- Brands, agencies and publishers use an average of 28 different technologies to support their marketing efforts and expect to add another eight new platforms to their current tech stack this year, according to a new report from research firm Industry Index, commissioned by AdLedger and MadHive. Seventy percent of the 300 marketers surveyed — mostly media planners, buyers or directors — expect to have even more within three years.
- Among those surveyed, almost 28% expect to add AI-based tools within the next year, and another 24% plan to spend on DMP campaign management tools over the next 12 months.
- Some 32% of marketers said fraud control tech is the worst performing capability in their stack and another 25% reported that transparency was the worst. Another 22% pointed to brand safety as the worst performer and 20% said it was cross-screen targeting. Yet 80% of marketers said it is the technology vendor's responsibility to clean up the problems of the ecosystem.
Despite marketers expressing a desire to consolidate the number of tech companies they work with, the report states that simplification is unlikely as most already have 28 technologies in their tech stack and that number is only expected to grow. The findings also suggest there may be an opportunity for tech vendors that can help alleviate marketers' pain points around streamlining, fraud and transparency.
As the industry continues to expand, some major advertisers have expressed concern about transparency. Marc Pritchard, the chief brand officer of P&G, one of the largest global advertisers, recently called for better behavior in a talk given at the annual meeting of Association of National Advertisers (ANA), a major trade group.
"Privacy breaches and consumer data misuse keeps occurring," Pritchard said, according to a report from NBC. "Unacceptable content continues to be available and is still being viewed alongside out brands. Bad actors are finding ways to create divisiveness and social unrest."
Despite marketers' concern over brand safety, the research by AdLedger and MadHive suggests most expect to increase the number of tech solutions they work with, something that is not likely to improve the systemic problems withing the digital media ecosystem and could even make them worse.
With 80% of those surveyed expecting their vendors to address issues suggests that those that push to alleviate fraud and poor transparency could thrive. In particular, with one-third of marketers unsatisfied with how fraud is being managed and 25% saying that transparency is their biggest problem, these are two areas where vendors could focus their efforts going forward.
The bottom line of the report is that tech-based marketing solutions are only going to multiply, bringing new challenges and opportunities for the digital media space.