One Major Issue With Programmatic Advertising: Transparency

Programmatic Advertising

Most things go through a process of trial and error before reaching peak efficiency and performance. Advertising is one of those things. Traditionally, humans did all the hard labor involved with advertising like negotiations, insertion orders, and RFPs. Programmatic advertising deals with machines buying ads for us, based on the data compiled for many years when humans did all the work. “Programmatic is buying digital advertising space automatically, with computers using data to decide which ads to buy and how much to pay for them,” said LinkedIn programmer, Kenneth Kulbok. 

Programmatic AdvertisingWhen things evolve, they are working to make our lives easier and solve problems more efficiently. Before programmatic ad buying, online ads were bought and sold by human ad buyers and salespeople, which can be expensive and unreliable. Programmatic has eliminated human error and replaced many tedious tasks. I expect that eventually, it will replace more than just the tedious tasks, it will be capable of optimizing and planning. Even though programmatic is the future of ad buying, there is still one major issue people have with it.

That is transparency or lack thereof. It can be difficult to measure and account for how much of your programmatic investment resulted in an ad being seen versus how much goes to publishers. It is not unheard of that someone could spend $100,000 on programmatic and only $37,500 of that investment was spent on viewed ads, after paying off all programmatic intermediaries. Despite concerns with transparency, Programmatic advertising is expected to account for 85% of all US Display spending by 2019. So, the pros might outweigh the cons? Or maybe campaigns have seen more success because of an increase in planning time now that the tedious tasks are automated?

All in all,  it is better to hop on the bandwagon now and get comfortable putting your faith in a program than to hold on to traditional ways and fall behind. Programmatic advertising is constantly evolving and I wouldn’t be surprised if these lack of transparency issues are resolved in the near future. “To achieve the best result and a level of transparency,” Hossein Hussaini, Global head of programmatic solutions at Havas Media Group, advises that, “brands and agencies alike need to work hard to obtain a thorough understanding of programmatic.”

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