ANA Study Reveals Critical Inefficiencies in Programmatic Media Spending

In a landmark study, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has unveiled startling inefficiencies within the digital advertising ecosystem. The Programmatic Media Supply Chain Transparency Study, a comprehensive analysis focusing on the $88 billion open web market, has identified widespread wastefulness and missed opportunities in current marketing practices.

Significant Waste

According to the study, a staggering $22 billion of the total open web spending is either wasteful or unproductive. This represents a loss of nearly one in four dollars spent, indicating a significant challenge in optimizing media spend to reach intended audiences effectively.

Bob Liodice, CEO of ANA, highlights the crux of the issue: marketers’ lack of proficiency in managing and securing critical log-level data. This data is vital for informed decision-making and driving growth through programmatic activities. However, the study found that many marketing professionals lack the necessary skills to optimize and secure this data effectively​​.

Suboptimal Marketing Decisions

Key findings of the study include the underutilization of effective data strategies and a significant information asymmetry within the digital media supply chain. These shortcomings lead to suboptimal marketing decisions, impacting brands’ ability to optimize media spending. The study also emphasizes the need for improved media management behavior, including a focus on financial productivity and combating fraud more effectively​​.

Marketers Can Make More Informed Decisions

The ANA study suggests that with better control and management of data, including the adoption of log-level data, marketers can make more informed decisions and optimize their programmatic media investments. This approach is crucial as AI technologies and optimization models become more commoditized. The detail and validity of advertisers’ data, made possible through access to complete log-level data, will be a differentiating factor in the increasingly complex digital advertising landscape​​.

A Call for Behavior Changes

The study calls for chief marketing officers and related support staff to implement behavior changes that are relatively simple yet critical for enhancing media management. With due diligence and strategic investment in in-house media management capabilities, brands can address a substantial portion of the waste in their programmatic spending. The study underscores that this investment is not only necessary but will likely be highly cost-effective in the long run​​.

A Wake-Up Call

The study serves as a wake-up call to the advertising industry. It highlights the urgent need for marketers to reassess their programmatic media strategies, focusing on data-driven decision-making, combating wastefulness, and optimizing investments for better outcomes in the digital advertising ecosystem.
You can find the full study on the ANA’s website.

Sam Adai
Sam Adai
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