Predictions Series 2021: 6 AdTech Leaders and their Powerful Performance Marketing Insights for 2021

The year 2020 would be known for many things, and thankfully, we are slowly steering our way clear off the COVID-19 induced crisis. The year saw the revival of data privacy norms, the introduction of CCPA, the death of Quibi, Slack’s acquisition by Salesforce, abandonment of the third-party cookies, and the Oracle – TikTok deal in limbo since September.

As part of our yearly MarTech Roundups and Predictions Series 2021, we bring you the top insights from the leading martech experts who have spent significant time and resources understanding and analyzing the current advertising trends.

Today’s MarTech Predictions Series 2021 features insights from

  • Frost Prioleau, CEO and co-founder of
  • Lucy Hinton, Head of Client Operations, Flashtalking;
  • Richard Foster, Chief Revenue Officer, InfoSum;
  • Matt Bushby, Managing Director ANZ & SEA, Hivestack;
  • Jürgen Galler, Co-Founder and CEO, 1PlusX;
  • Enrico Vecchio, Chief Technology Officer, Audiencerate

This is what each of these martech leaders had to say:

Time to Up the Ante: Innovations and Investments in Programmatic CTV, TV Analytics and Performance Marketing

Frost Prioleau, CEO and co-founder of
MarTech Interview with Frost Prioleau, CEO,
Frost Prioleau, CEO,

Advertisers will require increased agility across all media types – the agility that digital platforms offer has been especially valuable amid the COVID-19 pandemic as digital advertisers have needed to adjust spend, messaging, and creative on a moment’s notice. In 2021, advertisers will continue to move away from rigid/limiting platforms and invest in digital platforms including CTV advertising, not only to reach homebound consumers, but to combine the flexibility and precise targeting capabilities of digital with the impactful storytelling of linear. Agility will be one of the most important pages in a marketer’s playbook in 2021.

I also foresee these happening in 2021:

  • Programmatic CTV will drive the democratization of television advertising
  • Performance marketers will shift more budgets to CTV advertising

2021 Will Demonstrate That the Ad Tech Ecosystem Is Capable of Self-Regulation and Self-Organization

Flashtalking; Lucy Hinton, Head of Client Operations

Lucy HintonThis is the year that antitrust reshuffles the AdTech board. Whether the US DOJ actually dismantles Google or not, the pressure and scrutiny will have Google behave in a more collaborative way in the ecosystem. Everything, from Google’s plans to eliminate third party cookies to Apple’s 30% cut on app store fees, will be viewed through the prism of its impact on competition.

Read More: LiveRamp and Kinetiq Partner to Strengthen TV Analytics

This intensified scrutiny of the tech giants will usher in a new dynamic for the independent ecosystem. Across all channels and formats, the virtues of transparency, interoperability, and openness will be viewed in a new light.

There are already promising signs that the independent players are rising to meet this moment, both in terms of modernizing their own offerings and in terms of providing a strong bulwark against the excesses of the walled gardens. 2021 will demonstrate that the ad tech ecosystem is capable of self-regulation and self-organization around the new privacy paradigm, and will prove that it has the creativity and ingenuity to find better solutions that don’t compromise on core values.

Among the primary battlegrounds for the independent ecosystem is identity, with the race to replace the cookie in full swing. Watch for this to really accelerate in Q3 2021, right on the eve of the cookie’s departure, as a suite of well-resourced players vie with LiveRamp to provide a durable alternative.

We’re already beginning to see the dimension of the task at hand.

Solidifying a true alternative to the third-party cookie will require more than simply obtaining a hashed email; the nexus of true authentication, data portability, and privacy compliance requires both new technology and old-fashioned collaboration among top stakeholders. 

We Expect to See Greater Data Collaboration From the Connected TV (CTV) Companies With Their Partners in 2021

Richard Foster, Chief Revenue Officer, InfoSum
Richard Foster
Richard Foster

As we move into 2021, media owners will focus more on first-party data and how they can scale this asset to benefit their advertising sales and marketing purposes. CTV companies will be better placed than most to do this, has always required users to register and log in to access content – providing them with first-party data authenticated audiences in the form of user log-in profiles. Insights from this data can be used to build custom audiences and target consumers with advertising.

Death of the Cookies: Future of Online Marketing

To take full advantage of these insights, we expect to see greater data collaboration from CTV companies with their partners in 2021 through the adoption of decentralized models – where data is connected but never shared. In the decentralized data world, broadcasters and advertisers can use knowledge or attribute level information from their data sets for audience targeting in a privacy-first and commercially secure environment. 

Programmatic DOOH Puts You on the Pole Position

Matt Bushby, Managing Director ANZ & SEA,  Hivestack

This past year has demonstrated the significant importance for brands and agencies to remain nimble. We’ve witnessed first-hand how early adopters of programmatic DOOH are in a stronger position today because they had the necessary resources to navigate the tides of our rapidly changing landscape.

The adoption of programmatic in OOH overcomes the limitation of static billboards, opening up significantly more creative scope and increasing agility when it comes to attracting eyeballs. More marketers are adopting this medium because it offers them substantial flexibility to plan, optimise and measure their campaigns in real-time. Not only is this crucial to remain contextually relevant, but the opportunity to target custom audiences through the use of geotemporal data is second to none.

Looking to 2021, my biggest prediction is that the proven agility and efficiency afforded by programmatic DOOH will fuel its continued growth within the traditional out-of-home ecosystem.

AI and Predictive Intelligence Are Poised to Play a Large Role in the Future of Digital Marketing

Jürgen Galler, Co-Founder and CEO, 1PlusX

Jürgen Galler, Co-Founder and CEO, 1PlusX

Marketers are used to consumers’ habits evolving, however, this year’s events have accelerated the process forcing marketers to be agile and open to change. The shift has been so rapid as never before – it’s fair to say the pandemic has created new customer segments with different behaviorial patterns within months. This has pushed businesses to address the challenge of anticipating, understanding and connecting with those new emerging customer profiles.

Looking beyond the impact of the pandemic, businesses will need to focus on staying ahead of customer trends and desires to remain relevant and competitive. In this context, AI and predictive intelligence are poised to play a large role in the future of digital marketing by assisting marketers not only in media planning and advertising but also in areas that keep that marketing engine running, such as better understanding of customers’ behaviors and preferences, enriching incomplete data, and expanding audiences. Ultimately, getting this right will facilitate the road to recovery by securing the buy-in for a much-needed increase in marketing spend. 

Fix Your Identity Management Resolutions to Improve Customer Journeys

Enrico Vecchio, CTO at Audiencerate
Enrico Vecchio
Enrico Vecchio

After nearly a year of instability, many companies have shifted their marketing priorities. Whether budgets were cut or not, it became clear to business leaders that the needs of their customers had changed, and as a result, their marketing strategies had to reflect this.  There was an urgent need for businesses to onboard their first party data, allowing them to segment and target their audience to provide a full view of their customers’ online and offline behavior.

With this in mind, to stay ahead of the competition in 2021, it is important businesses prioritise identity resolutions to enable them to gain a complete view of the customer journey. This will allow businesses to personalize their conversations with customers, start marketing to individuals rather than devices, and determine whether their marketing efforts have been duplicated, for example, whether an individual has been targeted on two devices.

Identity resolution undoubtedly has all the answers; it is highly likely that it will be the key to unlocking a successful marketing strategy in 2021.

Additional Insights

We also spoke to Valassis.

This is what they think about the role of advertising in 2021.

Marc Mathies, VP, Product, Valassis says: “QR codes will make a comeback, making print ads more shoppable. QR codes have made a resurgence in the retail and restaurant industries as a contactless way to share information amid the pandemic. As QR technology is now built into most smartphones and usage is more commonplace, this creates a unique opportunity for making physical advertising more shoppable by integrating fluid digital connections. We expect to see QR codes continue to permeate the print advertising space as a means for deeper and personalized engagement.”

Marc’s colleague at Valassis, Curtis Tingle (Executive SVP, Product) thinks that consumers found a new affinity for the post office and direct mail engagements.

Curtis says: “Print media plays a prominent role in engaging consumers whether they are shopping online or in-store. It is a vital part of a brand’s omnichannel approach and with people spending more time at home, it provides marketers a way to spur discovery and make a connection. Valassis’ findings show that compared to before the pandemic, 37% of consumers are more excited to receive their mail each day and 30% are spending more time reading marketing and promotions that arrive in their mailbox.”

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