A new IAB report finds widespread adoption of programmatic among enterprise-level marketers: 85 percent of surveyed advertisers said their companies have bought digital media through real-time bidding platforms, and 72 percent of publishers said they support programmatic buying.
In the next two years, 91 percent of advertisers and 83 percent of publishers expect their organizations to pursue programmatic approaches to media buying.
More than half (55 percent) of enterprise advertisers are adopting programmatic ad buying to target consumers more effectively, and 49 percent say they are using programmatic to improve ad buying efficiency, according to the new whitepaper released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Winterberry Group. Just 16 percent cited cost-cutting as a motive for adopting programmatic.
There are still obstacles holding advertisers back from more fully embracing programmatic approaches. A third (33%) of advertiser panelists stated that brand safety issues are actively inhibiting adoption of programmatic approaches because of decreased control over where their advertising may be viewed. “The IAB has already taken steps to address the issue of brand safety through its Quality Assurance Guidelines program, and will continue work with our members to develop programs to address obstacles as they arise,” said Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President and COO at the IAB.
Mobile tracking is another key issue the industry needs to address. The report finds, “As mobile devices assumes a central role in consumers’ digital lives, the importance of cookies is rapidly receding, creating the need for an alternative method for audience identification, segmentation, and analysis.”
The fact that “programmatic” means different things to different people also doesn’t help move the ecosystem forward. The IAB’s relatively new Programmatic Publishers Task Force issued a paper in part meant to help clarify the definitions and rein-in the jargon used to describe programmatic in September.
In this latest paper, when asked what the term programmatic meant to them, the more than more than 260 executives surveyed cited “automation” and “auction” essentially interchangeably with “real-time bidding”; 68 percent drew a direct parallel between programmatic and “automation,” while 66 percent associated it with “auction-based approaches to media buying.”
The report finds that though programmatic began as a practice of ‘automated media buying,’ it is now growing to support more strategic uses including audience segmentation and targeting, automation of back-end processes and more. Nearly 80 percent are using programmatic for audience segmentation and auction-based media buying through RTB, and more than half of advertisers use programmatic for insight development, back-end automation, and to automate “premium” digital ad buys — once thought outside the realm of programmatic.
While just 47 percent are using it for content optimization today, 69 percent expect to be using programmatic for content optimization within two years. Twice as many advertisers expect to be using automation in their traditional media buys as do today.
The whitepaper, entitled “Programmatic Everywhere? Data, Technology and the Future of Audience Engagement,” can be viewed here [PDF].