The last two years have thrown unprecedented challenges at every business and industry around the world. For the adtech and martech sector, these have originated from inside and outside the media landscape. As 2022 gets underway, we talk to our various IPONWEB teams around the world to get their take on some of the key discussions that have dominated recent activity – and how they think these will unfold in the months ahead.
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With Google’s deadline getting ever closer, and Apple’s changes having a tangible effect on trading, we can expect 2022 to bring a new wave of interest to the identity issue. And as many of the alternative identity strategies continue to develop, ecosystem participants will be looking to try out different methodologies to see which drive the most value.
Advertisers will want to test as many opportunities as possible, while at the same time, many will aim to limit touchpoints and data sharing; this translates into looking for one-stop-shop solutions and marketplaces.
Google is expected to come out with a new set of Sandbox solutions, and we are glad to see the signs of a more collaborative approach this time. Despite that, new testing will place a heavy burden on small players.
Universal IDs are evolving into more mature forms, providing signals for deals and cohort building, rather than just being injected into open RTB. This, however, doesn’t limit industry efforts around non-user based targeting; we have also seen enhancements in contextual targeting algorithms as well as improvements/increases in first-party data strategies to combat the demise of the third-party cookie.
Olga Ulyanova, Product Manager, Strategy Group
Against the backdrop of remaining relevant, and competitive to the walled gardens, media owners will continue to face a complex and evolving landscape; key issues include: data ownership and execution, regulation (on a global, national and regional level), contextual and identity solutions, as well as meeting the diverse needs and expectations of their audiences.
This is certainly a challenge, but it also presents an opportunity for those that can establish a holistic audience-centric strategy early and gain competitive advantage. It will require a clear understanding of the relationship that the audience has with the inventory, as well as alignment between editorial, operational, acquisition, and monetization strategies. This starts with the ability to define, measure, report and activate those audience segments that are critical; done successfully it provides the entire organization with a common goal from content to commercial and monetization that focuses on the same profile strategies.
In the cases where there’s a gap in addressable audience or reach, media owners may consolidate into meaningful consortiums based on a common audience profile. This will see them continue to partner with technology vendors, and adapt their audience approach and policies to maintain a balance in user experience and revenue goals.
Leon Gurevich, Head of Product and Client Services
Connected TV (CTV)
2022 will see the CTV platforms renew their focus on capturing market share, with slower progress made on reducing technical fragmentation.
CTV is about convenience and encouraging users to develop new habits. Both CTV platforms and advertisers want to capitalize on this change and are in the midst of moving from linear audience extension to first party data-driven audiences, especially in the US. This shift requires programmatic technology to manage the complexity (from planning, execution, measurement and attribution), to deliver scale, and to handle the changing privacy and regulatory environment.
CTV is still evolving and needs an adaptive layer like programmatic to connect existing silos and emerging workflows. This bridge can optimize around buyer needs, linked by identity and audience-defined cohorts, and supplements the legacy workflows that are optimized around the capabilities of linear delivery channels.
In many markets, these changes will tip budgets away from a linear, silo-focused ecosystem.
Data allows platforms to measure actual consumption as consumers carry on shifting their attention to CTV and the tools and services continue to facilitate the shift of ad spend.
Brain Golbere, SVP Technology TV Solutions Group
There was plenty of discussion about CTV during 2020 and 2021, but budgets didn’t necessarily follow. This year, however, we are likely to see a shift in spending, with more ad dollars going to connected television. Changes in consumer behavior (in-part due to the pandemic), coupled with various efforts around CTV signal standardization, will result in buyers, agencies and brands assigning more budgets to CTV publishers. Advertisers already using the channel will increase diversification on the buy side to include more ‘mid-sized’ inventory suppliers.
Prena Khan – Portfolio Director, Client Services
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Privacy will increasingly be leveraged to establish and extend commercial advantages for organizations with direct consumer relationships. This will preclude any easy solutions simplifying programmatic trading, measurement, or attribution in the foreseeable future.
The scaled commercial introduction of on-device solutions and first party data-driven platforms will create opportunities in programmatic to navigate these targeting and measurement challenges, and is likely to drive the expansion of programmatic deals to abstract the management of increasingly privacy-driven solutions. This will require mapping a mix of unified IDs, deals, clean rooms, and Google Sandbox proposals such as FLoC / FLEDGE for targeting. Measurement and attribution, outside of walled gardens, will breathe new life into media mix modeling and newer probabilistic approaches. More generally, there will be a shift to server-side solutions as on-device access will be severely restricted or completely inaccessible.
Brain Golbere, SVP Technology TV Solutions Group
Supply path optimization (SPO)
SPO will evolve beyond optimizing which supply side platforms (SSPs) to use and move towards agencies curating their supply pools into distinct marketplaces. Brands, too, will be making adjustments, orientating themselves with publishers that align with their brand values. Optimization will evolve from crude keyword exclusion and brand safety targeting to focus on publishers that are, for example, BIPOC-owned or demonstrate environmentally conscious content and practices.
Tim Conley, Head of Client Services, Media Agency
2021 was an interesting year, maybe even more so than 2020. On the heels of the pandemic, it has been important to be proactive in keeping pace with evolving consumer trends and behavior patterns, which have continued to drive unique business needs across the ecosystem. Advertiser budgets came back with a vengeance and with that an unapologetic need for innovation, transparency and control among buyers and sellers alike. Looking ahead to 2022, we believe consumer expectations will be front and center of key decision making, with a re-focus on cookie extinction, first party data and the way in which our organizational cultures have emerged in this post (existing)-COVID world.
Valerie Zeltser – VP, Client Services and Adtech
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