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Don’t you ever feel like things are changing way too fast? Every day, there seems to be some new piece of technology, social media platform, or streaming service to account for. It’s enough to make any digital marketer’s head spin. And when we talk about programmatic display advertising, things are evolving just as fast. Here’s what 2021 has in store for programmatic advertising.
Who could have imagined that “Netflix and chill” wouldn’t only take over our lives but also become a driver for the growth of programmatic display advertising? It is what it is; in the past four years, over-the-top streaming services, such as Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon prime, have acquired over 20 million new households, while 62 million users have reported using OTT this year. While users constantly find themselves caught in the midst of a streaming war, it goes bigger than this; the reach of ad-supported OTT services is much larger than their no-ads counterparts.
In addition to just media services, a plethora of OTT commerce, household, chat, and video conferencing solutions are popping up and opening doors for digital advertisers. With a proliferation of internet-enabled and 5G devices, such as gaming consoles and smart TVs, OTT advertising is becoming the new face of digital advertising. The best part about investing in OTT advertisements is that they see a stupendous completion rate in comparison with other forms of ads, and OTT users are also more likely to see an ad through to completion.
Connected TV and OTT services are becoming synonymous these days. While OTT video content can be played on any internet-connected device, more often than not, this content is watched on connected TVs. For instance, your Apple TV can directly stream Hulu, Prime Video, and Netflix, and so can your Amazon Fire Stick and Roku.
CTV advertising is becoming an integral part of programmatic buying for several reasons. Firstly, these ads are much more targeted than other forms of advertising, and you can reach different audiences on specific services, devices, and platforms, with a high ad completion rate. Also, OTT ads use videos, which are the most persuasive and engaging content formats. The reason these videos have the highest chance of being watched is that they appear in the midst of the most engaging programs and people watch these ads to continue watching their shows. For instance, if you are watching your favorite show on Hulu, you are served a couple of ads in between that you have no chance but to watch till the end. This is the prime reason why advertisers are flocking to OTT advertising to stay ahead of competitors. According to a study, CTV ad spending is projected to reach $10 billion, come 2021.
Regardless of the success rate of OTT advertising, advertisers need to keep a few factors in consideration; for instance, people barely tolerate ads, and that too, when they absolutely have to. The emergence of more and more ad-free streaming services on the horizon is going to put pressure on CTV services to reduce the frequency of ads they display in between programs. Secondly, there is no one size fits all approach. Advertisers need to dig deep into CTVs, OTT services, and connected devices to tailor their ads according to various devices, locations, and audiences. This will define the ROI you can expect to see from programmatic display advertising.
Millions of people have owned a wearable device at least once, and an even greater number is thinking about buying one. With a marked expected increase in the global proliferation of wearable devices and the growing popularity of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), a rising tech-savvy population is going to enhance the potential for programmatic advertising. In addition to smartwatches, a host of new devices are appearing in the market, such as wearables, smart glasses, and fitness trackers.
Combining wearable technology with programmatic advertising is a recipe for success since the digital interface on wearable technology is perfect for delivering digital ads and content in a wide array of formats. Secondly, these devices are fitted with state-of-the-art sensor technologies, which can be used to gauge the emotions of users, for instance through heart rate. This can pave the way for more personalized and targeted advertisements. Especially brands that find it challenging to connect with a younger audience, can advertise through wearable devices to capture a lion’s share of this elusive segment. Forward-thinking marketers can also use these devices to collect a repository of real-time customer data, such as lifestyle choices, moods, and health metrics. Health companies can promote their health and wellness products to consumers on their smartwatches. Although people are still wary of the data and privacy concerns associated with this medium, we are still going to see a lot of programmatic advertising on wearable devices in 2021.
Out-of-home advertising or Outdoor advertising on digital screens, has become more digitalized than ever and holds massive potential for programmatic advertising. If programmatic advertising is integrated into digital outdoor advertising spaces, it will be easier for advertisers to broadcast their ads so as to reach their target audience wherever they may be at any given time. Digital outdoor advertising not only boosts marketing performance but also brand image, and helps brands maximize their ROI as compared to the run-of-the-mill outdoor advertising billboards. These spaces combine the reach and publicity of classic media with all the benefits of digital advertising, such as targeted delivery control based on showing frequency, location, time, weather conditions. Out of home audio advertising, such as background sound in waiting areas, buses, and shops, is another area that can do with digitalization.
The use of Artificial Intelligence in programmatic advertising is all the rage these days and will continue to thrive. This is because AI can help advertisers get their hands on a deluge of data that will better enable them to target the right people at the right time and deliver the right content pertinent to the right channel. AI and machine learning can move customers forward into their purchase journey by finding patterns in copious volumes of data. With the help of such technologies, advertisers can propose a pertinent action to a customer or even predict an outcome. AI doesn’t only speed up the marketing process; it also offers unparalleled intelligence that can provide a great boost to marketers.
With the help of AI, marketers can use various data points, such as location, gender, age, purchase history, and preferences, to better analyze the behavior of a customer and anticipate action. AI can integrate AD viewing metrics with user data to suggest the best format to place an ad, as well as the best time and place for it. Being able to analyze buyer’s patterns with needlepoint accuracy, AI can enhance the effectiveness of an ad. It places an ad based on where users are most likely to view it and when it is most likely to be viewed, thereby minimizing customer acquisition costs.
The use of AI in programmatic advertising is already making waves and has been the center of attention of marketers since last year. Early adopters of this technology are reporting a positive ROI for their AI efforts, which shows that programmatic advertising will only grow stronger in the next decade. AI-based bot Watson from IBM is being programmed for optimized programmatic media in buying, which is promising a staggering 71% reduction in Cost per Click (CPC).
The arrival of 5G is bound to take connectivity to a whole new level, which will inevitably offer marketers new ways of connecting with customers. With an unprecedented bandwidth, almost 100 times more than its predecessor, 5G will allow advertisers to reach more channels and perform faster, as well as venture into more processing power intensive systems such as programmatic advertising. 5G based adtech will enable faster videos buffering so that users can view ads without any inconveniences. 5G will also allow the incorporation of augmented reality features to open new doors for interactive advertising.
From Amazon’s Alexa to Apple’s Siri, more than eight billion digital voice assistants are expected to be in use by 2023. As innovation in technology continues to improve measurability and audience targeting, voice ads are becoming more and more popular. Since consumers are becoming more accustomed to smart assistants, Spotify and Pandora are currently in the midst of testing out creative voice-activated ad formats for big brands like Nestle and Unilever. These voice ads pop up between songs and ask a couple of questions to the users in order to gauge their interest. These ads are opt-in; if a user says “no”, or fails to respond, the song will resume. If you think of voice ads from a revenue generation standout, automated technologies will allow listeners to engage with voice ads with voice commands, such as “buy now”, or “tell me more.”
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