Survey: Media Planners Concerned About Programmatic Disruption

Survey: Media Buyers Concerned About Programmatic Disruption

Share this:

Is the death of third-party cookies more hype than reality? The majority of media buyers are still using third-party data in their digital campaigns, with an average of 11.9 data providers used for each campaign, according to the results of a new study of media buyers, planners, and strategists released this morning and conducted by the data firm Datonics.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents in Datonics’ Programmatic Audience Targeting Survey said they use data to target consumers based on interest or intent, and 78% target based on demographics.

Datonics CEO Michael Benedek says the results show that third-party data remains extremely valuable to brands, primarily because of its unique ability to address factors that other types of data, like zero, first and second-party data, can’t. The study also demonstrates the continued demand for third-party data to fuel the digital marketing and programmatic ecosystems, despite looming changes that could upend the space.

Given that agencies often have access to multiple DSPs, Datonics researchers opted to look at which DSPs are most routinely used by programmatic professionals currently. They found that nearly half of respondents (45%) cited Google DV360 as a platform they frequently use, followed by The Trade Desk (41%) and Yahoo (17%).

“One thing that stood out to us was just how many data providers marketers are working with,” says Benedek. “Working with many makes sense for some, but consolidating spend should make sense for many in a market where there are data providers who have a fairly comprehensive offering.”

Also of note was the mounting concern media buyers and planners are showing over the future of programmatic, as third-party data is slowly eliminated from the picture. According to the survey, 69% of buyers, planners, and strategists say they’re fairly concerned or more about the deprecation of third-party cookies and loss of signal identifiers, as well as new privacy regulations. 

“There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace around the demise of third-party cookies and how this impacts third-party data usage. What it comes down to is working with data providers that are ready for a changing world – both from the technology and privacy or regulatory perspective,” Benedek says. “We felt this type of study can help to add clarity and also provide a helpful picture of how the industry is getting value from third-party data today.”

Datonics’ findings suggest that third-party data remains an important part of digital marketing strategy and execution. While evolution in the industry is perpetual, some of it is forced by legal or privacy changes, and some is adapted through innovation. 

At Datonics, Benedek says the suggested approach is to avoid betting the house on any single solution or prediction of what’s to come. Instead, he believes companies should be continuously preparing to adapt to changes as they occur.

“The hope is that brands understand the value that third-party data is bringing to their campaigns, and also that they feel able to use it in the best way possible,” Benedek says. “Third-party data is most useful in that it helps brands to scale their audiences and reach new customers, which is very hard to do if a brand is only looking at their own customer base and what might be “first-party data.”

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.