According to a recent survey from AOL Platforms, a whopping 87% of brand and agency respondents plan to increase programmatic spending by at least 50% over the next six months. The unsurprisingly bullish survey included executives at 25 advertisers, 96 agencies and 56 publishers, and centered on programmatic buying of display, mobile and video.
It may, however, come as a surprise to some that display will be a crucial driver of this predicted programmatic growth. “I hear people talk about display being less important, and that is a myth that this survey debunks,” AOL Platforms CMO Allie Kline told AdExchanger. “Display is not only where the majority of money is spent, but also where the majority of increase will come from.”
Kline added that programmatic access to reserved inventory and premium formats accounts for the increased investment in display.
Transparency, Well-Defined Units, and Reserved Media
Automated guaranteed’s entry into the programmatic landscape is a key factor in that shift. For the first time, technology is enabling the automation of reserved inventory – by far the largest market segment of display advertising.
Previous challenges to programmatic expansion are familiar to most of us. In describing the same survey, Adweek noted that “[f]or agency and brand senior executives, the top three programmatic ad spending challenges are the quality of the inventory in these programs, transparency of the process and the technology used to…place the ads.”
That’s why automation of reserved media is such an important force here— transparency and quality are no longer issues. By enabling programmatic access to well-defined, high-quality ad units, publishers give buyers an opportunity to choose exactly what they’d like to buy, erasing any quality or transparency concerns.
Why now? Both buyers and sellers are motivated by economics – 76% of agencies and brands identified economic efficiency as a key benefit of programmatic buying, while publishers appear to be focused on ways to improve CPMs and strengthen their bottom lines.
The survey also explored publishers’ plans, need, fears, and confusion.
“Publishers said their No. 2 challenge in the digital marketing ecosystem was education. Only half were confident in their understanding of programmatic.”
It’s not surprising that publishers lack confidence in their understanding of the options out there. The marketplace is crowded, with each vendor coming up with a different marketplace term—often for the same capabilities! One of the best resources is the IAB, a non-biased industry source whose mission isn’t to sell, but rather to educate. And for both publishers and advertisers, education is the first step.