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Brands Take Programmatic Buying In-House

There's simply no question that 'programmatic' is the future of advertising and while it can be complex in nature to manage, enterprises are apparently more than willing to do so on their own and without the help of agencies.

A new ANA (Association of National Advertisers) survey shows that 35 percent of brands are expanding their in-house programmatic media buying capabilities, reducing the role of outside agencies in the process.

That’s a significant increase from the group’s 2016 report that found just 14 percent of ANA marketers were reducing the role of their agency as a result of in-house expansion.

The study also showed that while agencies still play an important role in campaign execution, most marketers prefer to set the strategy for their programmatic campaigns and own the contracts. The majority of respondents (69 percent) indicated they handle strategy and campaign direction in-house, while only 24 percent outsource the strategy and campaign direction to an agency partner.

In addition, 19 percent of respondents said they have opted in to an undisclosed programmatic model with their agency. This refers to media purchased for an advertiser that does not disclose the actual closing/winning bid prices, only the final price charged to the advertiser. This practice can hide agency margins and fees. This is a significant change from the 2016 ANA/Forrester survey, which indicated that 34 percent of respondents had opted in to an undisclosed programmatic model.

“It’s clear that a growing number of marketers are taking control of their media investments,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “They’re making important changes to their programmatic buying practices to address media transparency concerns. Specifically, they’re moving sensitive responsibilities in-house and enhancing decision-making by better understanding their costs and media investment transactions. We urge all marketers to contemplate these developments and consider following suit.”

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