India has witnessed substantial growth in programmatic spends in the past few years. Arguably the most important trend in recent times, programmatic advertising possess a great potential to streamline the ad buying process while offering target audiences at scale. The growing need for greater transparency and control has propelled programmatic as a mainstream channel and is being hailed by advertisers. But its limited knowledge is considered a biggest threat in its adoption among advertisers.
A recently released report, The State of Mobile Programmatic Buying: A Buyer’s Perspective by InMobi, said that 90% of the brands seek to run programmatic in-house, despite only possessing basic knowledge.
It also said that two out of three brand marketers possess only a basic working knowledge of programmatic advertising. Despite that, 38% of these advertisers conduct their programmatic media buying in-house and another 52% do via both in-house and agency channels. The report mentioned video is the favoured format programmatically.
The survey explored current mobile programmatic landscape, challenges and opportunities with programmatic in India and the future trends in mobile programmatic and its evolution in the subcontinent. More than 100 senior executives with the responsibility of ad buying at well-known brands and agencies were surveyed for the research.
Programmatic buying is being leveraged not only to achieve brand awareness, but to increasingly acquire, retarget and retain app users. According to the report, as of today, 73% of marketers are reaping the benefits of programmatic with another 27% planning to adopt it in the near future.
The bulk of the marketing world leverages in-house teams to cater to their programmatic needs. However, there exists a small set of advertisers that work with agencies for their mobile programmatic buying needs.
Stating that 90% of the brands seek to run programmatic in-house, despite only possessing basic knowledge, the report also said most brands have a basic working knowledge of programmatic, with only 29% claiming to understand this technology completely.
Apart from this, eight out of 10 advertisers see efficiency gains with programmatic buying, the report said. Programmatic buying of inventory is said to reduce human involvement and chances of errors and delays, thus improving the efficiency of a campaign instantaneously.
On using programmatic, a majority of the marketers have witnessed up to 20% increase in the efficiency of the ad campaigns. This is a direct result of the automated that reduce error and delays, allowing marketers a higher degree of control over their money. Conversion rates and user engagement continue to remain one of the most crucial measures of the effectiveness of a programmatic campaign.
According to eMarketer, since 2015, programmatic’s share of digital display ad spending has grown over three-fold, accounting for 19% of digital display ad spending in 2018. This is slated to increase by 57% in 2019 with an estimated $191 million in spends accounting for 25% of digital display ad spending.
But a limited understanding is the key barrier to programmatic adoption. Most organisations have made mobile programmatic a part of their company strategy. However, most of the marketers struggle with their understanding of the programmatic processes and hence hesitate about adopting a mobile programmatic.
While over 40% of advertisers spend a quarter of their digital advertising budget on mobile programmatic, not all brands rely on agencies to execute programmatic campaigns. When it comes to programmatic buying, 36% of brands trust their in-house teams while another 33% rely on a combination of both in-house and agencies for their programmatic buying needs. Only 13% of those who buy programmatically do so via an agency.
When evaluating programmatic partners, performance along with control and transparency in reporting are the top two criteria for brands. Marketers want to work with a programmatic partner who offers unique balance between performance, targeting capabilities, and audience reach/scale.
Upscale in programmatic adoption:
The effectiveness and efficiency of a programmatic campaign is encouraging marketers to increase their spends on the channels. In 2019, 60% of marketers plan to allocate up to half of their digital advertising spends towards mobile programmatic.
While video continues to grow in demand among users and advertisers, it will be the favoured format programmatically too.
Factors like lower cost of media buying, transparent reporting and high-quality data are key motivators for marketers to adopt the same. The report has stated while 43% of advertisers currently spend up to 25% of their digital advertising budget on mobile programmatic, over the next course of the year, this share of spend is expected to increase substantially. Over a third of the brand advertisers plan to spend between 25% and 50% of their digital advertising budget and another 40% will spend over 50% of their digital advertising spends on mobile programmatic in 2019.
Other than this, it was mentioned that advertisers prefer programmatic guaranteed that can deliver the efficiency and effectiveness of programmatic buying with the comfort of a fixed price model and programmatic direct is the single most preferred model in 2019. Header Bidding, OMSDK and TAG certification are the most popular technologies that advertisers are keen to adopt.
The report suggested that frequent education and information sessions where information, concerns and questions around programmatic buying are discussed and answered, can go a long way in nudging marketers to try this channel.