AOL Study Busts Some Programmatic Myths: Creativity isn’t Dying and People are Far from Obsolete

aolAOL published their ‘Programmatic Future’s report which looked at the direction in which programmatic advertising is pushing the market and how it is affecting (or indeed, isn’t affecting) people on the ground (AOL’s will be speaking at New Video Frontiers in London on October 22nd). The company interviewed some of the UK’s biggest media owners, trading desks, industry bodies and publishers, and the study tackled some of the myths associated with programmatic buying. For example, most companies say they haven’t had to replace humans when it comes to ad sales, plus a majority believed that creativity has actually been enhanced via techniques such as site retargeting, dynamic creative and sequential story-telling.

 Other findings included:
• People are not becoming obsolete. Instead skills are evolving, but isn’t all about data scientists either. Rather than building an industry of specialists working in silos, programmatic is enabling people to become generalists as more time is freed up to allow people to focus on higher value formats and campaigns such as native advertising
• The biggest barrier to programmatic remains the skills gap
• The rate of programmatic growth is leading to greater collaboration with agencies, forging deeper relationships with clients and publishers
• And the improvement is not just confined to client-agency relationships on the buy-side. Programmatic also seems to be changing the dynamic between the buy-side and the sell-side, leading to increased trust, more honesty and a better working relationship
Key Statistics from Programmatic Futures
• When asked whether the ability to target and track consumers through programmatic technology is leading to new forms of creativity and storytelling in advertising, 47 percent agreed or strongly agreed, compared to 24 percent who disagreed or strongly disagreed
• Overall the industry believes that programmatic is enhancing creativity, with almost half of respondents (48%) to our research seeing it as having a positive effect, rising to 56 percent of buy-side respondents. This is compared to 28% of the industry who said programmatic inhibits creativity and 24% who said it makes no difference
• Nearly a third (29 percent) already agree that the time freed up by automation is allowing them to focus more on higher-value formats and campaigns such as native advertising
• 57 percent of people surveyed disagreed that programmatic is replacing the role of the human in advertising
• 35 percent feel that the skills-gap caused by programmatic is the biggest barrier to progress
• Over a quarter (26 percent) of heavy users of programmatic said that it helped them to spend more time with clients
• 65 percent of people agreed or strongly agreed that they spend more time now talking about strategy and audiences as a result of programmatic


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