The Power of Log-Level Data: The ANA’s Full Report on Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency

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While the promise of programmatic advertising was to enable unprecedented efficiency, complexity across the programmatic supply chain has compromised the industry’s ability to deliver on it. The data available in a programmatic campaign is undeniably powerful but, given this complexity, it can only be leveraged via access to – and the matching of – all the impression log-level data (LLD) generated by every partner.

To address this challenge, TAG TrustNet was launched by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), in partnership with Fiducia DLT, to drive growth by connecting and matching impression LLD deterministically at scale. It is the technology used to produce the ANA Programmatic Media Supply Chain Transparency Study: Complete Report, which was released December 5.

This landmark research examined the LLD of 21 major advertisers to understand the complete flow of their programmatic investments, from media buy to site-side delivery, to identify the key areas of threat and opportunity. The single most comprehensive study of its kind, the report reveals critical insights for advertisers in particular. It found, for example, that:

  • An average of 29% of the programmatic investment that arrives at DSPs is spent on the buying process, with 71% making it to the sell-side.
  • Just 36% of investment is spent on valid, non-MFA (made for advertising), measurable, and viewable impressions, also known as ‘TrueImpressions’.
  • Advertisers are missing out on a minimum 20% ad spend productivity increase by not having full, log-level transparency to be able to optimize to these kinds of impressions.

The report shows how the effort to extract the most value for advertisers, publishers, and consumers in programmatic advertising relies heavily on our ability to access and match data across the supply chain for every impression.

It revealed, for example, that data asymmetry is our most significant challenge – of the 67 ANA members that wanted to participate in the study, just 21 were able to get access to impression LLD. The TAG TrustNet LLD register has been set up to track those providers that enable their advertisers with this data and help drive greater transparency for brands.

It also found that the average number of websites on which campaigns ran was 44,000. Advertisers must consider focusing on 75 to 100 trusted sellers to provide access to thousands of high-quality websites without compromising control. It is a similar picture for the number of supply-side partners; 13 SSPs are used on average, but the highest was 58. Five to seven SSPs are likely optimal and can provide access to close to 100% of the supply.

The research also revealed that more productive buys led to lower carbon emissions - the longer and broader the supply chain, the higher the carbon emissions. Made-for-advertising sites, which accounted for an average of 10% of brands’ programmatic buys, generate 26% more carbon emissions than non-MFA inventory.

Perhaps most important for a healthier programmatic ecosystem is the insight that advertisers must balance their pursuit of low-cost inventory with ad quality. An average of 24.5% of total spend was on non-measurable or non-viewable impressions. There might be good reasons for this, but these issues must be fully understood before trade-offs can sensibly be made.

What unified access to reconciled LLD really does is return control over their investments to advertisers. With a single, accurate view of all their impression data, brands can understand precisely where their money is going and how they are succeeding against their most important metrics, whether ROI, price vs. quality, brand safety, sustainability, or DEI, legal compliance or any combination of all of the above. Such control enables much greater value to be extracted from programmatic campaigns for advertisers, and for publishers and consumers too.

This article was written by Tim Brown, CEO of Fiducia

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

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