Digital Ad Execs: Trading Desks Emerge As Big Factor In 2012 Buys

Agency trading desks are emerging as an important new factor in the digital ad trading marketplace, according to the 2012 edition of an annual survey of “digital” marketers and agencies, released this morning by ValueClick. The study found that more than two-thirds (69%) of respondents plan to utilize trading desks in this year’s digital ad buys.

While that question was not asked in last year’s ValueClick survey, 9% of this year’s respondents indicated their spending via trading desks would increase vs. last year. Twenty percent said it would remain the same, and only 5% said it would decrease.

The survey showed a corresponding decrease, albeit a small one of only one percentage point, in plans to utilize other third-party intermediaries such as ad networks and DSPs (demand-side platforms). While there was no data for online ad exchanges last year, 80% of this year’s respondents said they planned to spend budgets on exchanges (see data below).

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“The shifts noted by major advertisers and agencies do not bode well for portals or old-school networks,” stated Bill Todd, president of ValueClick Media, which operates a number of ad networks.

ValueClick said the survey was based on responses from 300 digital marketers and agency executives.

Not Planning to
Spend
 Spending Will
Decrease
 Spending Will
Stay the Same
 Spending Will
Increase
Ad Networks 2010 4% 13% 47% 25%
  2011 3% 6% 57% 26%
DSPs
2010
20%
7%
23%
20%
  2011 19% 6% 30% 17%
Direct Pub Placements
2010
6%
13%
45%
21%
  2011 5% 11% 48% 21%
Exchanges
2010
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
  2011 20% 7% 34% 13%
Trading Desks
2010
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
  2011 31% 5% 20% 9%
Mobile
2010
13%
3%
19%
52%
  2011 7% 3% 16% 65%
Portals
2010
13%
13%
42%
11%
  2011 18% 10% 36% 9%
Video
2010
15%
6%
24%
38%
  2011 10% 2% 27% 49%

Source: ValueClick Media Advertiser Survey. Base = 300 respondents surveyed in December 2011.

1 comment about "Digital Ad Execs: Trading Desks Emerge As Big Factor In 2012 Buys".
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  1. Brad Piggott from BRIGHTROLL, February 29, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.

    Interesting article Joe! I think that the market is rather frothy right now with a lot of information and opinions....some good, some factual, some not so much, and some just plain bad.

    As far as Trading Desks, I would have been surprised, given holding company ownership, if agencies didn't say they were going to utilize them more...but I think the jury is still out on how that plays out. The truth of the value of these, true value to the agency clients, is vague at best.

    Great article here on the realties:
    http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/scammed-agency-trading-desks/232800/

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