Publishers, agencies and advertisers want to tap into real-time bidding and programmatic ad buying, but a disconnect separates perception, expectations, and a realistic understanding of the technology, according to a study schedule for release Monday.
The Casale Media survey, conducted by Advertiser Perceptions, found media buyers want to see greater emphasis on inventory quality, more guarantees for brand safety, and greater transparency in reporting. For publishers, 84% are concerned RTB will devalue or commoditize their inventory, and 75% fear sales channel conflicts and eroding relationships with media buyers.
The study found advertisers and publishers like to network and form human relationships. In fact, one in four publishers are concerned that programmatic buying will eliminate the "human element" in ad selling.
"The biggest eye opener was an overwhelming awareness of RTB, which underscores the growth, but it's not without problems," said Andrew Casale, as VP of strategy at Casale Media.
For agencies and marketers, some of the biggest concerns revolve around quality of impressions, 77%; guarantee of brand safety, 70%; transparency in the process, 65%; ease of distinguishing between supply sources, 64%; more creative options and formats, 54%; technical understanding of the process, 53; and an increase of demand side platforms (DSPs) from which to choose, 36%.
There remains a strong disconnect between what agencies and marketers believe important and their satisfaction with them. For example, 88% of agencies and marketers cite performance, return on investment as the most important RTB attribute, yet only 38% said they are satisfied with their ROI. Targeting options come in at 86% and 32%, and inventory quality at 81% and 25%, respectively.
The industry needs a better understanding of programmatic ad buying and how it supports real-time bidding. The study suggests more than half of advertises and publishers already participate in RTB and expect the market to grow significantly during the next 12 months.
Overall, 94% of publishers are aware of the technology, compared with 90% of agency experts and marketers. About 74% of publishers have a basic understanding of how it works, compared with 81% of agencies and marketers.
Some 84% of publishers are familiar with demand side platforms and private ad exchanges; 80%, agency trading desks; 76%, open ad exchanges; 74%, supply-side platforms; and 64%, data management platforms. Recognition was slightly less on the buy side, with 90% of agency and marketers admitting they're aware, and 81% have a basic understanding.
Agencies and advertisers are most satisfied with performance, Casale said.
Publishers said 19% of their inventory will sell through RTB a year from now, compared with 10% now, and 6% a year ago. That's not much different compared with agencies and marketers, who said 21%, 13% and 6%, respectively.