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Advertisers Still Wary of Programmatic

Over 60% of ad agency execs do not feel there is an accurate, unified definition of programmatic buying

Trust in programmatic buying has a long way to go, based on April 2014 polling by STRATA. According to the study, just 12% of US senior ad agency executives said they trusted programmatic buying to properly or accurately execute their ad orders. Though only 5% said they didn’t trust the tactic, 58% remained undecided, and one-quarter of respondents weren’t using programmatic buying at all.

One reason for senior ad execs’ skepticism when it comes to programmatic buying may be due to the lack of a standard definition of the tactic—which could then limit knowledge and execution. More than 60% of respondents did not feel that the ad industry had an accurate and unified definition of programmatic buying, and an additional 31% were unsure.

March 2014 research by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Forrester Consulting found that more than half of marketers studied didn’t understand programmatic well enough to buy and execute campaigns with it.

Just under one-quarter of US client-side marketers were using programmatic. Among those whose firms had done programmatic buying in the past year, the top media purchase was online display, cited by 77% of respondents. However, ANA and Forrester noted that buying had extended beyond display to media such as online video, social and mobile.

But even US client-side marketers who were using programmatic appeared uncomfortable handling the tactic in-house. Just 28% of respondents whose firms had done programmatic buying in the past year had expanded their in-house programmatic capabilities so they were managing, overseeing or implementing such efforts in-house, and nearly 60% showed no interest in doing so.

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