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Programmatic advertisers are leaning on a variety of data types, but see the need for better insights and reporting deliverables from those sources, a study from Centro [download page] has found. Based on an Advertiser Perceptions survey of 153 professionals in the digital media industry, the report indicates that digital/search data (72%) and ad serving data (66%) are most popular with advertisers.

A majority are also using CRM data (61%), social media monitoring data (58%), mobile/geo-location data (52%) and syndicated media measurement data (51%), per the report. Fewer rely on credit card and sales data, though.

All told, advertisers are working with an average of 5 data providers and data management vendors. They’re also managing almost 5 DSPs on average and more than 4 other ad tech partners in other categories.

A separate report from Salesforce, based on a global survey of 900 advertisers, finds similar results. Respondents reported using an average of 5.4 data sources for digital advertising last year, and plan to use an average of 6.2 this year.

Leading the way in planned or continued use this fiscal year are demographic data (93% overall), CRM-based data (92%) and online data (89%).

Among those data sources, the email address is the most commonly used CRM data type, while first-party anonymous data leads among online data types and location information has a slight edge on personal data (such as age and gender) among demographic types.

Programmatic Media Buying Moving In-House

The level of complexity rendered by working with so many different ad tech partners means that many find these solutions unwieldy, per Centro’s research. That’s particularly the case for marketers, who are more likely to describe their solutions as unwieldy (51%) than working well (45%).

Agencies, though, are twice as likely to consider their existing toolset as working well (64%) than being unwieldy (30%).

There are signs that marketers are bringing more of their media buying in-house. Currently, about half of marketer respondents say their programmatic advertising is handled by an internal team. In the future, 6 in 10 believe that programmatic will be handled by either an internal specialized/separate team (16%) or by one integrated (programmatic/direct) internal media team (43%).

The main reason for investing in programmatic ad tech in-house is more control, per the report. Other secondary reasons include an increased revenue stream, greater transparency, better returns, and improved optimization.

A separate recent study from Advertiser Perceptions found one-third of marketers surveyed planning to bring programmatic buying in-house and half of marketers and agencies feeling that programmatic buying will evolve to ultimately be the client’s responsibility.

About the Data: Centro describes its methodology as follows:

“In the late summer of 2017, Centro partnered with research firm Advertiser Perceptions to survey 153 professionals in the digital media industry working in agencies and brands. Experience of respondents ranged from senior- to junior-level and encompassed both brand and performance digital advertising. Marketers’ responsibilities spanned 15+ ad categories, with digital ad spend ranging from $5 million to $100 million annually.

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