Publishers ‘failing to get value from data’ as digital ad budgets grow

24/08/2015

Although 62 percent of publishers find real-time data leads to an increase in revenue, only 27 percent report receiving real-time data, according to new research.

According to research released by Forrester Consulting, access to real-time data analytics helps publishers make timely and informed decisions that uncover new revenue opportunities.

The study, Real-Time Data Analytics: Empowering Publishers to Make Better, Faster Decisions (download link), found that 65 percent of publishers report that they used SSP/exchange analytics data for critical operational decisions.

Further, the study found that 67 percent of publishers – large and small – believe that real-time data is important to their efforts, and 62 percent find that it leads to an increase in revenue, yet only 27 percent report receiving data in real-time.

As publishers grow, their appetite for data and actionable insights increase too. The study also found that the majority of larger publishers, with over 500 employees, experience challenges aggregating multiple sources of critical business data into one real-time data stream, especially as they are increasingly inundated with multiple types of data. More than half (56 percent) of large publishers say they are challenged by the inability to get a single view of multiple data sources while 59 percent say they are frustrated with disparate platforms and 54 percent with disparate metrics.

Additionally, the study found that only 24 percent of large publishers are very satisfied with their current competitive benchmarking capabilities. Adding transparency to ad inventory performance in real-time programmatic ad sales not only provides publishers with context within peer sets, but also creates a distinct advantage over competition.

“The release of this study comes at a pivotal time for publishers as brand marketers increasingly turn to digital media for more effective advertising campaigns,” said Kirk McDonald, President of PubMatic. “The opportunity for growth is tremendous, but optimizing ad inventory, connecting consumers with relevant content and growing revenue is increasingly difficult as the market becomes more crowded with a multitude of data sources. Leveraging tools that provide comprehensive analytics and an intuitive, singular platform will enable publishers to get ahead of real-time.”

In a space that is increasingly competitive, informed publishers can continue to take the lead in the marketplace. “Publishers who successfully grab their share of these growing budgets will have done so because they were armed with critical insights derived from the aggregation, analysis, and deployment of data from a wealth of sources coupled with differentiated speed to market,” according to the Forrester Consulting study.

Highlights of the study include:

• Large Publishers Seek Efficiency in Data Aggregation: In order to efficiently aggregate data, 52 percent of large publishers use a data warehouse, 45 percent use data visualization and 45 percent use external partners, all at a significant investment of both time and money

• Real-Time Data Drives Publisher Growth: Large publishers claim significant benefits from real-time data in the following areas: increased revenue (63%), better yield or performance (57%), optimization of decision-making (56%), uncovering new revenue opportunities (52%) and better inventory management (48%).

• Publishers Need Solutions For Efficient Data Analysis: Nearly half of larger publishers believe that they are not adequately staffed with skilled analytics professionals and nearly one quarter of smaller publishers have the same challenge.

Methodology

Commissioned by PubMatic, the marketing automation software company for publishers, Forrester Consulting conducted an online survey of 110 publishers and media organizations to evaluate use of real-time data in analytics tools. Sixty of the surveys were from U.S. media and publishing companies, while 50 were from the U.K. For the purposes of this paper, small publishers are defined as those with less than 500 employees representing 43 percent of the respondent base, and large publishers are those with 500 or more employees representing 57 percent of the total respondents. Survey participants included decision-makers in advertising or marketing operations, sales revenue operations or analytics. Questions provided to the participants asked about their current data sources, frequency of receiving data, challenges, and realized benefits of having real-time data for analysis. The study was completed in May 2015.

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