ANA/Forrester New Survey on Programmatic Buying

March 9, 2016

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA

ANA and Forrester just released the results of a new survey on programmatic buying (fielded in February 2016 with128 ANA member respondents). Programmatic has exploded with 79 percent of respondents doing programmatic buying in the past year — more than double that of a similar survey in 2014. Past year usage of programmatic buying was highest for online display, online video, mobile display, and mobile video. In the next year, the media with the most expected growth are social video, social display, mobile video, and television.

The top benefits of programmatic buying are better targeting and real-time optimization. Meanwhile, the top challenges are higher bot fraud and potential for non-viewable ads. Transparency issues also are identified as challenges:

  • Lack of inventory transparency, i.e., less visibility into where our ads are placed
  • Lack of transparency to the costs within the programmatic supply chain, i.e., only $.30 to $.40 of every dollar actually buys media
  • Lack of transparency into the firms along the programmatic supply chain, i.e., not knowing all the firms that are touching my business

Transparency, of course, has been on the ANA’s radar screen for some time.

Actions marketers have taken to respond to transparency concerns of programmatic buying include:

  • Requested detailed campaign guidelines and reporting from agency partner
  • Aggressively update black lists
  • Target white lists
  • Purchased inventory through private marketplaces that media companies have created
  • Added language in insertion orders to increase transparency 

ANA members are strongly encouraged to ramp-up their programmatic intelligence. Knowledge is power. Advertisers need to take greater accountability and be in the know. Take control as it’s your money!


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