We Are in Econsultancy’s Global Research on Online Advertising

Econsultancy, the leading provider of online marketing analytics, have carried out the second Global Research on trends in digital advertising industry. Previous one was conducted in 2009. Coupled with the Rubicon Project and supported by the IAB UK, IAB France, IAB Europe and AOP, the research is based on a polling of more than a thousand online advertising experts held in August and September 2011.

Consequently, the Online Advertisers Survey Report 2011 had published late September.

This report is specifically gone by results from over 400 advertisers and agencies interviewed, including Fidelity Media Advertising Network.

Among particular results, the study discovers buying and spending trends in online advertising, prices on publishers’ rate cards, media-plan budget changes, and online ad buys techniques, real-time bidding platforms (RTB) and targeting, advertising networks influence as well as foreground of trading desks and demand-side platforms (DSP).

Specific findings are presented for your attention below.

Generally, the online advertising is increasing world-wide. 68% of US advertisers and agencies and 57% of European (including the United Kingdom) noted the raise in online display advertising budgets in the last year. 23% of the advertisers moved spending from search to display advertising.

Upward Trends of Online Display Advertising Industry

  • 58% of advertisers (including agencies) have rose spending on online display advertising, paid search marketing (57%) and the Google Display Network (54%) during the last year.
  • Facebook advertising is a quick-growing space of investment, with 71% of respondents reported the growth of spending in the last 12 months.
  • 48% of respondents say that prices on publishers’ rate cards have pushed up last year, as against only 23% in 2009. Only 16% of advertisers fixed the drop in publisher rates in the past 12 months, in comparison with 39% two years ago at the height of the global recession.

Advertising Exchanges, Demand-Side Platforms, Trading Desks

The analysis also explores the effect of RTB and the growing significance of online advertising exchanges, demand-side platforms (DSPs) and trading desks in the industry.

  • Demand-side platform (DSP) is used by 23% of advertisers and agencies interviewed. This is a note for US, where 39% of advertiser and agency respondents are buying through DSPs.
  • 30% and 32% of online display budget spent go for ad exchanges and DSPs respectively upon the average.
  • Trading desks take 29% of online display advertising budget.
  • On average, 34% of trading desk spends proceeds on real-time bidding, while US advertisers stake on RTB mostly (41%).
  • Trading desks of 37% advertisers and agencies spend less than 20% on RTB and 17% of respondents announce that they do not apportion any investment to their trading desks.
  • The improved performance was marked out by 48% of companies as an advantage of RTB, while 42% of advertisers referred the decreased media wastage, improved targeting capabilities and lower cost per acquisition. Meanwhile, 79% of advertisers appointed the performance as one of top key points for rating an online ad network. The reach is important for 67% of respondents.

Kara Weber, Senior Vice President of Marketing at the Rubicon Project, remarked the rapid increase in trend of budget shifts from search to display advertising over the last year owing to increased availability of automated, easy-to-use buying tools that make spending in display as easy as search. According to her, the research shows that marketers are using multiple channels to maximize ROI. Thus, the Rubicon Project predict dramatic shift to automated buying channels including but not limited to RTB in 2012.

Performance and Audience Targeting

  • 82% of demand-side platforms practitioners use more than one platform and 15% use more than four.
  • Estimating a DSP, 75% of respondents marked ‘performance’ as one of the three most significant criteria, followed by technology (51%), audience (46%) and reach (35%), and 64% of advertisers regard the improved targeting as a key benefit of working with a DSP.
  • Further, 60% and 53% of advertisers considered real time understanding of campaign performance and the capability of buying at impression level. The liquidity (lack of available inventory) and service levels are mentioned as an issue for 54% and 51% companies respectively.

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy, pointed out “the huge transformation of the online display advertising environment since the last research”. He cited that companies “have more opportunities than ever to target the right audience. Ad networks and exchanges continue to prosper, while real-time bidding is having a major impact on the industry and is fueling the growth of demand-side and supply-side platforms.”

Ad Network in the Online Advertising Ecosystem

Online advertising networks retain essential in the online advertising ecosystem according to the report, provided that 24% of advertisers are cooperating with less ad networks than they were a year ago.

  •  63% of advertisers say they buy from online advertising networks, down from 67% two years ago. But the average percentages of online display spend made through ad networks stands at 55% compared to 31% in 2009.
  • 46% of advertisers are dealing with more networks than last year and 30% keeping the same number of network partners. This is mostly typical for the US, where 53% of advertisers and agencies are working with more ad networks in comparison with past year. The remainder (24%) is dealing with less ad networks.
  • Online advertising networks are important part of the media mix. 46% of advertiser respondents say that their media plans include ad networks, up from 32% in 2009.

Different Targeting Techniques

  • Demographic data is used for targeting by 68% of advertisers, while 64% of them are targeting on the basis of geography. Among other generally used methods are behavioral targeting (56%), contextual (43%) and time targeting / day-parting (39%).
  • The behavioral targeting type had increased greatly (+20%), strongly up from 36% identified during the last survey. On the contrary, the share of companies using contextual-based targeting has declined from 49% in 2009 to 43% in 2011.
  • The percentages of advertisers targeting based on demographics, geography, time and profile (or log-in information) have all increased since the survey in 2009.

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