Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My 2022 Predictions: Azad Ali, Head of Performance Insights at Spark Foundry

NDA, in partnership with Xandr, is collecting the views of some of our industry’s leading figures for their predictions on 2022 and beyond. Next up is Azad Ali, Head of Performance Insights at Spark Foundry.

What channels provide the most exciting opportunities for digital advertising in 2022?

The broadcast video and connected TV space feels like it took huge strides forward last year and yet has some way to go to reach full maturity. Much like any channel that is becoming more digital or programmatically available, the process and frameworks behind ensuring its smooth delivery is coming to its conclusion. The innovation, creativity and potential impact this channel can bring into the digital media mix is pretty exciting.

What challenges and opportunities are there in delivering a seamless buying experience for digital advertising?

There was a time when an omnichannel DSP meant you could buy display, mobile and pre-roll video programmatically. These days you can throw in programmatic guaranteed, connected TV, broadcast video, digital audio, digital out-of-home and social alternatives into the mix. The benefit is the ability to manage all of these wide-ranging channels and objectives under a single interface.

The challenge, however, is that the programmatic trader over time has had to become a subject matter expert in all of these channels. Therefore, a wider appreciation of how each of these elements can be bought effectively, will be necessary to ensure the capabilities afforded to us by the technology, are utilised to its fullest potential. 

How will the distinctions between brand and performance advertising evolve?

Brand affinity through the eyes of consumer’s appreciation of ethics, inclusivity and sustainability will have a noticeable impact on sales.

As consumers we hold brands to a higher standard now, so falling short or lacking authenticity will start to hit the bottom line. It’s up to all of us in the industry to ensure we live and breathe the values we hold dear to us in the way we communicate, the way we represent ourselves and the way we put those values into action.

What new format, medium and channels hold the biggest new creative potential for 2022?

The Metaverse!

To be honest if feels like I’m cheating a little bit by even mentioning that term. Referring to the Metaverse at the moment is not too dissimilar to the way many people refer to programmatic – we know it’s kind of important but not quite sure why.

The all-encompassing term can focus on taking AR / VR to the next level or understanding how NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) can be used to supplement a brand’s digital offering. Given that searches for NFTs hit a peak in December, understanding and interpreting this consumer-lead innovation could be key to unlocking the digital requirements for brands.