The complex art of online ad buying – including real-time advertising (RTA) and programmatic trading – is leaving many marketers fumbling in the dark over where their digital marketing budgets are being spent.
According to a survey carried out by client marketing trade body ISBA, only half of respondents have a basic knowledge of RTA while many advertisers are also unsure about the market itself, with 38% admitting they were “not very aware” of the different providers of programmatic ad buying services.
Meanwhile, over a third are unaware of what proportion of their own online campaigns involve RTA with a similar number admitting to having a “positive perception” of RTA and programmatic trading.
When asked what they consider to be the biggest obstacle to adopting the techniques, many cited a dearth of accurate data to support targeting and optimisation, while others were concerned that their ignorance meant they were too reliant on agencies to dictate the media plan. Mistrust and a lack of transparency were also major issues.
The survey, run in collaboration with real-time advertising specialists Infectious Media, shows that almost all respondents (96%) intend to learn more about RTA. The results come as ISBA and Infectious Media are set to launch a “Guide to Real-Time Advertising” to help advertisers better understand the area.
ISBA marketing services manager David Ellison said: “The survey confirms the industry’s suspicions that advertisers are still uncertain about real-time advertising. The comments we collated reinforce the view that there is distrust amongst brands about how much of their expenditure is actually spent on media.
“Despite the uncertainty, one thing is very clear though, the vast majority (76%) believe RTA will feature more strongly in future campaigns and the appetite for learning is strong; we hope our guidance will go some way to help advertisers get the most out of what is certain to become an ever more important part of the digital eco-system.”
Recent research from Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), showed programmatic trading and content marketing to be the most important issues moving ahead for media owners, with work still needed to be done to develop better understanding of new media technologies.
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