ISBA, the industry body representing advertisers, and consultancy PwC have finally released their long awaited report on the programmatic ad market – and for the first time advertisers have quantified the end-to-end value of its supply chains.

Two years late, which in itself points to the complexity of the numerous supply chains and the difficulty of tracking money and data within the system, the report unveiled some alarming figures.

However, while there is clear progress needed in the transactional transparency of the market, some experts have argued that there are more practical starting points for brands to unlock value in programmatic – particularly when research has shown that digital display currently delivers one of the lowest ROIs of any media channel.

Christian Polman, said:

Through hundreds of digital assignments, and by analysing over €3 billion in digital spend, we have learned that while disclosure and transparency can help advertisers to achieve greater control, in and of themselves they don’t guarantee that programmatic media buying will deliver better results. If the end goal for brands is to drive greater business performance and higher ROI, then brands shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that a lot of value is lost on the other end of the programmatic supply chain.”

According to Christian, brands should be looking at optimising the format, context, audience and creative execution of their programmatic campaigns to maximise attention and engagement, as well as monitoring viewability, brand safety, fraud and non-human traffic. He said:

Ultimately brands should take a holistic approach to improving the value they get from their programmatic media.”


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