Advertising technology, or ad tech, remained resilient last year, despite challenging circumstances. The early months of the coronavirus pandemic forced many marketers to reconsider their ad spend as they contemplated how best to navigate the effects of nationwide lockdowns. However, digital advertising efforts quickly rebounded when businesses realised that consumers had shifted to online channels due to lockdowns.
Digital consumer spending has been particularly high in the Asia-Pacific region over the past year. PubMatic’s Quarterly Mobile Index found that although mobile spending fell in Q1, it had already returned to pre-pandemic levels by Q2.
The study also found that because consumers spend more time using apps, programmatic advertising has started 2021 in a position of strength. Spikes in digital media consumption and e-commerce mean that ad tech has higher potential to present opportunities for businesses to increase their revenues.
This year is perhaps the optimal time to exploit the benefits of programmatic advertising. PurpleClick shares the following predictions for 2021, helping guide businesses that are planning to leverage ad tech strategies.
Table of Contents
OTT Ad Spending
First-Party Data Strategies
Programmatic Video Advertising
2021 Programmatic Advertising Trends
1. OTT Ad Spending
Over-the-top (OTT) media services are quickly surpassing cable television. Streaming services like Netflix and YouTube offer a wider range of content compared to cable TV, drawing more viewers every day. Plus, these OTT services are available across multiple devices, which is an attractive feature for tech-savvy individuals.
With the growing number of OTT users, come multiple opportunities for advertising efforts. More and more OTT services are entering the market by the day. As a result, consumers are not as quick to hop onto new streaming platforms because they want to limit the number of services they’re subscribing to.
Most viewers are now open to ad-supported services if it means they won’t have to pay for viewing content. They’re also looking for free or affordable ad-supported video-on-demand alternatives. Consumers see these as more cost-effective options compared to subscribing to a streaming service that they rarely use.
SpotX, a video advertising platform, found that 56 percent of OTT viewers in the Asia-Pacific prefer to watch free content over paid, ad-free services. In short, they don’t mind seeing ads as long as they get to watch the content they want for free.
2. First-Party Data Strategies
Last year, Google announced its plan to withdraw support for third-party web cookies by 2022. This move will drastically affect digital marketers, seeing as many currently rely on cookies to collect information about web visitors.
Many programmatic ad experts expect 2021 to be the year the industry finds a replacement for third-party cookies. Although major players like Google and LiveRamp are investing in a host of new targeting and tracking techniques, brands are increasingly encouraged to look into first-party data solutions.
First-party cookies bring considerable advantages to campaign targeting, performance and measurement. Businesses get full control of their data, so they can handle it any way they want. First-party cookies are also immune to automatic blockers like private browsers or ad blockers, unlike third-party cookies. They’re considered more user-friendly as well, since they automatically log users in and personalise content without violating user privacy.
3. Programmatic Video Advertising
Video advertising will remain strong in 2021, and with the expected rise of 5G wireless technology in Asia Pacific, video ads are on course to become more data-heavy. Virtual reality ads and 360° panoramas are only a couple of examples of data-intensive video ads.
A study found that such interactive video ads drive a seven percent increase in purchase intent on smartphones. They fulfil consumers’ high expectations and appetite for fun and new experiences. This means that businesses must find the balance between entertainment and branding to achieve optimal engagement outcomes.
Alongside video, other advanced ad formats are expected to become more prominent in 2021. Conversational audio and voice search, shoppable videos and visual search ads are already driving intent-based engagement and interactions with consumers.
In conclusion, the advertising industry will continue evolving to deliver more relevant ads to the right people through the right channels. 2021 is not about hopping onto the latest ad trends bandwagon. It’s about looking for fun, engaging ways to delight target audiences, and leveraging new developments to achieve this goal.