Today, we are looking at the top programmatic and media trends that will matter in the coming year according to Acronym’s SVP, Performance Media, Gregg Manias; VP, Media Integration, Joanna Cohen; and VP, Performance Media, Peter Semetis.

Display and programmatic will continue to grow in importance.

Programmatic lowers the barrier to entry enabling smaller brands to leverage media types that were originally unattainable for them. With programmatic, brands can reach people in different areas in a cross-channel environment to deliver contextual targeting. This is becoming more important because of the changing viewing habits of customers.

“Programmatic display is like using a scalpel to pinpoint precisely where your money is going,” explains Peter Semetis, VP, Performance Media. “For comparison, consider a highly rated program, like the Super Bowl, where a wide audience is watching your ad for floor tiles versus an online video about how to tile a floor targeting someone who recently purchased a home. That’s the power of programmatic – getting your message directly in front of the person most likely to want it.”

Another clear advantage of programmatic is tied to the increase in video consumption. Media consumption today is video based and with scrolling behaviors changing, the amount of media consumed in a given moment has grown exponentially. For example, more TikTok videos are watched in duration than on YouTube today. The consideration of how people engage with video content has changed and as such, their engagement with programmatic display is changing as well.

There will be a continued rise in CTV.

There are more connected TV subscriptions in the U.S. than cable subscriptions today. With this wider audience, comes more opportunities for incremental reach.

“We’ve seen connected TV growth surpass previous expectations, with viewability metrics eclipsing mobile devices” Semetis said. “The industry expected to see this kind of growth over two years, but with everyone at home during the pandemic, consumers began cutting the cord at an accelerated pace.”

Streaming services are focusing on the “hold-out” content that kept some users watching cable, specifically sports content. Helping clear up the misconception about sports content streaming services, YouTube TV has been the premiere sponsor for sporting events like the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the World Series. This additional programming is expected to drive even more cord-cutters in the coming year and that’s good news for marketers.

“There are clear advantages to CTV and addressable video media opportunities”, said Joanna Cohen, VP, Integrated Media at Acronym. “With CTV, I know who my target audience is and what they are watching. Rather than targeting content and programming as a proxy to reach an audience, I am able to target an audience directly using data (set-top box and digital identifiers) and furthermore onboard and activate first, second, and third party data to prescriptively locate and address an audience in real-time. In the world of integrated media, data-driven targeting and addressable media opportunities represent a significant breakthrough – enabling far greater cost efficiencies, lower waste, and targeted reach – yielding improved brand experiences and performance results on behalf of the brands and marketers we serve.”

First-Party Data will become the best defense and offense for all brands.

The collection and utilization of first-party data has always been a priority for marketers. This data can create a clear and accurate picture of the customer, which allows marketers to better understand their mindset, wants and needs. With the expected dissolution of cookies, brands are placing a greater importance on first-party data in the coming year – along with data purchased from retail marketplaces. (Learn more about how retail leaders have allowed brands and agencies to combine their first-party data with marketplace data here.)  

“The more we understand who the customer is, what types of content they like and the types of products they want, the more personalized we can be in the content we deliver to them,” explains Gregg Manias, SVP, Performance Media, at Acronym. “Having data that you can buy through an auction site or marketplace or through other partners, alleviates the burden of not having cookies for targeting and measuring.”

With first-party data marketers can better capture the demographics of a customer and what they’ve bought, enabling brands to build a more honest and direct relationship with their customers. With all this data, we will also see an increase in neuromarketing as it becomes more powerful and subtle. (Learn more about Acronym’s approach to neuromarketing here.)

“First-party data is the best offense and defense for brands facing bigger players in their space,” Semetis added. “Brands leveraging CRM data are starting to realize what it’s worth and the fact that only you have access to it, gives you an advantage. Brands just need to be sure they don’t just sit on this data – they need to use it.”

If you are unsure how to best leverage your brand’s first-party data or want help combining it with marketplace data and the right CTV or programmatic campaigns in 2022, contact us. We’re happy to help.

POV by Gregg Manias, SVP, Performance Media; Joanna Cohen;, VP, Media Integration; and VP, Performance Media, Peter Semetis.