CAGR of the global adtech software market


of US internet users say hyper-personalised content increases their shopping activity


CAGR of mobile video advertising spend 2020-2025

Adtech in the post-Covid world

Digital marketing costs have increased for advertisers since the outbreak of Covid-19. This is due to the rise in web traffic and online shopping leading to stronger online competition. This mechanically increased the average CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per mille). Most brands have increased their spending on online advertising, even B2B firms. On the other hand, physical advertising (DOOH, print ads) is less attractive for advertisers due to the pandemic-related travel and transport restrictions which decreased street footfall.

Advertisers also want to break the trend of using typical platforms like Facebook, Apple and Google, which require large budgets. Instead, they are shifting their strategy towards greater use of third-party tools to design and promote their ads.

The growing use of mobile devices has changed the dynamics of customer behaviour. Better access to content (through mobile apps and web browsers) has enabled better ad performances thanks to increased attention (smaller screens, more focus on ad content). Consumers are also gradually switching to streaming services, preferring video content and prompting new means of distribution.

Moreover, the adtech software segment is still very fragmented. Even the top 15 vendors only represent around 40% of the market and new ad channels are appearing, such as smart televisions and over-the-top platforms (Amazon Prime, Netflix...). While this trend creates opportunities, it also makes digital marketing initiatives harder to track and consolidate.

Another key aspect to acknowledge is data privacy. Companies are facing a “privacy paradox”: caught between the allure of using data to provide better consumer experiences and the risk of violating consumer privacy. Recent regulatory frameworks (GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act) disrupt the existing models of tracking a user’s behaviour but open the door for advertisers to gather a user’s data with their consent. The volume of available data per user might decrease, but in the long run, the policy will increase the quality of this data.

Towards more experiential and immersive marketing strategies

We are entering a post-privacy era in marketing with new, cookieless, compliant forms of identity and infrastructure. Digital media is also evolving fast, especially in video, OTT media and audio. The resulting dynamic trends have consequences all along the customer journey:

- Programmatic advertising is expected to grow substantially. Many advertisers leverage AI to bid for ad space with publishers in real-time. Machine learning helps advertisers intelligently target consumers with relevant, hyper-personalised messages on the most optimal channels.

- Voice-activated ads: Gartner predicts that in 2020, 30% of web searches bypassed the screen and happened through voice-activated devices. Programmatic will play a profound role in integrating voice-activated ads with the rest of the advertising landscape. It will help optimise ad spaces in at-home smart devices with in-store ads, audio and visual ads.

- Extended reality technologies, including AR and VR, will be key drivers of better immersive experiences and more personalised content strategies to attract and retain customers. These technologies enable storytelling through ads, either in physical locations (stores, physical events, airports) or in digital settings (social media, websites, apps).

- Mobile device technology will be the main driver of upcoming developments in advertising. Stronger mobile processing power together with new 5G internet connection speeds will allow more complex and immersive mobile ad strategies (live broadcasting, 360° panoramas, AR/VR).

Startups are bringing exciting innovation in the spaces of programmatic advertising, contextual ad targeting, customer data platform (CDP) software, immersive and experiential marketing tactics.

Strenghten your media & publishing strategy thanks to startup innovation

AdTech startups need substantial datasets to train their technologies on. Corporates can share their best practices and their volumes of data to leverage the potential of digital tools for their marketing strategy.

Many startups also require significant R&D investments. This is the case especially for startups using AI, which requires specific technical skills that can be difficult to recruit. Therefore, startups are turning to corporates for co-development and collaboration, in addition to investments, to help accelerating industrialisation and support their market entry.

Collaborating with innovative startups means sharing technologies and expertise, which benefits all parties involved.

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Relevant tech trends include…

brand content

Programmatic advertising

influencer startup

Voice-activated advertising

startup engagement

Community engagement

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