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What's Next for Programmatic Advertising?

According to eMarketer, US programmatic digital advertising spend continued growing in 2020, more than 10% YOY, and will rebound to 24.1% growth in 2021. Broken out by device, programmatic ad spending will grow fastest on CTV, predicted to have 52.9% growth in 2021 as OTT/streaming content continues to explode onto the market and CTV devices become more ubiquitous at home.


But what does this continued growth in spend and market share mean for the future of programmatic as a tactical channel? And how will it impact the advertising plans, overall?

Courtesy of: eMarketer


“Programmatic algorithms are being continuously updated, meaning marketers need to adopt a strategic mindset of constantly changing tactics to optimize ad performance,” shares Ovie Oghenekevbe, Media Operations Specialist at Creative Digital Agency (CDA).


With the death of the third party cookie looming ever closer on the horizon, programmatic campaigns will need to be more fluid than ever, and digital advertisers (who allocate more than 80% of digital spend annually to programmatic) will need need to reinvent their approach or risk losing out on the multi-touch and behavioral targeting features inherent to programmatic ads.


What Will the Next Big Programmatic Development Be?


One potential next area of improvement may come at the top of the funnel; the start of the consumer journey map. "When it comes to new developments in adtech, a lot of the action and innovation has historically been happening at the bottom of the funnel, around last mile attribution and eCommerce." says Kevin Almeida, Managing Director at CDA.


"It's understandable, but a common occurrence we see with brands is a tendency to be 'un-balanced' in how they use programmatic, over-emphasizing that final conversion at the expense of the awareness and inspiration stages. It's great for short term gains but it can also be a recipe for diminishing returns. I think the future of programmatic adtech will be finding new technical innovations at the top of the funnel - that's where there's a gap in the market right now."


Of key importance are the changes 2020 brought about in audience consumption habits for digital media. The pandemic normalized at-home mobile use over on-the go, and connected media consumed on TVs increased dramatically -- especially with older demographics. This suggests not only a change in the technology behind programmatic, but its optimal role in a brand's media mix.

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