Why 86% of Brands Plan to Take Part of Their Programmatic Spend In-House

New report shows they have multiple concerns with agencies

Marketers are increasingly taking more programmatic work in-house. Getty Images
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According to 71 percent of recently surveyed advertisers, agencies are struggling to adapt programmatic and want to shake up agency-client relationships.

Infectious Media interviewed 200 marketers in the North America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC) regions as a part of a survey about their experiences working with agencies on programmatic advertising.

Another 74 percent of marketers claimed that transparency issues—namely that agencies do not report all of their financial data—linger. When it comes to measurement, 73 percent of marketers said that agencies are not equipped to measure programmatic advertising correctly.

As big name brands like Chase and Proctor & Gamble have tried to clean up parts of their digital ad spend, technical and brand safety problems have popped up as a concern for brands over the past year. Per Infectious Media’s findings, 66 percent of marketers say that they lack control with publishers for ad targeting and serving. And 53 percent of the advertisers surveyed said that they believe that murky relationships with publishers is the result of agencies losing trust with clients.

In response to marketers’ uneasiness with agencies, 86 percent of marketers said that they planned to take some portions of programmatic in-house to manage on their own. Specifically, 49 percent of “larger advertisers” reported that they’d like to control planning and publisher relationships. When asked why they wanted to bring programmatic in-house, 68 percent cited programmatic’s lack of transparency, 65 percent said control was a concern and 71 percent of marketers believe that they have more qualified employees to handle programmatic. Another 69 percent of advertisers said that changes to demand-side platforms and data-management platforms were a “significant driver” in their decision.

Still, agencies are slated to continue to play a big role for advertisers going forward. Nearly all brands—or 96 percent—believe that agencies will need to play a role going forward because of the complexities in understanding all of the facets of programmatic.

“Agencies will need to adopt a more flexible, hybrid approach that caters for advertisers’ specific requirements as well as their desire for greater control over their digital advertising,” said Martin Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Infectious Media in a statement. “This will be crucial if agencies are to build a more effective and sustainable working relationship with brands in the future.”

@laurenjohnson lauren.johnson@adweek.com Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.