Nov 19 2019

4A’s and The 614 Group Release Industry Report on Programmatic and Automation, Sponsored by Centro

Research Shines Spotlight on Expectations of Programmatic, Views on Automation, and More; Webinar on November 20 Presents Key Highlights and Takeaways

Chicago – Nov. 18, 2019 – Centro (, a global provider of advertising technology, announced the release of a comprehensive advertising industry report published by the 4A’s. The 4A’s is the leading trade organization for marketing communications agencies. It assembled the report, ‘The Future of Programmatic and Automation,’ through an in-depth examination of programmatic advertising and agency automation. Digital advertising infrastructure consultancy The 614 Group conducted the research on behalf of the 4A’s. The report is available here:

Centro is a title sponsor of the report and is hosting a webinar in partnership with The 614 Group on November 20, 2019, to present the data. Register via this link:

"The 4A’s has revealed an extensive collection of insights and implications from a cross-section of marketing experts, encompassing high-level leadership and frontline professionals,” said Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO of the 4A’s. “With support from partners such as Centro and The 614 Group, we are creating definitive research of the most important challenges facing our industry. This report provides guidance for addressing barriers, evolving offerings, and thriving in the marketplace.”

The report examines industry conversations and opinions about programmatic advertising and automation to extrapolate insights that can help professionals plan for a value-focused future for the marketing ecosystem. Key takeaways from the study show that:

  • The promise of programmatic is unfulfilled. Programmatic is not yet fully automated, and a majority of respondents (76%) do not agree that “programmatic advertising has eliminated nearly all the manual work in buying digital media.”
  • The two ​most ​important marketplace needs in programmatic advertising in the next 6-12 months are “integration of data and campaign tracking technologies to empower optimization” and “solutions to provide holistic evaluations of campaigns across online and offline media.”
  • The future of programmatic is automation, and that includes all media, especially TV. A majority of respondents (62%) do not believe that TV networks will move inventory into programmatic markets quickly.
  • Three-fifths of respondents (58%) view attracting and retaining the right talent as the biggest challenge to in-housing programmatic capabilities.


The research was conducted via three stages. Its foundation theses were established after a literature review of more than 200 studies, articles, and blogs. The theses were refined through qualitative studies that analyzed opinions of senior executives at advertising agencies, advertisers, publishers, and ad tech companies. The learnings from the qualitative study were benchmarked and tested in a quantitative study conducted with 200+ survey respondents at the director level and above.

“The 4A’s’ far-reaching initiative is an ambitious effort to understand what media and advertising professionals want from technology,” said Tyler Kelly, President of Centro. “The research indicates that full workflow automation positively affects numerous facets of the agency business and media team process.”

About the 4A’s

Founded in 1917, the 4A’s was established to promote, advance, and defend the interests of our member agencies, their employees, and the industry at large. The organization serves 600+ member agencies across 1,200 offices, which control more than 85% of total U.S. advertising spend. As the leading trade organization for marketing communication agencies, the 4A’s’ purpose is to help empower its members to deliver insightful creativity that drives commerce and influences culture, all while moving the industry forward. The organization provides community, leadership, advocacy, guidance, and best-in-class training that help enable agencies to innovate, evolve, and grow. The 4A’s Benefits division insures more than 160,000 employees, and its D.C. office advocates for policies that best support a thriving advertising industry. The 4A’s Foundation fuels a robust diversity pipeline of talent for its members and the marketing and media industry, fostering the next generation of leaders. The organization is dedicated to, and vested in, our members’ success, just as they are dedicated to helping brands create, distribute, and measure effective and insightful advertising and marketing. Visit the 4A’s at

About Centro

Centro ( is a provider of enterprise-class software for digital advertising organizations. Its technology platform, Basis, is the first of its kind SaaS advertising solution unifying programmatic and direct media buying, along with workflow automation, cross-channel campaign planning, universal reporting and business intelligence. It boosts media, team and business performance by enabling advertisers to plan, buy and analyze real-time bidding (RTB), direct, search and social campaigns in a single platform. Headquartered in Chicago with 40 offices in North America, South America and Europe, Centro has received numerous accolades for its commitment to employees and workplace culture.

# # #



Anthony Loredo



Back to News