With the implementation of GDPR, introduction of Blockchain technology and the industry’s focus on improving transparency 2018 was another eventful year for programmatic.
Yet despite developments to improve security, brand safety and communication between sellers and buyers, in the US alone $8.2 million a year is wasted on ad fraud. 41% of advertisers admitted they have lost trust in programmatic altogether and brands such as Procter & Gamble have been looking to decrease or even scrap their digital spend, due to concerns with the cost and performance capabilities of the advertising avenue.
Yet the industry is making a huge effort to address these concerns and continues to grow.
With a projected 3.3% increase in spend from 2018, “Programmatic transactions will represent more than two-thirds of digital ad spend around the globe in 2019” and we will see more investment in technology such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and the expansion into programmatic TV.
The industry’s growth and significant investment shows there is a viable advertising ecosystem that’s taking positive actions for a better future.
So if client trust has been weakened, what is the industry doing and what can suppliers do to boost confidence in programmatic to ensure it’s a worthwhile place to invest.
With Real-time bidding (RTB) only being introduced in 2009, programmatic advertising is still in its infancy, but the technology and procedures are evolving rapidly year on year.
2018 saw big moves to combat ad fraud, with Google DoubleClick providing automated refunds for invalid traffic deducted from inventory purchased from its ad partners. It will also provide an option to limit ad spend with these supply partners.
This will develop trust with advertisers and should help to steer the conversation away from viewability rates and focus on the key metrics of engagement in the form of CTR, conversions and where they are happening.
Additionally, in 2018 we saw the vast adoption of Ads.txt to disrupt illegitimate sellers. Ads.txt is a text file that companies can host on their web servers, listing the other companies authoriSed to sell their products or services.
This is a step forward to improve the legitimacy of the market and ensure it’s a viable avenue for advertisers.
This was followed by the more comprehensive Ads.cert, which provides validation for its exact credentials so allows advertisers to provide their signature.
This is another step in improving transparency, as advertisers can track potential fraud and encourage best practice.
While the jury’s still out on whether it will be a huge success in terms of adoption, it’s another layer to combat ad fraud.
Marketers need to be proactive
The technology is improving, so now it is up to marketers to catch up. “35% of brands have cited the lack of consultative knowledge and expertise from third party suppliers” as a reason for not having total faith in programmatic advertising.
Having programmatic expertise on hand may be a big undertaking for some, yet it is important to be proactive as a lack of knowledge and skills is affecting the trust in the market.
What you can do
It is important for clients and suppliers to have an open dialogue, detailed reports (e.g. breaking down the campaign set up) and feedback to provide opportunities for questions and learning,
If you’re a client, your supplier should be able to tell you:
- What sites are my ads being placed on and why?
- What data segments are we using and by what provider?
- How is the budget being distributed between tactics? – third party data segments, whitelists, target account lists, re-marketing.
These are key questions for that will help address some transparency issues, build trust and gain valuable knowledge to inform future campaigns.
What agencies should be doing
Here at Kingpin we use a myriad of methods to limit ad fraud.
As an example of these is we review the sites that inventory is being bought day to day and identify non-relevant and potentially destructive sites, which are not effective places for client’s spend and don’t align with client’s goals.
We add these to a master blacklist, which is implemented across all our campaigns. This should be standard practice as you cannot rely solely on the DSP to filter all sites. We work closely with our DSP to address and identify anomalies and discrepancies between reports, as a method in identifying fraudulent IPs and sites.
Through analysing reports from different sources, it provides us with 360-degree perspective on the results we are achieving.
Be optimistic for 2019
With greater adoption of Blockchain, forward thinking moves by Google and a proactive approach from marketers programmatic is becoming more transparent, more effective at combating fraud and B2B marketers should feel comfortable about investing in it.
It’s one of the fastest moving areas of the industry and offers tech marketers a big opportunity to win a competitive advantage in 2019.
Originally published by Jordan Matthews.
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