#OPSPOV: Marketers Have Good Reasons to Go Programmatic

Come on, Marketers: Programmatic Is Calling!

The chief finding from a Winterberry Group/IAB report on programmatic has been the subject of many conversations at AdMonsters lately: 99% of global publishers have some kind of programmatic offering. This runs the gamut from programmatic direct and private marketplaces to simply filling some unsold inventory via open RTB.

Things are a little different on the other side of the fence. According to a new study by Forrester and the ANA, only 23% of marketers have actually dabbled programmatic buying. Of the rest, 12% have never heard of programmatic buying, 29% have heard of it but are clueless to what it is, 26% get the concept but don’t know how to apply it and 10% comprehend but haven’t jumped in. And those surveyed were not nubes by any means: 65% of the 148 client-side marketers were director level and above.

So does this throw cold water on the trend of brands taking programmatic buying in-house? Well, there’s another interesting finding: 46% of the marketers have serious questions about the transparency of their media agencies. Frankly, there seems to be high level of distrust: 51% cited not knowing if an agency is making money from media sellers while 42% presented concerns about agency arbitrage practices. 

More than half of this group expressed their displeasure at impressions sold on a served rather than viewable basis, but many on the supply side argue viewability is a media agency problem (ahem, buying cheap questionable inventory on exchanges) shoved on the supply side. Around 40% of this segment also directly fingered agency trading desks as a transparency concern.

Regardless of their understanding of programmatic buying, you can see from the chart below that marketers get the benefit: better targeting, faster media buys and no agency middleman. The moment is prime for marketers to take the big dive into media buying, particularly through programmatic. And guess what, marketers? Premium publishers are ready to meet you on the other side. If you need a primer on the programmatic space, try this report from the World Federation of Advertisers.