98% of US publishers trade ads programmatically, says IAB US study

Almost all (98 per cent) US major online publishers are selling ads programmatically, although fewer (72 per cent) have done so internationally, according to the latest IAB US report.

The study, called Going Global: Programmatic Audience Development Around the World, was conducted across 145 advertisers, publishers, technology service providers in the US.

It revealed that only 1.7 per cent of respondents said they are not pursuing a programmatic marketing strategy, while 56 per cent said they’re “aggressively pursuing” the channel.

Although most publisher respondents said their programmatic efforts have largely focused on domestic markets, and English-speaking markets including the UK, Canada and Australia, some stated intentions to expand their programmatic marketing programmes to Brazil and China in the next two years.

More than half (52 per cent) of respondents ranked the “availability of third-party data” as the most important prerequisite for success, according to the survey.

The biggest barrier to global expansion is a “lack of understanding of audience development”, with 34 per cent of marketing, ad tech executive and publisher respondents citing this as a problem.

Patrick Dolan, executive vice president and chief operating officer at the IAB said: “The promise of ‘programmatic everywhere’ is on the verge of being realized.

“It is clear that programmatic advertising strategies have paid dividends for US publishers, brand marketers, ad technology vendors and others in the industry, and now it is time for this practice to benefit marketplaces around the world.

“While programmatic has succeeded wildly in the US, there is significant room for growth on an international scale,” said Jonathan Margulies, Managing Director, Winterberry Group. “By paying heed to the insights found in this report, a global environment can be cultivated which allows programmatic to flourish across borders, opening up new opportunities for digital advertising stakeholders across the board.”

To encourage global expansion of programmatic marketing the paper outlined seven key factors (see below) that typically characterise markets that are best suited for investment in this area (source: IAB):

  1. Embrace of the Audience: Advertisers in each market must be able to discover audience trends based on data and use these observations as the foundation of their advertising, marketing or media strategies.
  2. Programmatic Know-How: Advertisers in each market must have a deep understanding of programmatic advertising and how it relates to specific use cases.
  3. A Transparent, Open Market Culture: Marketplaces must be free and fair for all entrants, with significant protections against fraud and other adverse effects.
  4. Data: Third-party audience data must be readily available and legally obtained via consumer-friendly means.
  5. Technology—and the Means to Use It: The technology required to identify and develop audiences must be readily available, as well as the expertise required to utilise it.
  6. Standards in Measurement and Accountability: Each market must commit to developing and maintaining a set of universal standards to govern audience identification, measurement and valuation.
  7. An Opportunity to Build Scale: Each market, either independently or combined with other markets, must offer an audience population that drives value for all parties.

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