The 4 Ad Tech Trends Mobile Marketers Need to Understand In 2022

Share this:

Starting off this year, the mobile advertising industry is at an inflection point. As new privacy regulations fundamentally alter what data can be gathered from mobile users and how it can be used, waves of strategic consolidation are reshaping the industry in dramatic ways.

To succeed in this shifting landscape, mobile marketers and monetization professionals need to understand the new rules of growth and how to build strategies that take advantage of emerging opportunities while avoiding reliance on outdated practices. Yes, things are poised to change even further, but the coming year holds as much potential — if  not more — than the previous ones. 

With that in mind, here are the four most important ad tech trends that will shape the industry in 2022 and beyond.  

Get familiar with contextual advertising

Changes in mobile privacy practices have led mobile users to overwhelmingly opt out of tracking, placing contextual advertising practices front and center as the de facto method of audience targeting, and it’s not just iOS that’s changing. Android 12 has introduced overhauled privacy settings that will doubtless see similar results.

Mobile marketers would be wise to seek out partners who’ve been proactive about adapting their tech stack to suit contextual advertising. Data management platforms, dynamic creative optimization, and creative approaches to targeting are just a few of the crucial tech considerations at play. Find ad partners that have already done the work of optimizing their tech and invest heavily in them.

It’s worth noting that publishers — especially large ones — aren’t flying totally blind. They’re still able to gather first-party data from within apps in order to track and understand user interactions. The biggest publishers in the world will be able to leverage their network of apps to exploit network effects that keep users within their portfolio longer, prolonging the time they’re able to generate value. Still, contextual advertising will be the new standard for most.

Prepare for more mobile ad tech consolidation

Many ad tech leaders are already deeply invested in strategic M&A efforts in an effort to take advantage of the current level of industry uncertainty and create new tool sets able to meet the new needs of mobile marketers. As we’ve already seen, these periods of industry flux often see substantial changes to the corporate landscape, and marketers can be sure that 2022 will bring more of the same. 

The development of these increasingly one-stop shops are great news for marketers, who can save valuable time and take advantage of efficiencies by working with solutions that bring complementary technologies under a single roof. These varying services will work well together without the inefficiencies of incompatible platforms or non-standardized infrastructures. For mobile app developers and marketers, consolidation means the simplification of what can otherwise be an overly complex marketplace — and far less time spent trying to compare competing services. 

Embrace the power of machine learning

Customer acquisition can feel like chasing a moving target, so watch for the future to bring increasing growth in tools that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to parse mountains of generalized data into predictive results. Contextual targeting, also known as the new norm, requires huge data sets from both first- and third-parties for maximum effectiveness. Machine learning’s algorithms can turn that information into actionable recommendations, allowing marketers to adjust campaigns on the fly.

This probabilistic approach allows mobile advertisers to acquire users with a notably higher ROAS than traditional methods. It’s predictive rather than reactive, and allows for advanced, automated responses to quickly changing situations. 

Learn the ins and outs of app bidding

Expect 2022 to go down in history as the year we finally saw the death of the ad waterfall. App bidding’s ability to act and react in real-time affords publishers exponentially greater value for their development efforts, along with the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’re getting the most for their valuable inventory.

While we can likely expect a learning curve as marketers adapt their strategies to fit with in-app bidding, those who make the effort sooner will be ahead of the game.

A bright future ahead

2022 will be a year for the mobile advertising industry to find its footing again — and an opportunity for fast-moving players to stake new claims. The momentum these trends — contextual advertising, machine learning, consolidation, and bidding in lieu of the waterfall — have accrued over the past few months suggests there are ways to prepare yourself for what’s coming, whatever that may be.

Dennis Mink is the SVP of Marketing at Liftoff+Vungle.