5 Predictions for Digital Advertising in 2022

2022 will be another big year for digital advertising. Over the next 12 months, we are likely to see new norms take shape surrounding privacy, targeting, and evolving channels, fundamentally reshaping the industry as we know it today. 

Here are a few things to watch out for. 

Apple doesn’t back down on privacy

Apple will continue its ‘privacy’ mission, which is the company’s way to fortify its own advertising business and weaken principal competitors under the guise of consumer advocacy.  Unironically, Apple’s changes have shown that its advertising and devices are now responsible for a bulk of advertiser mobile conversion and sales activity — who would have thunk it (insert sarcasm emoji)? 

The fight between Google, Facebook, and Apple will get uglier, with all of them firing shots across the bow, claiming each other’s approaches, numbers, technology, and consumer data are compromised.

Google FLoC’d up…

Last year, I predicted that Google would kick the proverbial can down the road on third-party cookie deprecation. I was unfortunately right. In June, the company delayed the cookie culling on Chrome from March 2022 to ‘late 2023.’ Not surprising, given how FLoC testing was going and how their mobile results were trending among Apple users (see above). 

In 2022, advertisers will double down on the emerging trend of relying on their own numbers, not data from tech giants who can yank it away on a whim.

CTV back to Earth

CTV core usage started to decrease as people emerged from their pandemic bunkers. 2022 will be another very interesting year for CTV. With overall usage waning but still strong, yet linear’s upfront CPMs projected to double based on much lower viewership, how will the broader television market respond?  

Midterm elections will help CTV post another fantastic year, but other clean/safe formats (OOH, DOOH, Audio) will benefit from the turmoil other channels are facing from fragmentation, privacy changes, and resulting measurement and targeting issues.

Oh Facebook, who are you?

2022 will be the year that we find out whether Facebook, or Meta, is on its way to Myspace City (and I say that respectfully, having worked for the company that bought Myspace with JT). 

There is too much smoke surrounding Meta’s data practices, too much ineffectiveness now that they can’t rig attribution and control all message cadence, and too much uncertainty around its go-forward strategy. I’m not sure that hiding in a Metaverse will make all these problems go away. They are too big to fail for now, but next year will tell us a lot more about the company’s trajectory. 

Put it on a billboard. It’ll last longer…

Out-of-home is the only traditional medium that is poised for continued growth, and that trend will accelerate in 2022 due to advances in measurement, accessibility, and ease of execution. As data privacy, brand safety, attribution, cookie/MAID deprecation, antitrust, fraud, declining viewership, and other issues continue to plague other channels, out-of-home and its increased engagement in a post-pandemic consumer environment will thrive. No bias here (insert another sarcasm emoji), but out-of-home will become a must-buy.

Craig Benner is Founder and CEO of Accretive Media.

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