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Opportunities for Global Expansion of Programmatic Expertise Spotlighted in Exclusive Study from IAB and Winterberry Group

Virtually all large American publishers (98%) are now pursuing programmatic marketing strategies at home, but fewer—72 percent—have moved to deploy the same in support of their audience development efforts abroad. Despite this current discrepancy, international publishers active in this burgeoning market trend intend to neutralize the deployment gap over the next two years, according to a recent survey and whitepaper from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Winterberry Group released today, “Going Global: Programmatic Audience Development Around the World.” The study’s key findings overall showcase an international growth opportunity for companies with expertise in building programmatic advertising programs, and detail the priorities of U.S. and global companies seeking to expand beyond their traditional geographic borders.

Though their international efforts have largely been focused on markets with longstanding cultural and language ties to the U.S—such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, publisher respondents said they have every intention to expand their global programmatic marketing programs to a wide range of other markets over the next two years, with Brazil and China factoring most prominently among those countries likely to see new investment over that period. In considering which new regions to add to their programmatic portfolios, respondents ranked the “availability of third-party data” as the most important prerequisite for success (52%).

Conversely, the biggest roadblock to global expansion is a “lack of understanding of audience development,” with 34 percent of the study’s marketer, ad tech executive and publisher respondents seeing this as a problem. Government regulation was found to be a much smaller concern, with only 23 percent ranking it among their top three barriers to programmatic expansion.

To encourage worldwide expansion of programmatic marketing, the paper highlights seven key factors that typically characterize markets that are well suited for new or expanded investment:

  • Embrace of the Audience: Advertisers in each market must be able to discover audience trends based on data and use these observations as the foundation of their advertising, marketing or media strategies
  • Programmatic Know-How: Advertisers in each market must have a deep understanding of programmatic advertising and how it relates to specific use cases
  • A Transparent, Open Market Culture: Marketplaces must be free and fair for all entrants, with significant protections against fraud and other adverse effects
  • Data: Third-party audience data must be readily available and legally obtained via consumer-friendly means
  • Technology—and the Means to Use It: The technology required to identify and develop audiences must be readily available, as well as the expertise required to utilize it
  • Standards in Measurement and Accountability: Each market must commit to developing and maintaining a set of universal standards to govern audience identification, measurement and valuation
  • An Opportunity to Build Scale: Each market, either independently or combined with other markets, must offer an audience population that drives value for all parties

“The promise of ‘programmatic everywhere’ is on the verge of being realized,” said Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President and COO, IAB. “It is clear that programmatic advertising strategies have paid dividends for U.S. publishers, brand marketers, ad technology vendors and others in the industry, and now it is time for this practice to benefit marketplaces around the world.”

“While programmatic has succeeded wildly in the U.S., there is significant room for growth on an international scale,” said Jonathan Margulies, Managing Director, Winterberry Group. “By paying heed to the insights found in this report, a global environment can be cultivated which allows programmatic to flourish across borders, opening up new opportunities for digital advertising stakeholders across the board.”

Premier sponsors of the study included Adobe, DataXu and Visual IQ, with Oracle Marketing Cloud, Quantcast and Selligent serving as supporting sponsors.

To download the complete “Going Global: Programmatic Audience Development Around the World” study, please visit www.iab.net/goingglobal.


The whitepaper’s findings are based on an online survey of more than 145 advertiser, publisher, service provider and technology leaders sourced through the U.S. IAB membership and compiled between May and June 2014, as well as a series of intensive telephone interviews with more than three dozen global thought leaders. Though the online panel primarily represents companies based in the U.S., it includes substantial representation from both U.S.-based global companies, as well as non-U.S. companies that are members of IAB in the United States.

About Winterberry Group

Winterberry Group is a unique strategic consulting firm that supports the growth of advertising, marketing, media, information and technology organizations. Affiliated with Petsky Prunier LLC—a leading investment bank providing merger and acquisition advisory services to companies in the same sectors—the Firm offers its clients strategic perspective that is unparalleled in its addressable industries, while PPLLC maintains exceptional relationships with industry executives and business owners. This combination of market intelligence, research and strategic operating experience provides an educated outside perspective that we bring to each engagement. For more information, please visit www.winterberrygroup.com.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 600 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.

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