Programmatic Trends Predictions in 2022

2021 has been a whirlwind year with numerous changes in the ad tech landscape. As investment in the programmatic landscape continues to grow, we focus on two key programmatic trends that we expect to see in 2022. 

Privacy, privacy, privacy

Data privacy and ad tracking concerns will undoubtedly continue to take centre stage. The beginning of the year has already seen two major updates from Google, with Topics API replacing FLoC and the release of the Android Privacy Sandbox. Apple, as recently as December, has also launched an OS update that will let you know exactly what apps are doing with your data.

We are still in early stages for Google developments as we are at the proposal stage, so it remains to be seen how it will pan out. So what does this mean for us when it comes to audience targeting on our digital campaigns? Google properties are unlikely to see major changes in performance as rollout for these updates will be sure to factor in targeting accuracy within Google’s ecosystem. Social media marketing channels are likely to be the most badly hit as trackability will be severely impacted moving forward.

These developments provide strong indications that we will move towards a thematic approach for user identification (rather than contextual). Given tracking limitations, granularity of user data will likely be compromised with companies focusing on the “minimum viable data” required to classify users into broad groups that can still deliver performance for advertisers. Topics API presents itself as a harbinger of what’s to come and a likely direction for where the adtech industry will move towards.

Automate Everything – Campaigns, Creatives, Messaging

As marketers seek to shorten the steps it takes to run marketing campaigns and simplify the process, adtech platforms aim to help their cause with the rise of extreme automation and increasing ease of building unique creatives for brands to break through the cluttered environment and gain attention.

Automated creative formats such as Discovery ads, Responsive Display ads and automated campaigns such as Performance Max and Smart Display Campaigns on Google Ads offer new ways for companies to maximise performance and time efficiency to get the best results. This allows advertisers to leverage media platform’s machine learning and automation capabilities to improve their ROI in real-time. Platforms are also increasing refining their media planning campaigns in the pre-launch stage with The Trade Desk’s Planner tool now seamless integrated into Solimar, along with developments of DV360’s Planning module and Google’s Ads Reach Planner. This will see a steady shift in faster campaign activation and stronger reliance on platforms for insights and performance.

This paves the way for more interesting creative applications where marketers can explore new ways of creative analysis, such as using GumGum’s contextual intelligence and Playground XYZ’s attention analysis.

We will see new possibilities in marketers managing standard creatives using on-platform automation to maximise performance, while getting more in-depth creative analysis for upper-funnel campaigns with the help of programmatic vendors.