Poll: Majority of CMOs Look to Buy Programmatic Ads Directly, Bypassing Agencies

15% Are Already Working With DSPs to Buy Digital Ads

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Advertisers have traditionally left the task of buying and planning media to their agencies, whose heft at the negotiating table has led to consistently lower ad rates.

But as brands continue to place a greater emphasis on harnessing their own data, the prospect of using it for media buys outside an agency relationship is starting to become more appealing. For brands, tying first party data to a programmatic media buy can help reach the consumers they want, minimizing the need for a middleman.

A new CMO Club poll found that many brands are indeed considering working outside their agency relationships when it comes to programmatic media buying. The poll, which surveyed 600 CMOs, found that nearly half of brands are planning to evaluate working directly with demand side ad buying platforms, or DSPs, and another 15.4% are already doing so.

According to the poll, 46.2% of brands plan to evaluate establishing a direct relationship with a DSP. Only 30.8% said they are managing the relationship via an agency partner, without giving an indication that might change. A total of 130 CMOs in total responded to the poll, which was conducted during the week of October 26, 2013.

The advertising industry is slowly starting to prepare for a future where a chunk of brands will buy programmatic media by themselves. As Ad Age recently noted, Iponweb, a firm that has long built software for third party ad-tech companies, is starting to approach advertisers about building custom ad buying platforms. And Datacratic, another ad-tech company, recently released an open source programmatic buying platform called RTBkit, which is also geared towards ad-tech's end users, including brands. This CMO Club poll is yet another sign of an industry shift that seems to only be gaining momentum.

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