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Adform research finds the UK behind the US in its understanding of online display advertising


By Gillian West | Social media manager

November 29, 2012 | 3 min read

Research from display marketing specialist Adform has found that the UK is behind the US when it comes to recognising key terms in the online advertising industry such as, RTB, DSP and SSP.

Recent figures released by the IDC found that global growth in RTB is set to increase by 992 per cent to £8.6 billion in 2016, with the European market in second place behind US in terms of RTB display ad spend.

Adform’s poll of delegates at this year’s ad:tech London and ad:tech New York uncovered that less than one third (32 per cent) of UK marketers could correctly decipher the term RTB compared with two thirds (67 per cent) of US marketers.

When shown the other list of common specialist terms, just over one quarter (26 per cent) of British marketers were able to identify DSP as Demand Side Platform, in comparison to 61 per cent of American marketers, and 18 per cent of UK marketers could identify SSP as Supply Side Platform versus over half (53 per cent) of Americans in the digital marketing industry.

Adform CEO Gustav Mellentin, commented: “These figures show that the UK market is at risk of falling behind the US if it doesn’t understand the terminology. This is concerning, especially when you consider some of the fantastic advances that are coming out of the European vendors. Display specialists need to ensure that acronyms don’t get in the way of accessible solutions that help achieve marketing goals and enable advertisers to run better campaigns.”

Of those surveyed 73 per cent of UK marketers said they would prefer to use a fully functioning single platform to run all elements of their display marketing campaigns in the next five years due to increasing frustration with the inaccessibility of online display advertising solutions.

The UK and US both, however, did predict the same trends for the industry in 2013 with mobile cited by 33 per cent of UK marketers and 48 per cent of US marketers as the main driver of investment for online display campaigns. Rich media was also identified as a key area for growth with three quarters (76 per cent) of Brits and two thirds (64 per cent) of Americans expecting greater investment in rich media over the coming year.

Mellentin added: “It’s not surprising that digital marketers are starting to prefer to run campaigns through a single platform but this currently highlights the difference between the UK and US markets. The industry landscape in the US continues to evolve with high numbers of vendors specialising in multi-screen, rich media, dynamic ads, re-targeting, real time buying, tag management and campaign management.

“One platform that can deliver all the above features in a user-friendly solution with one point of contact providing local support is a cleaner and more effective method for advertisers to run better campaigns.”

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