This time last year, it was predicted that $81 billion would be spent programmatically by 2021 suggesting advertisers would spend $98 billion on programmatic advertising.

The nature of programmatic advertising meant it was able to be flexible during the global pandemic. Indeed, it was reported back in September that after the initial impact of COVID-19 on the advertising sector, programmatic advertising was once again experiencing an upward resurgence.

This was said to as getting back to a ‘pre-pandemic normal’ with a 36% uplift of programmatic ads in July, since January. surprisingly, the total amount spent on programmatic ads between April and July was up 11% year-on-year.

Businesses of all sizes, but especially SMBs, are showing an increasing hunger for targeting and data-driven strategies. And programmatic advertising is set to thrive!

Understanding where to focus your ad is important and the capability of programmatic ads to withstand even the harshest of industry conditions might appeal to your brand.

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  • The importance of optimization

Creating useful, targeted, high-quality ads has increased in importance in recent years, but the continued optimization of ads will be a real focus of programmatic advertising managers in 2021.

Back in August, Google rolled out an advanced feature on Chrome to block ‘heavy ads’ to smoothen user experience and discourage practices that use bad UX. What this imply in practice is that any ad that is deemed ‘heavy’ is ‘unloaded’ and replaced with a grey square labelled ‘ad removed’.

The criteria for a heavy ad include the following:

  1. More than 4MB of network data usage
  2. Over 15 seconds of CPU usage for 30 seconds
  3. 60 seconds of CPU usage all told
  • Continued rise in investment

Programmatic advertising continues to experience a rise in investment, year on year. Today, it is a smart move for your brand to allocate ad spend too programmatic.

According to the 2020 IAB Europe Attitudes to Programmatic Advertising report, budgets for digital advertising remain on an upward trajectory and programmatic is experiencing the largest investment.

Investment in numbers

The IAB report shows many encouraging statistics for the world of programmatic advertising, including:

Advertisers that invest more than 41% of their display budget into programmatic leapt from 55% in 2019 to 70% in 2020

54% of agencies now purchase over 41% of their video programmatically. Up from 50% in 2019

The purchase of ads.txt inventory also looks to be growing. 52% of publishers reported that they were selling over 81% of their inventory.

As 2021 progresses expect these numbers to increase further.

  • Adoption of emerging formats

Exciting, emerging formats such as audio, Connected TV (CTV) and Digital out-of-home media (DOOH) are readily available. However, these formats are yet to truly takeoff! Expect this to change on quite a considerable scale during 2021 and beyond.

Emerging formats is another area the 2020 IAB Europe Attitudes to Programmatic Advertising report covers in interesting detail.

Apply these programmatic advertising trends now

Programmatic advertising is a digital marketing heavyweight that’s gaining serious ground. Therefore, it will pay for your brand to be on the pulse of latest developments and programmatic advertising trends.

While the pandemic inflicted damage on many industries this year, the robust recovery and subsequent growth of programmatic has created optimism for 2021 and beyond.

If you’re looking to attribute a portion of your ad spend to programmatic and want to learn a little more, head to our ultimate guide.