Jan 15 2018

Large Digital Ad Spenders Reducing Programmatic Ad Outsourcing in Favor of In-House Capabilities

Centro and Advertiser Perceptions Survey Shows What Advertisers Want from Programmatic Advertising;

Interest Grows for Private Marketplace and Open RTB, While Direct I/O-Based Ad Spend is Steady

Chicago – Jan. 16, 2017 – Centro (centro.net), a provider of enterprise-class software for digital advertising, today published data showing that nearly all large digital ad spenders will adopt more programmatic advertising capabilities in-house over the next 12 months. Available in Centro’s report, “Tech, Programmatic and Expectations,” the data was compiled from a survey conducted with research firm Advertiser Perceptions (www.advertiserperceptions.com). It projects spending growth for private marketplaces and open RTB, although direct I/O-based ad buying will remain steady for the majority of respondents. Additionally, the biggest pain points advertisers identified in programmatic advertising were reporting/insights, inconsistent measurement standards and vendor evaluation. The report is available here: www2.centro.net/centro-ad-perceptions-survey.

Programmatic advertising is a complex endeavor for digital advertisers. Day-to-day, these organizations try to manage vendors, creative units, devices, cost types, tracking metrics and more. In late summer of 2017, Centro and Advertiser Perceptions surveyed 153 agency and brand marketing professionals that spend $5 million to $100 million annually in digital ads to gauge their companies’ evolution into programmatic media strategy and execution. The survey found that:

  • In 12 months, 90% of agencies and 81% of marketers will operate with some form of programmatic advertising capabilities in-house.
  • Advertisers employ a mix of programmatic media buying teams and models, but 78% of agencies and 59% of marketers say they will no-longer outsource to a third-party by next year.
  • Among media buying models, advertisers expressed the highest optimism for ad spend growth for private marketplaces (39%) and open RTB (30%); nevertheless, 62% stated that direct I/O-based buying would remain the same.
  • Advertisers work with an average of 4-5 vendors in each of the ‘DSP,’ ‘data provider & data management,’ and ‘other ad tech’ categories.

“Digital advertising professionals are confirming the inevitable wave of agencies and marketers shifting programmatic advertising to in-house teams, which they would need to intertwine with direct-to-vendor RFPs and insertion orders that remain a key part of ad-buying responsibilities,” said Katie Risch, EVP of customer experience, Centro. “Business expansion doesn’t always mean complexity, and organizations that can unify ad buying, reporting and intelligence are the most equipped to compete in a fluid media industry.”

In-House Capabilities and Business Tools

Centro’s survey provides insights on important factors driving programmatic in-house adoption. ‘Control,’ ‘increased revenue stream,’ and ‘greater transparency’ were the three top reasons. The research also gauged how industry professionals viewed the tools for their jobs and what they need to be successful. The findings showed that:

  • The top pain points for respondents were the ‘need for better insights/reporting deliverables from data,’ ‘inconsistent standards for measurement across marketing channels,’ and ‘proliferation of vendors/partners to evaluate.’
  • Advertisers’ most commonly used business and campaign tools are ‘ad server,’ ‘fraud protection,’ ‘DMP,’ ‘media mix modeling,’ and ‘data visualization.’
  • The most commonly used types of data sources and analytics are ‘digital/search,’ ‘ad serving,’ and ‘CRM;’ a few categories of first-party data such as credit card and sales ranked very low.

To be competitive in digital media, agencies and marketers are exploring how in-house programmatic capabilities can differentiate their offering. Feedback from the industry shows that expansion into this mode of ad buying is becoming more popular and requires tools that help advertisers drive campaign performance and unify data for analysis. Centro’s solution to reduce industry complexity is Basis, a programmatic advertising software and media buying business ecosystem that enables advertisers to integrate real-time bidding (RTB), direct media-buying, search and social advertising, as well as campaign optimization and analysis, into one campaign planning platform.

About Advertiser Perceptions

Advertiser Perceptions is the global leader providing data-driven business intelligence for the advertising industry. They provide consultative solutions critical to the success of the world’s leading media and ad tech companies, agencies and marketers. Their exclusive insights, practical advice and expert guidance produce solutions that deliver results and enable their clients to thrive in today’s complex and competitive advertising market. They work with clients to investigate, analyze and interpret the insights they collect, and then develop solutions specific to meeting the individual challenges they face.

About Centro

Centro (centro.net) is a provider of enterprise-class software for digital advertising organizations. Its Basis technology platform centralizes, organizes and automates all digital media campaigns across all channels, accessing both guaranteed and biddable inventory, to achieve any objective. Our holistic approach gives marketers a single system of record to fulfill their research, planning, buying, optimization, reporting and reconciliation needs. Headquartered in Chicago with 32 offices in North America, Centro has received numerous accolades for its commitment to employees and workplace culture.


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Anthony Loredo



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