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Digital Transformation

Programmatic buying becomes the norm in APAC but knowledge is lacking


By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

March 11, 2019 | 4 min read

Programmatic media buying has become commonplace for marketers in Asia Pacific, with nine out of 10 currently buying media programmatically.

Marketers lie in one of two distinct groups when it comes to programmatic media buying, with the first at a still nascent stage and the second at a more mature level of programmatic proficiency.


More than half of the respondents think they had a good understanding of the programmatic space.

This is according to a recent World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) poll on programmatic proficiency and practices, which looked at the areas for optimization in APAC.

While 9% of those polled had yet to embark on the journey, close to 40% said that programmatic is ‘central to the planning and execution of the marketing mix’, with data and marketing optimization making programmatic the preferred choice.

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More than half of the respondents think they had a good understanding of the programmatic space, with one in four saying they are highly proficient around current tech as well as future developments.

A third of respondents said they only had a basic understanding of the space and they are looking opportunity to raise knowledge levels.

When it comes to talent and internal team structures, more than 60% of respondents said that their companies have dedicated programmatic talent on board. Close to 40% said their companies had dedicated programmatic teams, which they felt showed a commitment to programmatic excellence and development of the function.

While 90% of respondents say they are moving towards progressive measurement metrics when measuring campaigns, but only close to half the respondents said they had an advanced understanding of measurement metrics.

Not all marketers also own their own tech stack, with 80% of respondents currently using a tech stack and 27% still tapping onto their agencies’ technology. 23% who used a tech stack like data management platform, expressed that they were keen to do more with the tool.

According to the WFA, this shows that while brands might have the tools and systems in place, there is unlocked potential within the current set-up that might still be exploited for both improved efficiency and effectiveness.

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