Programmatic Potential: The Importance of High-Quality Data In Programmatic Advertising

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When the Association of National Advertisers released its initial study on programmatic advertising this summer, a huge takeaway was the billions wasted on clickbait sites (which the ANA cast as “minimum efficient gains from course correcting”).

Now, for its followup, the ANA is focusing on transparency, shining a light on numbers that aren’t necessarily convenient, but are enlightening and, again, providing potential for gains.

The ANA said one of its main findings, that the average programmatic campaign ran on 44,000 websites, was “deeply concerning” and “creating risks for advertisers.” It found that 86% of all impressions derived from just 3,000 sites, with 63% coming from the top 500 sites by volume of impressions. With minimal reach coming from site 3001 and the long tail from there, the ANA says this “provides strong directional support for concentrating programmatic media activity on a smaller number of websites.”

Whereas the ANA’s first report recommended buyers to select “a few hundred websites” to be trusted sellers, the new report suggests buyers select 75 to 100 trusted sellers.

“That will provide access to thousands of high-quality websites,” the report says. “Optimizing the number of websites will diminish the risk of purchasing non-viewable and fraudulent inventory and enhance brand safety.”

In addition to the waste (now estimated as $22 billion of the $88 billion spent on the open web), the study also found that, after transaction and productivity costs, only 36 cents of every dollar put into a DSP “effectively reaches the consumer.” 

“Where this especially weighs on marketers is for those brands/companies that do not have the resources, capabilities, or partnerships to parse through the complex maze of the digital media ecosystem to leverage the full suite of advantages that technology has to offer (including many small and medium sized marketers),” the report says.

(Source: Association of National Advertisers)

As MediaPost’s Laurie Sullivan points out, it’s the data “pushed through the system” more than the programmatic systems themselves, all the more reason why a unified marketing and reporting platform like Mirabel’s Marketing Manager is vital to every business.

“Dirty data is one of the big challenges that companies have run up against since starting to work with multiple companies to serve one ad,” Sullivan writes.


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