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On The Path To Programmatic Transparency
August 2nd, 2017

Matthew Chung, Manager, Communications and Content

Andrew Altersohn, CEO AD/FIN, addresses the audience at Corus Quay in Toronto, June 23, 2017

Andrew Altersohn, CEO AD/FIN, addresses the audience at Corus Quay in Toronto, June 23, 2017

In some ways, the path to completing the study “Programmatic: Seeing Through The Financial Fog,” was as insightful as the results for Andrew Altersohn, CEO of programmatic analytics and auditing firm, AD/FIN.

Altersohn shared the origin story of the landmark study at a recent ACA Executive Forum, where the ins and outs of programmatic media buying were dissected and debated by a highly-engaged audience at Corus Quay in Toronto.

“There were agencies that supported us, DSPs that supported us but in general there was a lot of finger pointing,” said Altersohn. “I got dragged into a lot of agency trading desk offices. We ultimately lost 75% of interested participants due to debates over transparency and data ownership.”

There were various reasons brands that wanted to participate had to drop out, Altersohn said. But some were surprised to learn they had signed contracts that didn’t give them the right to their own data, he said.

“We had a lot of people that said, ‘Wait, I can’t get my information because of paperwork someone signed?’”

Ultimately, the study (done in partnership with ACA, the ANA and Ebiquity) processed programmatic transaction data for 445 campaigns (and 16 Billion impressions) from seven companies (spanning 30 major brands). This is the first study of its kind to retrieve this level of transaction-level detail directly from each Demand Side Platform (DSP) that transacted on behalf of each advertiser, providing an electronic receipt (“programmatic invoice”) for each impression purchased. The resulting analysis provided a first-ever inspection into how advertiser budgets were actually spent along the digital supply chain with insights around costs and fees incurred for media, technology, service and data.

Download the study to read all the results, including the ratio of “working” to “non-working” media spend for the disclosed programmatic transactions analyzed.

Altersohn and his partners also created an “Advertiser Playbook” as part of the report, which included an 11-step plan to enhanced programmatic accountability.

Altersohn told the audience the number one priority for marketers should be to “Take control of your transaction data.”

Marketers should ask themselves, “Do I have the transparency and clarity I need to ensure I am getting full value for each programmatic dollar, and can I manage my programmatic investments with the same scrutiny as my other media investments?”

If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure,” then the Advertiser Playbook can guide marketers on the steps to take to get greater accountability, Altersohn said. The Playbook can also help marketers establish a transparent programmatic planning and buying model along with the right agreements in place to support their goals.

If you missed the conference, you can view the day’s highlights in this photo gallery, or hear what some of the ACA Executive Forum attendees had to say in this conference wrap-up video.

ACA Members can log in to view videos of the day’s presentation

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