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AdTech Trends in 2023

By Eugene Scollan. Eugene is a Senior Consultant within the Commercial team at Zeren.

As each year passes by, we have consistently seen change and innovation within the AdTech industry, and 2022 was no different. The rise of CTV, privacy and data challenges, and the spotlight on a greener future were all key topics, and some of these will take a further pace in 2023.


With a new year, many are looking into what will shape the AdTech industry over the next 12 months and what key trends will be at the forefront, and this article delves into what may be around the corner…


Drive for first-party data

Fresh from 2022, one of the big topics in the advertising industry is the impending changes in data privacy and the cookieless future that awaits us. While this is not new to many of us, companies will continue to prepare for the challenges this presents and will be considering their strategy as we enter a new era.


Despite Google postponing the changes of cookies last year, we are now only one year away from the changes in 2024, and while future postponements may happen, marketers must ready themselves.


In times of challenge, there will also be opportunities, and the drive for first-party data will certainly be one of them. There will be a priority for companies to push their attention to first-party data and generate new methods to build data around their users and act with it accordingly. The previous reliance on third-party data will result in publishers finding new avenues to collect first-party data, and AdTech companies driving innovation and changes to their platforms ahead of 2024.


Contextual Targeting

As discussed above, privacy will be at the forefront of minds in 2023, and as companies rise to the challenge of navigating these changes, one method is likely to emerge as a popular option, especially when you consider its considerable growth in 2022 – contextual targeting.


Contextual targeting provides an alternative to third-party data-driven marketing, as it allows advertisers to target consumers based on the content they are consuming, rather than past behaviour gathered through third-party data. It is an area that is quickly gathering momentum with big companies such as TikTok and Reddit heavily adopting this method.


Contextual methods look like a key area for growth in 2023 as it aligns with the current state of affairs in data privacy, brand safety, and delivering higher ROI for advertisers through the help of AI/ML ads.


The continued rise of CTV

Connected TV (CTV) experienced an explosion of growth in 2022, and the rise is not likely to stop as we race through 2023, although there is always innovation that may lead to some changes.


CTV has been considered a key area to the growth of programmatic and it is clear to see why, since the popularity of streaming has soared since the COVID-19 pandemic, with ad spending reaching over $18BN in the US alone and projected to grow even further in 2023.


Another reason for the growth of CTV (there is a theme here!) is that it can act as another solution to the data changes that are pending in 2024 as it avoids the challenges of third-party data.


Given its ability to operate with data in real-time, it can provide accurate targeting, however, there have been issues, mainly that of measurement, and how advertisers track their campaign performance. Budgets may tighten in 2023 with the global economic conditions so it will be a big topic in 2023 as to how measurement and AdTech companies face the challenge.


Video advertising

2022 saw exponential growth for video ad formats and their importance to advertisers will continue to grow throughout 2023.


The variety of ad formats available to advertisers is one of the key reasons why is so popular and it generates high engagement for brands. Pre-roll, over-the-top (OTT), and native are some of the formats that had seen growth in recent years, particularly due to the adoptions of major social brands such as TikTok, and Instagram. In 2023, it is expected that OTT will grow even further from its major take-off following the pandemic.


With privacy to lead as the hot topic in 2023, contextual video ads also offer up another solution to traditional methods using third-party data.


Sustainability and green media

A global trend in 2022 was the drive and push for sustainability across all sectors, however, technology will have a key part to play, and it will be interesting to see how the AdTech industry will adapt.


Last year we learned that the AdTech industry brought about more carbon emissions than the aviation industry, predominantly through the delivery of digital advertising campaigns. As such, brands and their AdTech partners are continually seeking ways to reduce the carbon emissions generated through their advertising efforts.


2023 will certainly see an emergence of green technologies in the advertising industry as the collective of brands, agencies, publishers, and AdTech partners work towards long-term net zero emission goals.


Final thoughts

These are just some of the trends that appear to be on the horizon for 2023, however, there will always be additional areas of growth as the industry continuously evolves – it will be interesting to see what new areas emerge!


Privacy and data will be the key recurring trend in 2023 ahead of the proposed changes in 2024 and it will be at the forefront of mind for everyone in the industry, however, the biggest challenge of all will likely come in the combined efforts towards and greener and sustainable future, especially with the long-term vision of a net zero future!



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We partner with high-growth, VC/PE-backed businesses and ambitious Corporate brands placing senior leaders, building exceptional teams, or providing critical interim and consulting talent.

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