Two reports about programmatic advertising came out this week that appear to be in stark contrast to one another.
On the one hand, Chango released survey results that found that 75% of brand advertisers are using programmatic technologies, with another 16% planning to do so in the future. On the other hand, another report from Strata found that 20% of agencies “trust programmatic buying to properly execute ad dollars.”
So nearly all (91%) of brands use or plan to use programmatic, but only 20% of agencies -- which typically, but not always, do programmatic buying on behalf of brands -- trust the technology? What gives?
For starters, the Strata report puts the 20% figure in a positive light: that’s actually up 153% from Q2 2014 (the fresh data is from Q3). Plus, more agencies trust the tech (20%) than distrust it (12%), and the number of agencies that don't trust programmatic tech is decreasing, per Strata.
Yet the 20% mark still seems low -- it certainly caught my attention. However, it's not shocking that more people use the technology than trust it. Isn't that the case with all forms of technology? I can’t prove that, but think about it for a second: Do you trust Siri? Do you use Siri?
Joking aside, it does seem a bit contradictory to note that only 20% of agencies trust programmatic while at the same time programmatic trades are projected to account for 63% of all display ad spend by 2016, or $20 billion. In order to actually reach those projections, the tech will probably need to be trusted more than it is today. (And as previously mentioned, trust in the tech is on the rise.)
That's not to say skeptics are wrong or bad here. I actually think it’s good for the industry, having written before that critical self-examination is required to push the digital ad industry -- including programmatic -- forward.
Plus, the programmatic tech providers likely brought some of these trust issues upon themselves, with all the companies tripping over themselves to come up with new acronyms, proclaim a first or otherwise disrupt the space with groundbreaking algorithms that revolutionize the way media is bought and sold, or so they say. Just look at the growing list of Hyperbabble of the Days for some examples.
"Trust" image via Shutterstock.