A large majority (70%) of US advertisers have shifted a portion of their TV ad budgets to programmatic online video ads in the past 12 months—and despite some market concerns, 2015 looks to be a banner year for the technology.
The survey from ad tech firm Unruly also found that three-quarters (75%) said that programmatic will account for a share of their overall online video investment.
Emotional/psychographic targeting was cited as the most desired capability in programmatic video ads by US respondents (34%) followed by demographic targeting (28.3%), prospect-based targeting (27.1%) and behavioural targeting (23.3%).
Viewability and completed views were cited as the top ways to measure of programmatic video ad success by respondents (24.7%), followed by views (23.9%) and interaction rate (22%).
Mobile is an area of particular focus. Advertisers are interested in the fact that they can access consumers anywhere, anytime. Content owners and network operators also have a wealth of data about their subscribers, like location data, demographics and psychographics, which can be brought to bear for personalized, relevant messaging.
“Advertisers want to hold a one-to-one conversation with consumers and reach them with mobile ads that are effective, engaging, and highly relevant,” said Rachel Powney, marketing director for EMEA at OpenX. “For these reasons, investment has rapidly increased [for mobile advertising], and is expected to account for 14% of all media ad spend this year. Advertising is an easy way to make money from mobile apps and websites, and the rise of programmatic advertising has helped to make it an efficient and profitable practice.”
That’s not to say there aren’t on-going concerns. In the Unruly survey, about a fifth, 20.8%, said they question the quality of inventory, while others worry about low levels of view ability (17.7%). They also wrestle with a skills gap and lack of internal expertise (158%) and ad fraud/bots (15.8%).
Also, the survey found that the targeting is not necessarily leading to offline sales (45.1%), nor resulting in greater engagement with content (38%).
Further, a recent study by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester found that only 23% of marketers said they understood programmatic and were using it to execute their campaigns. This is despite the fact that more than half of US publishers reported selling their premium video ad inventory programmatically in August 2014 (Adap.tv), while mega-brands like American Express and P&G vowed to shift the majority of their ad spend to programmatic by the end of 2014.
“There’s clearly a knowledge gap between the programmatic front lines and everyday marketers, making 2015 a key year for programmatic education,” Unruly noted.