For one thing, the Advertiser Perceptions report doesn’t break out actual spend numbers, only which platforms buyers use or plan to try. Even if The Trade Desk, the clear runner-up at this point, did catch up with Google’s overall number of account seats or in agency and brand adoption, Mannion said more money would still be flowing through Google pipes.
Most brands and agencies have a hybrid approach, with a self-serve DSP and managed service vendors, but the bulk of the spend goes through self-serve, while managed service is often used for testing or for specific capabilities or exclusive inventory, Mannion said. And where Google has separated from the pack the most is as a platform for self-serve advertising.
“Self-serve is a major commitment,” he said. The buyers need to have hands-on experience with the tools, and since it means they’re using their own data, self-serve platforms are the ones that have been most thoroughly vetted for compliance.
There’s a lot more managed service up for grabs in the market – but that’s the Google edge. The self-serve platform is far less likely to churn.
Mannion said in this DSP report that Advertiser Perceptions followed up with interviewees about why they have more managed service opportunities while spending more with self-serve platforms.
“One interesting signal was that they often suspect their agencies don’t have the tech capabilities needed to fully understand how to use self-service platforms or suspect the DSP’s motivations, if it has exclusive or O&O inventory,” he said.
Though Google seems to have a pass from many of the same advertisers when it comes to concerns about a DSP buying its own media.
“In fact, what we heard from many agency and brand marketers was that one of the things they’re most excited about with DV360 is the integration with other Google properties,” Mannion said.