighted how essential digital transformation is to drive recovery and growth.
“Going forward, too, this will be key to continue keeping pace with consumers’ evolving habits and needs, with a focus on how brands can maintain and strengthen the relationship they have with their audiences, especially as third-party cookies are phased out.
“We have already seen a shift towards extending independent technological solutions, and this will doubtlessly continue.
“Current tools will have to keep up with changes around data and privacy, so that companies can stay customer-centric in their offerings.
“This means there will be continued optimisation around data collection, management, and activation, as well as finding solutions that can be integrated into CRM systems, websites, and other applications.
“Everything will be built to truly drive comprehensive consumer profiles. Customer data platforms will play an important role in this respect, considering their advanced capabilities from customer segmentation and analytics to execution layers and identity management.”
Ben Scoggins, CEO, Organic
“Technology, in all its guises, has increased in importance over the pandemic and there has been a knock-on effect on agency talent being hoovered up as a result.
“We’ll see the continued demand for technology roles as the digital experience revolution picks up pace – UX strategists, UI designers and frontend developers will be sucked into helping to shape the metaverse.
“We’ll see corresponding technologies emerging in order to create this new space, with 2022 being the year that the world’s biggest brands join the social media giants as they all figure out what a more immersive web looks like.
Wayne Blodwell, Founder & CEO at The Programmatic Advisory
“The hybrid models that many advertisers adopted with their tech, data, and service partners had an enormous impact on the industry – and I see these models continuing to evolve.
“The pandemic absolutely accelerated this trend and over the last two years we’ve seen that agility is key, so being tied to big agency contracts can often make quick pivots harder.
“Spend is also being watched more closely. Even though advertising and marketing budgets are increasing, committing to a large contract might not be appealing to brands.
“We’ve seen P&G announce it will bring more in-house next year and I expect to see other household brands announce they’re changing things up.
“As brands seek to be as cost-efficient as possible, we’ll continue to see them explore alternative, hybrid models.”
Simon Stone, GM EMEA, LoopMe
“Fast data activation has always been a priority, but its importance has only increased in the last year, with marketers needing to monitor – and react to – fast-moving trends and behaviours.
“However, although we’ve seen marketers invest heavily in new tools and solutions, not many have achieved the agility needed to measure data-driven performance.
“As we move into 2022, marketers must therefore consider their approach to measurement, ensuring they move away from proxy metrics – like clicks – and towards the advanced capabilities of AI.
“Most marketers are aware of the benefits that AI brings for large-scale analysis, but few are combining it with outcome-based metrics to drive tangible results for a stronger understanding of campaign performance.
“Moreover, when AI is used to harness and expand their data sets, marketers are able to source predictive insights that allow them to make sharper decisions and optimise campaigns in-flight.
“As a result, outcomes-based measurement will likely grow in importance as we enter the new year, with savvy marketers looking at these solutions to better-optimise their campaigns.”
Lucy Hinton, Head of Client Ops Flashtalking by Mediaocean
“As the online and physical consumer journey continues to merge and digital platforms’ advertising capabilities further develop, brands will need to ensure they are using seamless and consistent messaging, and a unified creative approach across platforms, while also considering demographic differences.
“Technology developments will look to mitigate challenges such as individual overexposure with tools like cross-platform frequency management, and verification services to monitor channels vulnerable to fraud, such as CTV.”
“The selection of digital media ad platforms is constantly growing and developing; social commerce and platforms like TikTok have boomed, and the Metaverse is on its way.
“We will see advertisers need increasing support to manage their assets and keep creative relevant, and to specification.”
Stefanie Briec, Director, Demand Sales (UK & Intl) FreeWheel
“The increase in CTV usage has kept up its pace post-pandemic as audiences continue to be drawn to a range of different devices to watch their favourite films and TV shows on-demand.
“As is the case with consumer trends, marketer interest and investment are not far behind.
“The CTV advertising opportunity occupies a middle ground between linear TV and digital advertising that makes it uniquely positioned in its capabilities.
“An appealing advantage of CTV for marketers is its targeting capabilities. Messages can be directed based on device used, time of day, and even location to ensure maximum relevance.
“For example, a brand might use geolocation filters to isolate a particular region where it wants to drive footfall to one of its stores.
“This kind of precision has previously been unthinkable in TV environments, but as TV becomes more advanced marketers have an array of new tools at their fingertips to improve their return on investment in 2022.”
Caroline Hugonenc, VP Global Research & Insights Teads
“With recent research showing attention is three times better at predicting outcomes than viewability, we will see a continued focus on attention as a metric as advertisers look to plan, buy and measure media in this way in 2022.
“With privacy a constant priority for advertisers, and the deadline for third-party cookies approaching, all eyes will be on maintaining a responsible and safe ecosystem that respects the user, while closing the effectiveness gap with future-proof measurement techniques.
“As a result, we will see stronger relationships forged between advertisers and publishers, which will drive a positive change in the industry.
Ozgur Taskaya, Chief Marketing Officer, BCNMonetize
“Digital marketing has always been a fast-evolving space, and recent privacy-driven changes to the ad tech ecosystem will only accelerate this.
“Apple’s rollout of its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) is the most significant of these for mobile advertising this year.
“It requires all apps to ask explicit consent from the user to collect IDFA, which is a unique identifier of a mobile device that helps advertisers target and retarget accurately.
“Users have been overwhelmingly rejecting consent in practice, which has meant mobile advertisers no longer have this capability.
“Combined with Google’s discontinuation of third-party cookies in 2023, these changes mean marketers are facing huge targeting and attribution challenges across their digital channels, and a need to complement privacy-focused models such as Apple’s SKAdnetwork.
“In response, 2022 will be the year of necessary innovation in digital marketing. We’ll see new privacy-sensitive approaches to reaching the right audience through contextual advertising methods and first party data-based approaches, while media-mix-modelling and incrementality will play a larger role in measurement.
“Digital marketing has always adapted quickly to integrate new tools and techniques, and next year it will need to move faster than ever before.”
Marlessa Stivala, Senior Manager, Content Marketing, TVSquared
“It’s simple; the cross-platform, accurate and always on measurement and attribution capabilities are critical to providing advertisers with advanced consumer insights, which allows them to sell more and, in turn, invest more in converged TV—allowing all sides of the trade to win.
“With these capabilities now a reality in the US, and also taking shape globally, there has been a massive influx of companies (including NBCU, Warner Media, etc.) eager for better, more transparent measurement solutions to reach and engage with cross-platform viewers.”
Teiffyon Parry, EVP Global Demand, Smart AdServer
“With the backdrop of ever-increasing fragmentation, coupled with the spectre of a cookieless ecosystem, we can expect to see a greater focus on solutions that help scale, simplify, and bring transparency to the industry.
“Inevitably, this will see the spotlight shone on curation as a solution in 2022.
“This is because curation simplifies supply chain strategies and enables media productisation – the combining of pre-filtered inventory, performance targeting, and audiences.
“Whether it’s a publisher, agency, or intermediary, this simplified approach to scale media solutions internally or externally (sold via a deal-Id) will be disruptive.
“As a result of this, new types of data owners and intermediaries will start to emerge, as companies look to take advantage of curation tools and create innovative media solutions to help advertisers achieve KPIs.”
Enno Jönsson, Head of Ecommerce & Retail EMEA, VidMob
“Video continues to boom. TikTok trends and Instagram Reels are just a few examples of platforms reacting to the exponential growth in the demand for video content.
“Within ecommerce, video is now the ultimate sales driver, and platforms like Youtube are focussed to becoming a shopping destination with their Holiday Stream and Shop, a live stream with influencers selling product.
“Brands should continue to test and experiment. Finding an original voice and boosting creative by investing in video will be the key driver of advertising performance in 2022.
“My belief is that we’ll see a significant change in campaign optimisation; some of the efforts in terms of both resources and detail orientation that have traditionally been applied to the media delivery side – targeting, bid management, campaign set up etc. – we’ll see shifted to optimisations on the creative side