The ability to connect with audiences via programmatic video advertising is seen as a key driver of further investment in programmatic advertising by 49 percent of advertisers, compared to 19 percent last year. The data was release today in IAB Europe’s ‘Attitudes to Programmatic Advertising’ report which highlighted several other changing attitudes, showing that advertisers and agencies are becoming more aware of programmatic trading’s benefits beyond targeting efficiency, programmatic stakeholders are increasingly keen to take programmatic in-house, and most players are quickly adopting new metrics to measure their programmatic campaigns.
IAB Europe’s report surveyed over 700 participants from a mix of advertisers, agencies and publishers to gauge their views on programmatic advertising. Targeting efficiencies have always been reported to IAB as the dominant drivers of programmatic investment, and this remains the case this year with 71 percent of advertisers and 78 percent of agencies listing it as such. For publishers, client demand remains the highest motivator for investment, with 71 percent of publishers calling it a key driver. But this year’s results showed increasing awareness of other benefits of programmatic across the board. Brands are much more positive about programmatic video’s potential than last year, positivity that has followed a 155 percent increase in programmatic video investment in 2016. More brands and advertisers than last year listed campaign flexibility and reduced media wastage as key business impacts of programmatic trading, and more publishers than last year cite increased control of inventory and increased media value as key impacts.
While the report listed brand safety as a dominant barrier to investment, it is still not the primary concern despite its prominence in the news. Lack of talent, cost of technology and fee transparency were all listed as barrers by more brands than brand safety was. Meanwhile more agencies are worried about lack of talent, the difficulty of training people adequately, and quality of data than are worried about brand safety.
Whatever barriers do exist though, they’re not preventing high levels of investment as 88 percent of advertisers, 93 percent of agencies and 88 percent of publishers are planning to increase their investment in programmatic advertising over the next twelve months.
As investment increases, companies across the board are increasingly taking their programmatic trading in-house. This is most evident among advertisers where 23 percent now say they handle programmatic operations in-house, compared to 16 percent in 2016. This trend is set to continue too, as 56 percent of publishers and 46 percent of advertisers that don’t already have an in-house strategy state that they are planning to develop one in the next twelve months. The biggest barrier here remains a staffing one; both sectors list hiring people with the rights skill set and training people adequately as the top two challenges of an in-house strategy.
The report also outlined some drastic changes over the past year in the metrics used to measure programmatic campaigns. Advertising recall, brand awareness, brand familiarity, brand affinity and purchase intent are all being used by a lot more companies across all three sectors than last year, while click through rate is dropping for brands and publishers.
These new metrics appear to be increasing confidence in programmatic trading too. Campaign measurement and reporting was listed by fewer advertisers, agencies and publishers as a barrier to investment than last year, with only 2 percent of agencies now listing it as a concern.