While the future of identity will continue to emerge and evolve in 2022, time waits for no one – and that time is quickly running out in the ad tech industry. Not only will Google not grant another extension, cookies and IDs have already eroded across major operating systems and, to state the obvious, there’s a number of browsers that no longer support cookies. Those that delay will be in peril of both revenue loss and consumer irrelevance – you literally cannot afford to wait.
This time crunch, however, will yield more direct industry conversations, as we build innovative approaches to audience creation, engagement and measurement — beyond cookies and app advertising IDs. The importance of first-party data to create these solutions is undeniable and the relative weakness of those without that access will increase.
Lastly, next generation contextual advertising solutions will break through as a key component to the future of identity. Not your 1990’s, standard contextual, but contextual paired with rich and real-time data insights — emerging as identity’s ‘Miss Congeniality’, supporting and – in some cases – augmenting how audiences are inferred in a cookie-less world. As non-addressable inventory eventually overtakes addressable, contextual – paired with those critical data insights – will help brands deliver meaningful connections while supporting consumer trust.
The bottom line is that identity solution testing and learning must happen today. 2023 is just a formality – the time is up.
When advanced TV is ⅓ of the Upfronts, it’s mainstream and a mainstay
TV viewership continues to skyrocket, with CTV at the forefront of that growth and consumer engagement. In 2022, brands will refine their strategies and unlock incremental linear reach with CTV spend. But with fragmentation across linear and CTV viewing, robust frequency management across both will be critical to the effective use of ad dollars.
To that notion, the Upfronts have become more CTV-centric – and when it makes up a third of Upfront spend, it’s no longer experimental – it’s a mainstay. At the same time, the important task of eliminating overlap and excess household frequency will require advertisers to increase the sophistication of their CTV buys. This will include a higher percentage of CTV bought in the Upfront and being activated programmatically instead of IO. It will also lead to a decrease in programmatic guaranteed spending and an increase in bidded private or open marketplaces. These changes will allow advertisers to more dynamically and granularly manage reach and frequency for their campaigns. As consumer behavior continues to shift at what seems to be an unattainable pace, marketers seek more agility and optimization.
The light is always on: Commerce access anytime, everywhere
Driven by post-COVID consumer behavior, commerce will become more direct and personalized. Consumers are looking for their own shopping experience, truly specific to them: how they want to shop, interact, and build a relationship with a brand. A data-driven retail strategy will be more essential than ever in 2022 to deliver that level of personalization. And as the industry moves toward a cookieless world, first-party data and direct consumer relationships will be critical.
Retailers are busting down the downs on advertising opportunities, expanding and integrating to deliver even more customer touchpoints and provide greater personalization at scale – from in-app and loyalty programs that enable faster checkouts to real-time in-store pushes offering product suggestions based on the customer’s unique needs.
With support from consumers, brands will push the boundaries of immersive experiences, going beyond “try ons” and into fully interactive experiences that make shopping more fun and convenient. And in an ‘old is new again’ twist, we’ll see a resurgence of tech like QR codes that support our new lifestyles and make it easier to get brand experiences into consumers’ hands. Lastly, there is growing demand for more contextual shopping experiences that feel less like advertising, either through native ads, dynamic PDAs or dynamic creative. Strategic advertisers and agencies will lean into this to deliver on evolving consumer expectations.