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‘Programmatic advertising needs discipline’ – comScore

Marketers need to take a more “disciplined” approach to their programmatic advertising campaigns following years of “unanticipated problems” within the automated buying sphere, a new report by comScore has found.

The media measurement company said that brands remained dogged by issues from buying audiences at “bargain basement” rates, including the over-targeting consumers and being lured by low-priced inventory with “quality-control problems”.

Entitled the Top 10 Burning Issues in Digital’, the report argued that brands needed to place more emphasis on checks and verifications, while capitalising on the “halo effect” of premium publishers.

The report said: “The early promise of programmatic advertising may now be catching up with reality. Marketers, once enamoured with reaching highly-targeted audiences at bargain-basement rates, are encountering unanticipated problems. In some cases, they are over-targeting consumers at the expense of the broader reach needed to grow their brands.

“In other cases, they find that low-priced inventory tends to come with more quality-control issues, like running on low quality sites or against invalid traffic.

“Publishers, meanwhile, are realising that chasing extra dollars by offloading inventory at too low a rate is contributing to overall pricing pressure on the valuable premium inventory that drives the lion’s share of their ad revenue.”

According to comScore’s research, premium publishers generated an average of 67 per cent higher branding effectiveness, while boosting brand favourability.

The report added that while programmatic advertising has “an important place in the efficiency sector of the digital ecosystem”, marketers needed to have a  “more disciplined use of pre-bid quality checks and post-bid verification “.

ComScore’s study follows Procter & Gamble’s very public announcement to cut between US$100 million to US$140 million in digital advertising spend because of brand safety concerns and ineffective ads.

The company said  it would  “temporarily restrict spending” on digital platforms dues to “ads were not being placed according to our standards and specifications”.

Elsewhere in the report, comScore said that monetising mobile advertising, filtering out bots and advancing the use of audience data were among the 10 pressing issues for digital marketers today.

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