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flashtalking-ad-tech-evaluation-criteria-importance-oct2016When managing digital media campaigns, data transparency and access (95%) is the most important criterion considered by buyers when recommending ad technologies to clients, according to a recent study [download page] from Flashtalking. The report details the “balancing act” for marketers dealing with so-called walled gardens.

Indeed, a recent study from Econsultancy and Signals demonstrated that a large majority of brand marketers and media buyers are concerned with giving the walled gardens too much information about their customers and about not receiving user-level data from these solutions.

That appears to be an important consideration, per the Flashtalking study, which is based on a survey of 180 qualified brand and agency digital media buyers. Beyond data transparency, strong majorities consider it important that ad technologies give them exclusive ownership of campaign data (85%), as well as unbiased, third-party inventory validation (90%) and an independent attribution platform (79%).

On the other hand, when evaluating adtech providers, virtually all respondents pointed to the importance of factors such as expertise/service (99%), operational efficiency/ease of use (97%), and scalability (96%), which the analysts note tend to favor walled garden environments.

Further, the report indicates that some marketers feel that “the need for agility… can only be realized through a best of breed approach.” For others, that approach can be burdensome in terms of management of several vendors. Having to manage too many vendors has been cited as a leading threat to marketers’ success, per recent research (more on that here.)

[SPONSORED: Free Gartner Report – Cool Vendors in Tech Go-to-Market, 2016]

As this relates to Google/Doubleclick, a slight majority (52%) of respondents to the Flashtalking survey said they are committed to them as part of their technology stack. However, almost 1 in 4 said they consider viable alternatives whenever possible before committing more of their stack to Google.

The report’s analysts recommend that buyers should ask themselves strategic questions about their platforms, ranging from vision to targeting, tactics, capabilities and partnerships. For more, the full white paper can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Flashtalking describes its methodolody in part as follows:

“This core survey was conducted in partnership with the Industry Index, leveraging their database of over 6,000 media buyers both agency and client side who actively participate in evaluating advertising technologies. A sample of 180 qualified buyers of digital media was obtained in response to a survey request with a $20 incentive, pending their ability to meet certain criteria, including their experience evaluating specific advertising technology categories. All 180 respondents purchase or influence the purchase of attribution, DMP, programmatic creative, ad server, DSP or SEO solutions. The demographics breakdown of respondents is: 49% media buying and planning agency, 5% creative agency and 46% brand/client side. All respondents were at the Director level or above.”

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