Advertiser Perceptions report finds other platforms face a differentiation challenge.

NEW YORK, NY (November 27, 2017) – Most advertisers are accelerating or prioritizing programmatic buying as the benefits of improved targeting, data, time and cost efficiencies outweigh prevalent concerns over fraud, brand safety and verification, according to a new DSP Report from Advertiser Perceptions. Pressure is rising on agencies as 32% of marketers plan to bring programmatic buying in-house and more than 50% of marketers and agencies alike believe the complex job will ultimately be a client responsibility. And with Google and Amazon now first in advertisers’ minds, the rest of the programmatic platforms face a defining challenge – most advertisers are not clear about who is or who isn’t a DSP.

Overall, 80% of programmatic advertisers are accelerating or prioritizing programmatic ads. On average, they are using three DSPs to accumulate audience. Amazon remains the most preferred DSP, while both Amazon and Google (DoubleClick Bid Manager) still have both the most use and highest purchase intention. Advertisers are making decisions primarily on audience reach, quality of post-campaign analysis, and ease of partnership. Google is perceived as providing the greatest audience reach and the most valuable campaign analytics and data, followed by Amazon and Media Math, while Amazon and The Trade Desk are deemed easiest to work with.

“Last year we tracked Amazon for the first time, and we were surprised that they showed up on par with Google,” said Kevin Mannion, Chief Strategy Officer at Advertiser Perceptions. “It was anything but a fluke. They edged out Google as the most preferred DSP this year, and the two are at or near the top in all the categories that drive intention to buy.”

These findings are made more significant by the fact that advertisers still have a hard time distinguishing platforms. For example, only 19% of advertisers recognize The Trade Desk as a DSP, although that is its sole function. And even though they rely most on Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager and the Amazon Advertising Platform, only 25% and 18% of advertisers, respectively, characterize these as DSPs.

“It’s telling that the overwhelming majority of marketers and agencies who are qualified programmatic buyers fail to identify any of the lead players in the appropriate category,” said Mannion. “Advertisers are relying increasingly on Amazon and Google, but unsure about what the rest of the field provides.”

“That’s a serious challenge for the programmatic ecosystem when advertisers only have room for a few partners,” added Mannion. “The other DSPs’ greatest challenge is making sure marketers really know what they’re bringing to the table. They have to speak directly to the reach, technology expertise and service they can provide to navigate the emerging needs of advertisers.”

Concerns over fraud, brand safety and verification have all risen since a year ago. Some 39% of advertisers cite fraud (+12%), while 26% names brand safety (+9%) and 25% say they’re worried about verification (+2%).

Advertiser Perceptions interviewed more than 700 advertisers in June 2017, 52% from marketers and 48% from agencies, with 49% VP level or higher.

About the Programmatic Intelligence Report

The digital advertising ecosystem continues to fragment as innovative technology firms find new ways to create and add value. Each company and innovation that is developed adds another layer of complexity and with it another potential point of confusion for marketers, their agencies and publishers alike. The Programmatic Intelligence Report (PIR) helps media executives make sense of what advertisers and publishers think of programmatic advertising. PIR measures over 60 top media brands, providing overall market insights and specific advertiser perceptions of individual media properties and ad tech companies. Read more…