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IABWinterberryGroup-Programmatic-Approach-Adoption-Barriers-Nov2013An estimated $7.4 billion worth of inventory will be transacted through automated (including RTB) platforms this year in the US, with that figure projected to rise to $17 billion by 2017, per recent figures from MAGNA GLOBAL. Interest in programmatic approaches is clearly rising, with buyers driven by the desire to more effectively target consumers across digital media and sellers interested in improved operational efficiency, according to [download page] a new IAB and Winterberry Group report. But some pain points remain.

According to the study – sponsored by [x+1], Chango, MediaMath, Accordant Media, AdTaxi Networks, CPXi and DataXu – a leading 26% of the panelists interviewed cited resistance from current process owners as a paint point inhibiting adoption of programmatic approaches today. That likely refers to opposition and internal challenges from established professionals, including sales teams, and appears to be less of a factor for advertisers than publishers.

Brand safety issues are the next-most cited pain point, by 23% of respondents, with this concern is particularly acute among advertisers. (It should be noted that the advertiser and publisher sample sizes are quite small, given that they comprise 21% and 28% of the 260-odd sample, respectively. Even so, they represent “some of the most respected companies in the data-driven marketing and media world,” so their opinions shouldn’t be taken lightly.)

Beyond those top 2 pain points, panelists overall (including technologists) cited internal process/marketing operations challenges (19%), lack of transparency in the process (17%) and data governance concerns (15%) as hindrances to further adoption of the programmatic approach.

While data governance concerns don’t figure high on the list, panelists named the development of clear data governance principles as their most important business process to supporting a programmatic capability, on par with executive-level focus and support.

Other Findings:

  • Asked what “programmatic” means to them, 68% of panelists chose the term “automation” as one of their top-3 descriptors, with 66% choosing “real-time bidding.” No other terms were selected by a majority of respondents.
  • Audience segmentation ranks as the top practice that panelists will pursue a programmatic approach for within 2 years.
  • Panelists believe that first-party behavioral data (78%) is the most fundamental data type to supporting programmatic approaches today, with 3rd-party behavioral data (66%) next.

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