The pandemic brought drastic changes to the world of programmatic. If 2020 was the year of marketers scrambling to react, 2021 has been the time to rebound. Programmatic advertisers responded to the new challenges and opportunities and now are looking ahead to 2022.
MiQ compiled programmatic predictions for next year based on insights and research that came from surveying advertisers and agencies to hear their thoughts. We also looked back at what happened in the past year. Exploring the trends of 2021 can give marketers an inside glimpse at the state of programmatic now so they can embed these trending opportunities into 2022 plans.
Global digital ad spending has increased over the past year and will continue to grow with programmatic driving the growth. Many marketers are looking at programmatic: 70 cents on the dollar of digital ad spend is being allocated to programmatic channels now and is expected to increase to 90 cents by 2025. Programmatic is the perfect fit for all businesses because it is a more affordable way of buying ads and has the benefit of scale and accuracy in reaching the right audience.
A look back
It’s no surprise that huge changes in user behavior shaped 2021. Many people were still housebound, which increased the amount of content they viewed while online; these behaviors seem to be sticking around. At the start of the pandemic their interests centered around health, news and pets and slowly shifted to lifestyle, arts and sports. Now, people are focused on self-improvement and educational content. Knowing what interests your audience has, in that moment, is the key to reaching them.
Inventory prices and quality also changed over the past 18 months, but they have stabilized. Combining that with more engaged online audiences can mean better performance for marketers. Marketers should look at their cost-benefit ratio to measure how their current media focus is working. Then they can make small changes in targeting for their programmatic campaigns.
It’s time for strategies and planning
While the future is hard to predict, let’s take a sneak peek into the minds of marketers as they put together their strategies and plans for 2022. What channels do they love and where are they looking to put their budget dollars? Here are the top four:
1. The importance of display
Online display campaigns are a favorite. Over 60% of media planners globally had online display among the top three programmatic channels for their ad spend. It remains an important channel for existing media buying strategies. And we see that continuing in 2022 with 58% of marketers looking to increase their spending on display.
2. The strength in CTV
It’s no surprise that 2021 was the year of CTV advertising, and it’s going to remain strong for 2022. That’s why 80% of advertisers are looking to increase their ad investments across CTV compared with 2021 spending. Finding a partner is a big part of a successful CTV plan, so cost, measurement and reach play into the decision. CTV is great on its own, but to increase exciting performance, marketers should think about taking the omnichannel approach.
It’s not easy to figure out where to put ad budgets when the formats keep changing and growing. The best way to achieve a true omnichannel strategy—one that activates your media agnostically across channels—first about the outcomes you are looking for and then think about the best way to achieve them.
4. Beyond cookieless
Cookieless is coming—even though it is a bit delayed. This is actually great news, because it gives marketers a little more time to explore alternatives and find partners that can make the transition as seamless as possible. Early tests show that some cookieless strategies could perform better than cookie-based ones—this could be the time to get ahead of the competition.
As the programmatic community is gearing up for 2022, there are incredible opportunities in not only traditional programmatic channels like online display, video and audio but also emerging channels like CTV and DOOH (digital out-of-home). Now’s the time to look at the challenges you face and activate media solutions that work for you.