Programmatic Technology: an action plan for marketers in 2020

Written by Sophie Wooller, Head of UK

The Programmatic Technology Action Plan

Programmatic Advertising continues to grow into multiple advertising channels and capture a greater share of media budgets. eMarketer estimates that by 2020, digital display alone will command £6.8bn of ad spend. In this context, the technology that underpins delivery becomes even more crucial.

Earlier this year, The Programmatic Advisory issued a simple survey to understand attitudes towards the Programmatic Technology Stack. We received responses from across the ecosystem, representing the typical programmatic technology direct customer (Advertisers & Publishers), intermediary (Agencies) and advisor (Consultants, the Technology providers themselves).

The results corroborated the much discussed trend of advertisers trying to take greater control of the programmatic supply chain and the technologies that power it. Over half of all respondents thought it was crucial or important for advertisers to own their marketing technology contracts directly. However, this rose to 60% for responses from advertisers and publishers, and fell to 34% for agencies. For advertisers trying to navigate a complex space, conflicting points of view can make this even more difficult.

Advertisers taking more control of their programmatic activities isn’t new news. However, what did surprise us was the confidence with which this is being approached vs our on the ground experience of what drives deployments to succeed or fail. Advertisers need to consider several commercial, technological and resource factors when selecting new technologies. The procurement decision should then be based on these factors and the technology’s ability to deliver on key use cases, with the benefits of the technology measured against business results.

Typically, technology reviews will not deliver on all of these factors. Our survey revealed that whilst 40% of respondents were very confident they could distinguish the pros and cons of programmatic technologies, only 27% were very confident this would result in selecting the right technology for their business. Brands recognise that there is still work to do once a new technology provider has been selected; it’s not simply whether or not a technology can deliver a particular piece of functionality.

For brands starting on this journey, the complexity of the Programmatic Technology Landscape can seem an insurmountable barrier;


  • What should a brand include in a “programmatic technology review”?
  • What are the key mistakes brands make on this journey?
  • What are the tangible steps a brand can take as they look towards 2020?

These are all questions that are answered in our latest free whitepaper which can be downloaded here: