Sixty-two percent of European brands plan to take all of their programmatic ad buying in-house within the next five years, according to a survey of its clients conducted by Adobe, with all brands polled planning to take at least some of their programmatic buying in-house by 2022.
The report released today found that advertisers are keen to ramp up programmatic spending, with 86 percent of brands and 89 percent of agencies planning to increase their programmatic ad budgets in 2018. But as spending increases, brands hope to shift away from reliance on agencies for handling programmatic buys, and take on more responsibility for themselves.
The surprisingly high figure might be attributed to the fact that Adobe had a relatively small sample size and based their results on responses from 60 of its brand and agency clients from the UK, France, Germany, Benelux and the Nordics about their future plans for programmatic buying. As Adobe has a strong focus on self-service and on direct relationships with brands, it seems unlikely the results are an accurate reflection of the wider industry.
That said, we have seen other studies over the last week that suggest that in-housing for programmatic buying is increasing. In the US the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) released a study yesterday which found that 35 percent have reduced the role of external agencies over the past year as they’ve expanded their in-house programmatic buying capabilities.
While all brands surveyed by Adobe said they plan to take some of their programmatic ad buying in-house by 2022, 38 percent said they will continue to share responsibilities with agencies. But this leaves an eyebrow-raising 62 percent of brands planning to cut agencies out of the picture completely when it comes to programmatic ad buys.
In spite of the hype around in-housing, some brands might find it difficult in practice. One of the commonly cited key concerns with going in-house is a lack of talent to deal with programmatic buys, and if 62 percent of brands really are planning to completely cut out agencies, the talent pool might very quickly be drained.
Regardless of whether programmatic buying ends up being executed mostly by agencies or by brands, Adobe’s poll suggests budgets are going to shoot soar in the coming years. Fifty-two percent of respondents from brands and 56 percent of agency respondents believe programmatic advertising will overtake traditional TV buying as the most important part of their advertising strategy in three-to-five years. Both groups spot new opportunities arising for programmatic buying too, with programmatic TV and full cross-screen measurement and optimisation listed as the biggest opportunities.