Digital marketers, brace yourselves for 2022’s emerging trends

Rise of CTV and OTT, SPO, a post-cookie world, these are some of the key emerging trends destined to shape advertising and marketing in 2022.

For the tidal wave of change 2021 swept into digital marketing, 2022 promises to bring even more disruption to an industry now accustomed to pivoting in whatever direction the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic blows.

From seismic shifts in content consumption to an increased focus on the metaverse, these are some of the key emerging trends destined to shape advertising and marketing in 2022.

The rise of CTV and OTT

With digital video viewership in APAC slated to exceed 2 billion by 2022 and smartphone ownership slated to triple the current billion mark by 2025, emerging video platforms such as Connected TV (CTV) and OTT will gain larger share in advertisers’ budgets.

Going  one level deeper, APAC has a more mobile-first population than other parts of the world, with nine in 10 viewers using a smartphone to stream videos, so when looking at the OTT landscape, higher ad spend will be invested in mobile as opposed to CTV.

Finally, it’s also becoming clear that not only will the OTT/CTV market grow, but more specifically, spend will increasingly move to programmatic. The recent OpenX & ExchangeWire report on ‘The State of Programmatic in JAPAC – 2021’ found that 64% of surveyed brands, agencies, and publishers increased their programmatic investment in 2021, with much of the spend earmarked for digital streaming video services. This trend will accelerate even further in 2022.

Preparing for the post-cookie world

As cookies become deprecated and otherwise drastically redefined on key platforms like Apple and Google, a more dedicated focus on privacy will soon crystallise. This will have several consequences for industry players, starting with an increased reliance on first-party data.

Findings from the OpenX & ExchangeWire show that 80% of the surveyed brands and agencies across APAC have access to first-party data. Furthermore, 32% of publishers are investing more resources in obtaining first-party data so as to help authenticate users.

Publishers will play a big role in 2022 as the champions of first-party data, and the process of figuring out how they can use this data to help with audience targeting, will bring publishers and advertisers even closer together.

At the same time, while this collaboration is happening, adtech partners have a critical role      in the post-cookies world too as they help the digital media ecosystem actually activate their valuable first-party data. The OpenX and ExchangeWire report found that rather than abandon independent adtech, most brands and agencies are in fact relying even more on partners and their expertise, and this is particularly true in India, where over 90% of the survey respondents are turning towards adtech partners to activate their data strategies.

SPO is short for success

Supply Path Optimisation (SPO) is another huge trend  and in 2022, we will see even more reliance on SPO as savvy marketers maximise campaign results. This also is something that is no longer limited to big brands and agencies, and marketers of all sizes are seeing the value.

Our study found that across APAC, 84% of brands and agencies have either run an SPO review in the past 18 months, or plan to do so in the next six months.      

While in all likelihood SPO’s growth can be attributed to a variety of factors, the result is that is changing the relationship marketers and agencies have with supply side partners. Whereas traditionally SPO reviews sought transparency, scale, and quality, these metrics are now largely considered compulsory for even starting the conversation, and today marketers are looking for even more from the supply side partners, including  help with things like data and identity as well.

A look ahead

So, what does this all mean? In short, strap yourselves in and get ready for another year of significant change across the marketing landscape. Just as in 2021 there will be many new challenges to overcome, but exciting opportunities await publishers, brands, and agencies prepared to embrace new strategies and get ahead of the curve.