When it comes to investing in programmatic advertising, the majority of advertisers (90%) would justify their budgets if they could measure the success of their campaigns more effectively, according to a study from international programmatic agency Infectious Media.

The survey of 214 decision-making marketers with programmatic remits in EMEA, APAC or North America found the ability to measure ad campaigns in programmatic remains a top concern for marketers, with 66% finding it either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ challenging to accomplish.

Maintaining high viewability (65%) came in as another challenge for marketers followed by increasing brand safety protection (64%).

‘Broken’ measurement model

When it comes to pointing the finger, a whopping 92% believed it falls on media agencies to provide more adequate measurement, while 72% admitted they either strongly or slightly agreed that agencies struggle to measure programmatic ads accurately.

“It’s clear from our study that advertisers are waking up to the fact that the measurement model most have relied on for their programmatic campaigns is broken and digital ad spend is being held back as a result,” said Martin Kelly, CEO of Infectious Media.

“Advertisers are looking to agencies to show greater leadership on how the system can be improved,” Kelly added; “Unfortunately, most have been content with the easy option of spending advertisers’ money on cheap inventory that meets a given target on clicks, regardless of the risk of fraud or the limited ROI this delivers.”

Time for change

In addition, the study also found that the majority (53%) of marketers are in the process of changing their approach to display measurement, with advertisers still reliant on last-click measurement to judge the success of programmatic campaigns despite the method of data being prone to fraud.

Infectious Media found that 56% said the number of clicks was the most important metric, followed by cost-per click (45%) and click-through rate (43%).

However, a number of barriers were preventing them from evolving their strategies. For instance, connecting display measurement to that of other channels was described as ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ challenging by 60% of marketers. Other significant barriers included privacy restrictions (57%) and access to relevant performance data (57%).

“Agencies have a responsibility to educate their clients on the more sophisticated approaches that are available, offering them metrics that better fit their business objectives and challenging them to think beyond clicks.” Kelly concluded.