A large proportion of creatives — those who conceive and create ads — at small agencies do not understand programmatic advertising, according to a survey by ad tech firm Turn.
The study surveyed over 200 creatives across small and large agencies. Its results point to a gap in skills and knowledge between these agencies on how to harness programmatic ads, with larger agencies being much better equipped. At the same time, the study suggests that programmatic advertising has room to grow, as more smaller agencies become attuned to the new opportunities offered by data and programmatic.
Here are some of the key results from Turn’s agency survey about programmatic advertising:
- The knowledge gap between big and small. Only 11% of creative at small ad agencies that they understood programmatic advertising, compared to 59% of creative at large agencies. This runs against the perception that smaller agencies are more nimble and responsive to innovation, and is likely explained by the greater set of resources — human expertise, and data management tools — at larger agencies.
- Younger creatives not savvy about data. Nearly 20% of junior creatives said they were unsure about ever seeing the word “programmatic” in a brief, and 77% said they were confident that they could do without the insights offered by programmatic. In contrast, 70% of senior creatives said that data informs more than half of their work. The knowledge gap between old and young signals a real need for programmatic training among the junior ranks at ad agencies.
- But most agencies see the value in data. Regardless of size, 67% of agencies said that data was a top priority for their digital campaigns. In fact, smaller agencies were even more adamant about the importance of data (particularly location data) in their advertising, with 65% of respondents choosing it as a top priority, compared to 56% in large agencies. This discrepancy might be a result of smaller agencies’ comparatively lower knowledge about programmatic advertising, valuing something they don’t know more highly.
Programmatic advertising is set to surge in the coming years, and digital ad stakeholders will have to work hard to moderate the negatives side effects that come with an increased number of automated ad placements.
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