ISBA’s David Ellison admits number of marketers in the dark about programmatic could be even higher than research suggests as it launches real-time ads guide

On the back of research into real-time and programmatic advertising, ISBA and Infectious Media are readying a “Guide to Real-Time Advertising” aiming to help its members understand the basics.

David Ellison

ISBA found that over 42 per cent of respondents to a study had either "never heard of it" or had "basic knowledge". However, only 26 ;senior digital marketing managers” were involved in the survey, and David Ellison, ISBA’s marketing services manager, has admitted this means the results could be slightly skewed and that “the percentage of its members out there who still have no more than a basic understanding could in reality be even more”.

“We are dealing through our Digital Action Group, and are connecting and engaging with senior digital marketers who are very interested in RTA but they aren’t necessarily the people involved in RTA,” he told The Drum. “When it’s big advertisers it could be any number of people who could be involved in RTA. The members we engage with might not be directly involved.”

Nonetheless, Ellison stated that there is confusion and the marketers he has approached, or who have approached ISBA for advice over the past year, need guidance on issues such as transparency, when or if they need to share first party data, data quality and availability, as well as concerns such as hidden costs and fraud.

“This is a complex area involving a lot of players,” continued Ellison. “You only need to look at some of the diagrams involved to determine that. But the fact that the vast majority of our members are looking for more information is encouraging.”

Twenty five out of the 26 respondents to the survey said that they wanted to learn more, and in response ISBA has pulled together a set of best practices for its members to help them through some of these key areas of concerns. It will be officially launched at an event on Friday 20 June, and in the autumn ISBA will invite interested members to training sessions.

“There is an appetite for more knowledge to allow our member to make informed decision on RTA,” he explained. “Without that knowledge it is going to be difficult for them. We’re hoping with these three things it will give them the knowledge to have good discussions with their agencies and help them make a decision on which route to take.”

Referring once again to the research, Ellison said the challenge now for ISBA is to engage with the relevant people in each of its member organisations.

“I don’t want to say this is a journey, but it is. [Right now] it’s simply looking at the basics but in the future we’re looking to provide more guidance, perhaps looking at data, and the wider issues within RTA. There is an awful lot more to do.”

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