9 June 2014
Major U.S. brands are moving to programmatic
Procter & Gamble wants to buy 70% to 75% of its U.S. digital media programmatically by the end of this year, according to people briefed on the company's plans. These people said P&G next year plans a similar shift of mobile-ad buying to programmatic buying -- auction-based systems where ads are bought and served across the web to a specific audience in real time.
That's an ambitious goal for the world's biggest media spender and sure to cause brand marketers that have resisted automated trading to reconsider. Until now P&G's use of programmatic buying has been mainly limited to relatively small tests.
The move follows a goal recently announced by American Express in an advertising-technology request for proposals to shift 100% of digital buys to programmatic (later called a "theoretical strategic thought" by AmEx VP-U.S. Media Jill Toscano).
A move by P&G would be more groundbreaking. First, AmEx is largely a direct-response advertiser that can more easily monitor the immediate impact of its ads based on customer acquisition, and it has no firm stated timetable like P&G's. Second, it's a leap for a brand advertiser like P&G, which sells most of its products via retailers and needs more time and advanced analytics to know whether its digital ads are producing sales. That's a major reason why the category has generally been more cautious about plunging into programmatic.
P&G, which declined to comment, spent $235 million of its $3.2 billion in measured media last year on internet display advertising, according to WPP's Kantar Media, whose data don't include mobile and some social-media advertising.