Over 98% Of Online Publishers Taking 'Data-Driven, Programmatic' Approach To Audience Building

Nearly all (98.3%) online publishers are using a “data-driven, programmatic” approach to audience engagement in the U.S. In other words, nearly all publishers are using data to create audiences, and/or are letting advertisers use programmatic technologies to make audience-based buys on their digital properties.

The data comes from a new Winterberry Group report, released Wednesday in partnership with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Over 200 marketers from across the globe were interviewed for the report, titled “Going Global: Programmatic Audience Development Around the World.”

“I don’t think there’s any country or region that doesn’t want to go down this path [of expanded investment in programmatic marketing],” the report quotes a U.S.-based hardware manufacturer global marketing exec as saying. “There’s a definite acknowledgement that it’s a better way to do business.”

Over half (58.6%) of publishers are “aggressively pursuing” a data-driven way to sell their inventory in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., however, the push toward automation is not quite as sizable -- but it’s definitely still there. The report found that 27.6% of the same publishers are not currently pursuing a data-driven approach to sales outside of the U.S., which means that nearly 75% are. In addition, both buyers and sellers anticipate greater investment in programmatic and audience-based trading overseas in the coming years.

But before that happens, a few obstacles must be cleared, including gaining an understanding of how to develop audiences internationally. That's what marketers say is the number one hurdle they face when thinking of expanding programmatic practices overseas, per the report. Marketers must also understand what programmatic advertising truly means and how it can be applied to more than “cheap advertising,” according to one digital advertising director at a UK-based global publisher.

“In too many markets, programmatic is all about ‘How cheaply can I buy a bunch of inventory?’” the director is quoted as saying. “[T]hat’s not advancing the conversation on what the approach can really offer in terms of finding an audience first and foremost. Right now, the preoccupation is in getting the best price, and that’s standing in the way of progress for so many.”

The report also ranks countries around the globe in five key areas of programmatic advertising: ability to create audiences, understanding of the programmatic marketplace and its technologies, transparency/openness to new players, access to data, access to technology and the means to use it, measurement standards and potential to scale.

Focus on the "audience" Market understanding Transparency/openness
Tier1 Tier 2  Tier 3 Tier1 Tier 2  Tier 3 Tier1 Tier 2  Tier 3
UK Australia Brazil UK Australia Brazil Canada Brazil Australia
U.S. Canada China U.S. Canada China UK France Gulf Region
  France Gulf Region   France Gulf Region U.S. Germany South Africa
  Germany Mexico   Germany South Africa   Japan  
  Japan South Africa   Japan     Mexico  
  Mexico  
-
Access to data Access to technology Potential for scale
Tier1 Tier 2  Tier 3 Tier1 Tier 2  Tier 3 Tier1 Tier 2  Tier 3
U.S. Brazil France U.S. Australia Brazil China U.S. Brazil
  Canada Germany   Canada Mexico
  Mexico UK   France  
  Germany  
  Japan  
  UK  
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1 comment about "Over 98% Of Online Publishers Taking 'Data-Driven, Programmatic' Approach To Audience Building".
  1. Henry Blaufox from DragonSearch , July 30, 2014 at 10:53 a.m.
    If these percentages are close to accurate, it would appear that programmatic audience targeting has become the online publishing industry standard practice. Most publishers have the data (think Meredith as a prime example.) Making it available in real time, online transaction environments is the present challenge.