'Are You Selling Programmatic?' 1 Out Of 10 Don't Know

The recent Forrester Consulting study that says 62% of local publishers are using programmatic had another revealing insight: 11% of the 100 U.S. publisher respondents don’t know if they are selling inventory via programmatic.

According to Forrester, all respondents were in managing positions or higher, and all were “responsible for digital advertising sales or partnerships.” In truth, I think it’s more likely that not all 100 respondents were responsible for digital advertising sales or partnerships. If they all actually were responsible for digital advertising, then 11% have pretty clueless sales teams -- literally.

Frost Prioleau, CEO of, the company that commissioned the study, reckons those 11% “weren’t involved on the programmatic side,” which is also entirely possible. Perhaps those 11% are only involved in local TV buys (in which case the definition of “digital” would be stretched, but that’s a whole other topic). No matter what the excuse is for those 11%, it stood out -- at least to me -- as a high number. For all the talk of cross-channel and cross-platform, you would think digital ad professionals in managerial positions would at least know whether or not they were selling ads via programmatic.



Later in the report, Forrester notes that “education is the missing link,” -- writing that staying current with emerging resources is ideal, but difficult.

“Close to two-thirds of publishers reported that their very own direct selling teams need training, as do their ad ops and marketing teams” the report reads. It should add: “And 11% need to send a quick memo to their digital ad sales leaders to make sure they know what’s going on within their own department.”

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