ANA Survey Shows Programmatic Investment, And Lingering Confusion

programmatic-survey-anaProgrammatic buying is on marketers’ radar, with new survey data from the Association of National Advertisers  finding strong adoption of platform-driven buying across a range of media types. But familiar barriers continue to hinder adoption, including a lack of understanding about what programmatic is.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents to the ANA survey – which was conducted by Forrester Research and presented Monday at the trade association’s Media Leadership conference in Boca Raton – claimed low, or no, awareness of the term.

“Advertisers don’t get programmatic today,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice, citing chaos in the supply chain and a lack of inventory and price transparency, a problem he laid at the feet of both platform companies and agency partners. “We need to watch out for media rebates and arbitraging ad inventory prices. It’s time to wrap our arms around it and approach it on an industrywide basis so we remove the veil of complexity.”


Meanwhile 54% claim to have used programmatic, and among the 46% who have not, 18.5% say they will in the coming year. For those who are live with programmatic today, display (77%) and video (41%) are most heavily used. However all digital channels are being used, including a perhaps surprising 13% for television buys, which is consistent with an AdExchanger Research survey finding that 16% of respondents are doing some form of programmatic buying on Connected TV today.

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The survey also addressed the in-house buying trend, noting 37% of respondents to a question about internal programmatic capabilities said they either already manage some buying in-house or are evaluating that option.


Asked what has motivated their shift to direct management of programmatic buys, the top responses focused on cost efficiency and “greater control,” including control of data.


In addition to programmatic, the ANA survey also touched on matters related to measurement and transparency. Forty-two percent of respondents said transparency worries increased over the past year, while 13% said those concerns decreased.

On transparency and measurement, ANA members expressed greatest concern about nonviewable impressions, followed by click fraud, bots and piracy-related content.

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