Experimenting with evolving mediums, embracing automation, and putting robust measurement practices in place will be the key agency priorities in 2022


Automation in digital operations will become salient 

Before moving to IAS my time was spent in agency operations and trading, while digital campaigns started simple with fewer targeting options and fewer creatives this eventually changed with more complexity and a great deal of the job being the setup of campaigns whether ad server, DSP, or verification platform. While automation and quality of life improvements were made in each platform to keep up with additional complexity, only recently are we seeing improvements and integrations between platforms. 

At IAS we are making great strides in automation and quality of life improvements for media professionals giving time back to ensure that they are able to add more value to their campaigns in optimisation and ideation. We have shown innovation with Automated Tag, which means that much of the time spent going between platforms and rekeying campaigns is no longer needed. As a programmatic trader in a previous life, the fact that I would no longer need to CM export tags out of DV360 for wrapping in IAS is an upgrade I am thankful for. Automation is something that we will continue to innovate bringing more tools and functionality to more platforms.

CTV measurement will get a booster with technological advancements 

CTV is rapidly evolving in the post covid era, the additional time is spent at home and consuming content on the large screen has seen more publishers launching offerings and more choices to the end-user across both global and local markets. Google reported that during 2020 CTV viewers grew by 63% and depending on the market penetration is higher than cable TV (In the US CTV device adoption has surpassed 80%)

While CTV is still a relatively new format in the grand scheme of things, measurement is rapidly evolving to meet the demand for marketers wanting to ensure that their media budgets are being wisely invested. While the measurement of the basics of fraud and viewability are available now and help to build trust, features such as channel and content level transparency from IAS mean that more dollars will shift from traditional buys as confidence in what content ads are being served against is solidified. 

Real future-facing features that will make all the difference in marketers’ lives that will see the medium completely overtake its traditional counterpart will be measurement enhancements such as verified Reach and Frequency putting it above panel based measurement and Contextual targeting avoidance in the biddable space.  

Measurement increasingly becoming available across Walled Gardens and In-feed

People are increasingly spending their time outside of the open web and within ‘walled garden platforms’ such as Facebook, Youtube, TikTok etc. This trend is not new and for many years the proportion of marketing dollars continues to follow the activity. For marketers gauging their campaign quality and performance becomes more difficult for various reasons such as different ad formats and creative types and 3rd Party Ad-Serving not being available. 

IAS mitigates these issues by directly integrating with walled gardens. Over the recent year, we have continued to integrate with more platforms and expand existing integrations to include more media quality data. A good example is IAS being the first to provide a true in-feed brand safety solution for TikTok. Our solution analyses video, text and audio of the given content and makes a decision if it is safe to advertise against. Now that this solution has been put into practice the possibilities in other feed-based environments and platforms are exciting to say the least.  

Continuing to innovate in the walled garden space is imperative so that marketers can effectively measure their campaigns in one place and recent news from Facebook is encouraging, signalling they are open to greater measurement possibilities ultimately benefiting advertisers and assuaging doubts in social and in-feed environments.

The use of contextual avoidance and targeting will continue to rise 

As we inch closer to a future without cookies and advertising losing fidelity when it comes to digital identity marketers will need to adopt more varied targeting methods to continue to reach their target audience. Contextual targeting has come a long way since keyword and category targeting in early programmatic days. Natural language processing and emotional understanding have evolved the way that IAS creates contextual targeting segments leading to more reach and greater accuracy in segments. IAS’s Context Control Segments are showing great results and proving that contextual will become part of a new normal for biddable targeting, we are also making sure that we are tailoring new segments to the present with many seasonal segments being released such as Singles Day, Valentines Day, Lunar New year, etc.