What’s on the digital horizon for 2022?

January 20, 2022

Trends and new technology

We made it! After a long, challenging year, we can’t say we’re sad to see the back of 2021 – and we’re already thinking about the year ahead.

One of the major themes of the year was the imminent death of the cookie. 2021 started with businesses scrambling to find solutions, and we saw an acceleration of new targeting technology releases in the contextual and identity space as a result. After all that, Google delayed the elimination of the cookie until 2023, giving brands a bit more breathing room to test new methods and enrich their first-party data.

The ongoing pandemic and long-term lockdowns have also had a serious impact on the way we use technology, with a massive increase in CTV, gaming and podcast consumption around the world. With consumers stuck at home, the year also saw a shift to eCommerce-first strategies, with social eCommerce emerging as a way to reach younger audiences.
What can we expect for media buying and digital marketing this year?

Here are our top five predictions for 2022:


1. Identity players and CDPs

When third-party cookies finally depart, we won’t see a single solution slot into their place. Instead, most advertisers will take a portfolio approach, with a range of data solutions and continual tweaking. This means businesses will need to go much deeper than they’re used to – diving into their data sources to understand what’s going on at the front end where targeting is activated, and at the measurement phase. Over the next year, businesses will be thrust into testing, learning and planning mode to get their heads around the change.

We’re also predicting a rise in CDPs, which can automatically tie different identifiers, channels and touchpoints to a single user ID, making it easier to handle that unwieldy first-party data.

2. Music streaming and CTV

Music and TV streaming have seen huge jumps in consumption in 2021 – together, they’re responsible for almost half the total increase in daily media time.

In New Zealand, we are seeing similar trends across TVNZ, You Tube and Discovery for CTV. In fact, Discovery’s January 2022 stats show 66% of media consumption on their network is on CTV.

Audio continues the trend – based on a recent IAB survey, Spotify, iHeart and Rova are popular channels with New Zealand agencies.

Over the next year, we’ll be looking closely at short-form video and vertical video – we’re thinking that these formats will continue on their upward trajectory, becoming even more appealing to advertisers.


3. Super-personalised, data-driven advertising

The technology to capture multiple data points and create personalised, responsive and adaptive advertising is already here – 2022 will see more brands jumping on board. Of course, this comes with increasing consumer concern about data protection and stricter privacy regulations.

Forward-thinking brands will combine first-party data with other sources to create a robust, privacy-focused data strategy in the absence of third-party cookies.


4. Emerging channels

A whole range of media channels and ad platforms are emerging right now – and 2022 will see them entering the public consciousness.

Visual search: Google, Pinterest and other major brands are investing in visual search technology. Already, 19% of Google searches are image-based, and 62% of millennials say they’re more interested in visual search than other new tech.

The Metaverse: if the much-vaunted Metaverse – Facebook’s virtual reality universe – lives up to the hype, it will be a game-changer for marketers. It will be an entirely new ad space, which will require a burst of tech innovation – new approaches, new formats, new tools and new ways of measuring results.

pDOOH: as all NZ DOOH (Digital out of Home) vendors make their inventory available programmatically, 2022 will see more brands taking advantage of this channel. No minimum spend, advanced data targeting, and third-party measurement makes DOOH a powerful tool – as long as Omicron doesn’t crash the party.

Shoppable ads: compressing the space between ad and purchase, shoppable ads let the consumer buy a product in one or two clicks.


5. Measurement is adapting

As ad solutions become more complex, measurement will follow. There’s no single tool that can perfectly capture all channels, conversions, media exposure, sales data and audience information to give you actionable insights. The future of performance measurement will involve suites of solutions and businesses working with collaborative partners. Success will mean using a blended approach and tracking media impact across the customer journey.

Attention is the new viewability, so working with vendors that measure attention metrics will add an extra layer of insight.

Image Sourced: Think with Google


Bring on 2022!

We’re looking forward to another year of innovations and emerging trends in the digital marketing space – it’s what we’re all about. New channels, new measurement tools, and a major shift towards first-party data will mean a busy, exciting year for the team at Acquire.

If you need to get your head around new tech or emerging trends, reach out in the New Year – we’re here to help.