Programmatic advertising is set to grow significantly in the coming year as inventory becomes more available in the open exchange, especially native ad units, but it seems marketers still lack the ability to leverage the data. The most notable disconnect points to the gap between data and technology, though artificial intelligence continues to try and bridge it.
Theorem media analysts reached out to digital media professionals through its U.S. Media Owner Tracker panel between April 28, and May 26, 2017, and found 98% agree artificial intelligence (AI) can help drive more engaging advertising with contextually relevant, brand-safe placement.
More than half rated its importance to their digital media campaigns as 10 out of 10.
Still 73% of marketers participating in the study, released Monday, report a low success rate in integrating data and technology into their strategies, particularly when dealing with native content, though 79% believe data and or AI allow an ad to be served alongside relevant content.
The findings, which highlight AI, data, native advertising and video, is based on a series of interviews conducted with executives from companies such as Group M, PHD, Starcom and Mediacom by Theorem, with support from ADYOULIKE.
Dominic Finney, vice president of digital strategy at Theorem, said programmatic works well with native advertising because "native tends to be cleaner." It's placed near similar content and "you tend to have much lower viewability issues and fraud, which is why you see many of the agencies heading toward native," he said.
"You're not going to serve an advertisement against malicious content," he said.
Finney said native advertising brought through a programmatic model "seems much safer for budgets, but standards and the set-up are not as straightforward as display."
While the findings show advanced technologies like AI will become the key to improve programmatic ad buying and reduce fraud, it also will do as initially intended, which is to confirm the relevance of the content on the page through data.
Some 92% believe AI technology can help leverage the context of a page to provide an optimal and less intrusive online experience. It will help to optimize native ads, because it can be used to see the contextual relevance of a page.