Programmatic: Everyone Uses It, Not Many Trust It (Yet)

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.

1 comment about "Programmatic: Everyone Uses It, Not Many Trust It (Yet)".
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  1. jack Brown from BDAI, November 12, 2014 at 12:37 p.m.

    No need for Trust just Truth and Truth is affordable with BDAI.
    As a programmatic marketer you need to be in the front row seeing for yourself how you campaign is performing. And at BDAI we own the front row. Why trust anyone when you can partner with BDAI we are a third-party data collection and analytics support company. The only neutral player in the Programmatic landscape that protects the exclusive interest of the Marketer. Likewise for the marketer that takes their programmatic in house they still need the Real Time Transparent Data layer BDAI provides to make accurate decisions.
    We provide a series of additional content to facilitate better decisions including:
    • Time that ads are "in view" by a consumer.
    • Ability to ascertain quality (>5 seconds in view) and premium (>10 seconds in view) placements for maximum buy efficiency.
    • Which websites ad placements were viewed (includes xchanges where this data is not readily available).
    • Which IAB formats are performing best - relative to other parts of the campaign.
    • Proper assignment of CREDIT for which ad WORKS best… not simply consumer's last touch.
    • Ability to run unlimited tags without degradation of site performance.
    • Ability to apply a consumer panel poll to secondarily validate digital outcomes reporting.
    • Ability to overlay customer-file analytics (determined with PRIZM data).
    • Provide insight into both the psychographic and demographic profile of visitors.
    At BDAI we don't want your trust we want you to see your campaign data in real time fully transparent and free of fraud.

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