Programmatic: ANA 2014 Marketing Word of the Year

December 5, 2014

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA

For the first time, the ANA surveyed our members to identify the marketing word of the year. The ANA staff selected a list of finalists and then asked members to cast their vote to determine the winner. Voting was done between November 24 and December 2. In total, 349 members participated and “programmatic” received the most votes. 

Here’s what we heard from those who voted for programmatic as the ANA 2014 marketing word of the year:

  • “This is the year that we woke up to the potential of programmatic and it became the biggest buzzword in the industry.”
  • “This was the word that has been thrown around the most and everyone scrambling to understand what it means and how it would impact their business.”
  • “Programmatic was one of the most used words in marketing this year as marketers sought out more efficient and effective ways to purchase digital media.”
  • “Everyone is talking about it, trying to see how to measure it, implement and/or define it. But few people get it or do it.”
  • “It is a word that is being used a lot by a lot of people, but still needs to be understood by most people.”
  • “Programmatic has as many positive connotations as it does negative. It is clearly the future of strategic and media planning, but still a lot of uncertainty in what the present and future holds.”

Programmatic buying has been covered extensively by ANA in 2014 via touch points including the ANA/Forrester survey and white paper, “Media Buying’s Evolution Challenges Marketers.” A learning there was that despite increasing talk in the industry and an explosion of new programmatic buying technologies and vendors, programmatic buying isn’t well understood by marketers. More than half the marketers surveyed confessed they don’t understand programmatic buying well enough to use it to buy and manage campaigns.

The aforementioned verbatims further reinforce the fact that there is a lack of understanding of programmatic buying among some marketers. This realistic self-appraisal opens the door for continued training and education.

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