IPONWEB: programmatic trading now more than two fifths of digital media spend

Iponweb Programmatic trading channels for World Federation of Advertisers members accounts for more than two fifths (41%) of global digital media investment, up from 16% in 2016. Regional splits show the current figure has hit 50% in the US, 31% in Europe and 20% in APAC.

The WFA’s Programmatic, Data & Technology Global Survey 2020, conducted in partnership with IPONWEB, highlights the uneven pace of adoption of programmatic around the globe and the mix of models being used, even in the same company. However, the global trend is for on-going increases in the use of programmatic channels.

The results are based on responses from 37 companies, representing approximately $76 billion in annual global marketing investment.

The 2020 report also takes a specific look at APAC, which has lagged the global trend, highlighting the greater use of technology licensing, slower uptake of first-party data and reduced supply chain transparency in the region.

Other significant insights include:

Rise in independent trading desks and hybrid trading models

The use of agency trading desks to buy media programmatically has been relatively consistent over the last four years; 74% of respondents currently trade this way compared to 72% in 2016.  But as brands have sought to take greater control and ownership of their buying and data strategies, the use of independent trading desks has risen to 71%, up from 46% in 2016.

Meanwhile 84% use an in-house brand trading desk or hybrid (managed service) model (up from 21% in 2016), although this drops to half for APAC-based respondents, where members were more likely to license their technology from agencies. Many respondents use a combination of approaches across their global footprint.

Focus on first-party data strategies

There is rapid adoption of first-party data strategies as the digital advertising world pivots to being privacy-centric. 79% of respondents said first-party data was business-critica for audience targeting, while audience creation/segmentation and campaign optimisation were both business critical for 63% of respondents.  Despite its importance, first-party data is not yet fully leveraged; while 54% of respondents in APAC said theirs was fully or significantly utilised, globally this dropped to 28%.

Supply chain transparency required – but inconsistent

Concern about pricing and data ownership is driving the move to more transparent working as clients reject the concept of agency as principal or inventory reseller; globally, 57% of respondents say they have a ‘disclosed’ operating model with their trading desk, with the APAC figure being 32%.  In 2016, a third of advertisers had a non-disclosed arrangement, but this figure is zero in the current wave of research.

perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”18″]IponwebAdvertisers have been on a steep learning curve with the arrival of programmatic but many are now taking greater control of the process through an expanding mix of in-house, hybrid and agency models. Whichever model they choose, transparency of the supply chain is critical so that they can assess which elements are contributing to their business growth and marketing ROI as outlined in the WFA’s Global Media Charter.[/perfectpullquote]

Ranji David, Director, Asia Pacific, Marketing Services, WFA