The top 5 biggest Programmatic Trends that will define 2021 - and beyond

The top 5 biggest Programmatic Trends that will define 2021 - and beyond

According to Statista, ad spending in the Digital Advertising market is projected to reach US$398,762m in 2021 and the market's largest segment is Search Advertising with a projected market volume of US$171,641m in 2021. 

The coronavirus pandemic and the ways businesses had to adjust to ensure their survival changed the trajectory of what 2021 will look like.  Here are the top 5 trends that will drive the programmatic industry in 2021 and every business needs to be ready for these trends.


Video will be a major focus for the ad industry in the next year: Digital video and OTT streaming (57%) and connected TV (CTV) (54%) were named the highest-priority formats for 2021, according to an October survey of US digital media professionals fielded for Integral Ad Science's 2021 Industry Pulse report.

In the past year, our lives switched to online presence, powering a digital revolution. Connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) gained immense popularity last year and are not leaning back in 2021.

The transition from linear to digital TV is well underway and more advertisers are reconsidering their media plans towards CTV & OOT. As internet giants like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu create their own highly popular shows, more and more people are joining them. OTT originally focused on content delivery over the internet through Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, but now, there are literally hundreds of streaming services that cater to individual niches, like episode content, short-form content like local news, or how-to tutorials, live streaming, video on demand.

As viewers of all ages turn to OTT services, marketers are discovering new opportunities to target and align with key audiences. Advertisers can now pinpoint specific audiences with strategic brand messages. OTT viewing combines the power of digital advertising with the premium content of traditional television, creating one of the most compelling environments for viewers to engage with both the content they are watching, along the advertiser’s message.

Omnichannel & personalized ads

In 2021 omnichannel advertising is extremely important. Today’s customers expect personalized services to be available on every channel and touchpoint. They also expect the personalization to be seamlessly connected on every medium on-the-go. 

As both organizations and consumers continue to have a stronger grasp of digital technologies, devices, and channels, the need for omnichannel marketing can no longer be ignored. Companies understand the use of customer data and its integration with their omnichannel campaigns. 

The omnichannel digital strategy is defined as providing a seamless customer experience across all channels. Customers use various devices like smartphones, laptops, desktops, computers, or even smart TVs to interact with their favorite brands. The omnichannel strategy allows creating a journey that spans multiple channels and multiple means of interacting with the buyers. 

Customers can now interact with their chosen brands anytime and anywhere. Additionally, marketing strategies now focus on creating personalized communications with clients through all channels and devices.

Voice-activated ads

According to Jupiter Research, approximately 8 billion digital voice assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, will be in use by 2023, a solid increase from the 2.5 billion assistants used in 2018.

Adobe has found that 38% of consumers that have come across voice ads have found them to be less intrusive than traditional ads (TV, print, online, and social media) and 39% believe the ads are more engaging.

Voice-enabled ads are shaping up as an interesting new advertising opportunity, with promises of helping marketers move beyond. One of the reasons is that voice-enabled ads integrate consumers into the marketing experience more thoroughly. Audio has re-emerged as a powerful medium that can invoke the emotion and imagination of consumers like no other advertising or marketing platform.

Programmatic advertising can play a critical role in optimizing ad spaces across in-home smart devices, to in-store and on-apps audio ad opportunities. Moreover, voice-enabled ads open up a wealth of opportunities for marketers to receive floods of valuable data from consumer feedback. Interactivity lies at the heart of the voice ad so now brands get the ability to literally have a conversation with their customers.

Digital out of home (DOOH)

According to Research and Marketers forecast, DOOH has become the fastest growing media channel and projected to reach $26.2 billion by 2023. 

2021 is the year that programmatic in DOOH becomes mainstream. Budgets will grow as advertisers increasingly see it as a digital medium, and flow from new sources as the likes of direct-to-consumer players use it as a brand-building opportunity that enhances their existing digital and social activity.

Advertisers and agencies are seeing the benefits programmatic technology is bringing to DOOH with agencies restructuring their teams to encompass OOH and digital experts working together. They are also driving the demand for media owners to make more inventory available via programmatic channels.

With the advent of Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH), OOH suddenly turns flexible and responsive to our shifting world better than most industry segments. One reason is that DOOH combines the advantages of OOH with the programmatic strengths of digital advertising, making it an ideal path for marketers in any industry.

AI & Machine learning

Gradually and almost imperceptibly, artificial intelligence (AI) crept into the life of modern people and took a significant place in it. No one understood when it managed to turn into a familiar phenomenon, ceasing to be a frightening and incomprehensible technology from films about the future. Already, the role of artificial intelligence in marketing and business can hardly be overestimated. 

Artificial intelligence helps analyze consumer data and interests, offer them targeted ads, track sales, improve communication with customers and predict their behavior patterns. The use of machine learning is also growing. It's useful in the analysis of texts, creatives, and audio, as well as so valuable for the development of another trend - personalization.

2021 promises to be a time of yet deeper and more rapid global change for the industry. The level of the rapid development of technologies this year, as in previous years, is encouraging. A key component of success is to strengthen strategies and stay up-to-date by using the hottest industry trends.

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