IAB Programmatic Europe

Programmatic advertising set to surge, but the industry still lacks skills


By Ronan Shields | Digital Editor

August 6, 2015 | 3 min read

Over 90 per cent of advertising executives plan to increase their “programmatic investment”, with 40 per cent claiming they will do so by more than a third in the next 12 months, according to research, although the lack of adequately skilled staff is proving a barrier to more rapid adoption.

Research released today (6 August) by the IAB Europe quizzed over 1,000 media professionals on both the buy- and sell-side of the advertising industry, finding the vast majority of respondents planned to significantly boost their investment in automated media trading, or “programmatic advertising”.

The main reasons cited for this were the potential efficiencies posed by the technology, such as improving targeting capabilities, increasing operational efficiencies, plus gaining a competitive advantage.

The report surveyed the specific motives for each tier of the advertising industry – brand-side advertisers (139 participated), media buying agencies (517), plus publishers (369) across Europe – with nine-in-ten of all respondents citing improved targeting as the key reason for doing so.

Although, it did note a 53 per cent of brand-side advertisers, and 44 per cent of agencies cited lowering the cost of media as a reason to invest in the technology, this contrasts with 60 per cent of publishers who cited “maximising media value” as their main reason for doing likewise.

In terms of technology, agencies see themselves at the forefront of adoption, with more describing themselves as early adopters (eight-in-ten) of general advertising technology, and nearly three quarters (74 per cent) claiming the same about programmatic advertising technology.

Over three quarters (77 per cent) of agency staff participating in the study also claimed they are investing up to 40 per cent of their digital display advertising spend via programmatic. Additionally, over four-in-ten agency staff state the majority of their programmatic investment is done in-house (as opposed to dealing with external demand-side platforms, ad networks, or trading desks).

However, all tiers of the industry also reported that barriers to continue adopting the technology more rapidly included the lack of staff with the appropriate skill set to implement and oversee trading media in such a manner.

Commenting on the results, Txema Garitano Plágaro, a business analytics and search executive at car marque SEAT said: “As the IAB Europe report demonstrates, further education and clarity on the programmatic ecosystem are needed in order to encourage adoption. It’s important for advertisers to be able to define and engage their audience with greater cost efficiency.”

IAB Programmatic Europe

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