For every dollar spent on programmatic, there are platform, technology, verification and other costs, he notes. Factor in non-viewable ads, including ad fraud, and waste is inevitable. Rettig says what remains is around 25 cents actually going to media.
“That’s probably a bit more negative view,” says Rettig. “As media auditors, this is something that we see.”
Media agencies making many ad-tech investments could also be a concern for clients, he says. They are “walking away from trading desk model in name, and in actual practice.” He adds many agencies are setting up their own programmatic capabilities.
Agencies are also “blinding” marketers with tools, with “not a lot of cohesion” for clients. Rettig believes the jury is still out when it comes to shifting programmatic duties — such as in-house efforts by P&G, Netflix and Allstate, for example. They have had "some level of success” in a test and learn thinking.
Overall, he believesthat marketers have “low confidence, but high spend” when it comes to programmatic media. He adds: "If we are equating programmatic with just the ability to buy an banner ad more cheaply, then that’s disappointing."
"But if you are talking about true personalization, aligning all your data as marketer — first, second, third-party data, past campaign, CRM, all touch points [as well as] on- and off-line retail experiences, Web site experience, all these things are part of a consumer journey and ultimately a sale and a relationship, not just paid media — then you have something."