Programmatic buying of video, display and CTV ads have long been something brands have outsourced for.

However, lately there’s been a serious switch. It is now practically the norm for brands to run programmatic in-house as over sixty nine percent have either partially or completely transitioned that section of their business to internal team members.

At the forefront of the switch to in-house, as well as data privacy concerns, is Europe. The GDPR was implemented in Europe in 2018, giving countries in the EU a head start, with over seventy four percent of brands already activating their programmatic campaigns in house.

On the other hand, the US has just recently enacted their consumer privacy act in California in 2020 to address data privacy, with many other states following suit shortly afterwards.

What was the reasoning behind the switch?

Well, there’s multiple.

In recent years, and even more so now, there’s been a large increase of regulations surrounding data privacy and the impending “death of the cookie.” All of this makes it more attractive for companies both large and small to move their ad buying in-house, for both data protection and efficiency reasons.

By not separating their ad buying across multiple platforms, and by keeping it in house, they’re able to more effectively get customer insights and develop a stronger digital strategy.

Additionally, it’s simply just cheaper and more effective for some teams. And with programmatic platforms across both desktop/mobile becoming more accessible, it’s easier to launch and nurture campaigns in house, which dramatically cuts back on communication between agencies, and the typically large costs of doing so.

With the still on-going pandemic, brands that either have been partially digital or not at all, are making the switch to address and serve the ever changing global market.

Since COVID 19 hit, some brands have decreased their ad spend short term, but many have increased programmatic long term due to their customers being mostly still inside, and more online than ever.

It is still unknown what the long-term effects of the pandemic and privacy regulations will have on the advertising industry, but we can be certain that we are right in the middle of the shift.

Looking Towards The Future

As many marketers and brand leaders have stated, it’s not going to be an overnight shift, but the shift is definitely happening.

Nearly 20% of US brands have admitted to bringing their ad buying completely in house while roughly 50% have partially moved in house with plans to continue.

The reason behind this?

While yes, it’s becoming easier and more effective to move ad buying in-house, there are still situations for many where external support and collaboration is necessary, especially for smaller brands that are used to having a larger support network for their ads.

That being said, we don’t see this trend reversing anytime soon, especially with mobile ad spend continuing to be on the rise. Mobile is currently the most popular programmatic format, which will account for a whopping 75% of digital ad spend worldwide, and projections to grow up to 80% or higher in the next few years.

With consumer data being more accessible than ever before, it is that control over data and the platforms that run it that brands are after.

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Co-Founder @hoo.be / @ImMakingADifference Head of Marketing & Operations