Adify Finds Ad Network Adoption Up by a Quarter

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survey_smallADOTAS – The future of ad networks remains murky, but those who believe they’re about to die in numbers should hold off on digging the mass grave and read Adify’s new survey showing that ad network adoption is up 24% in the last 18 months.

With 216 media planners, interactive marketing directors and agency executives responding to its queries, Adify reports that 69% of media planners and agencies are using ad networks as part of their digital buys, compared to 48% recorded in 2008. In addition, vertical ad networks are increasing in notoriety, with 72% of respondents now familiar with the niche services compared to 56% in 2008.

More than two-thirds of respondents cited cost effectiveness as a chief reason for using ad networks. The three most important qualities in ad networks are targeting, transparency and quality, while networks’ creative abilities were the least important attribute.

Adify President Russ Fradin found this most concerning. “As the industry looks for better ways to engage, not just reach, their audience, brands need to focus on compelling creative that builds an ongoing conversation with consumers and placing it where consumers spend time,” he said.

In 2009, 37.9% of those surveyed spent between $1 million to $5 million per quarter on online advertising, while 15.2% of respondents doled out $5 million to $20 million per quarter and 5.9% dropped more than $20 million per quarter. Seventy-three percent of respondent’s digital media budgets were larger than $500,000, compared to 56% in 2008

Branding beat out direct response as the top priority for online campaigns, with 83% of respondents allocating 50% or more of their budget to the cause.

Do you agree with Fradin that media planners and such should be more concerned with the creative capabilities of ad networks? Comment below.

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