ANA survey shows demand for programmatic buying education


ANAChanging media practices and technologies are driving marketers’ concerns around media buying effectiveness and media agency transparency according to Transparency, Machines, and Metrics; An ANA/Forrester Survey of the Evolution of the Media Buying Industry.

The survey of 153 client-side marketers, which took place between February and March 2014, looked at current and projected trends in media transparency, programmatic buying adoption, and metrics.

Nearly half of surveyed advertisers cite concerns about the level of transparency between the client and their media agency(s) as an issue.  Further, such concerns appear to be on the rise – 42% say concerns about transparency increased over the past year and only 13% say concerns decreased.

The top issues reported by advertisers included:

•           Served versus viewable impressions for digital media

•           Media rebates to agencies

•           Digital ad placement (e.g., frequency caps, inappropriate content, share of voice, above-the-fold)

•           Lack of visibility into data used to define audience targeting

Marketers have a lack of understanding around programmatic buying, with almost 40% claiming low, or no, awareness. Use of programmatic buying in the past year is also mixed – 54% have used it, among the 46% who have not, 18.5% plan to do so in the next year.  Of those surveyed that do currently use programmatic buying, online display (77%) and online video (41%) are used the most.

Importantly, one quarter of marketers have expanded their in-house capabilities to manage/oversee or implement programmatic buying, another 13% are evaluating whether to do so.  The potential barriers to programmatic adoption reflect the findings concerning transparency issues, with visibility into targeting data (49%) and understanding ad placement (43%) listed as key issues.

“Marketers are still in the early stages of understanding how to use programmatic to win, serve, and retain customers,” said Forrester Analyst Jim Nail. “But as the survey shows, marketers realize they must take programmatic seriously and learn how to incorporate this buying method into their overall media buying strategy.”

As marketers place growing importance on understanding consumers’ path to purchase, quantitative, results-focused metrics now dominate priorities. As such, marketing mix modeling and web analytics are the most important tools identified by surveyed marketers for measuring the impact of media plans. When it comes to measuring campaigns across multiple media, understanding each medium’s impact (78%) and identify individuals across channels (54%) are priority measurement areas for marketers.

Said Bob Liodice, ANA CEO: “industry metrics must evolve to improve relevance and transparency across the ecosystem.  Our industry must align to improve measurement in order to support marketers’ needs to make better decisions that can then drive business results.”