Myth Busting: Programmatic Advertising Does Not Kill Creative


A look at how automation is driving the future of agencies.

According to a research carried out by the advertising automation platform Kiosked, changes in recruiting and automated buying practices have directly impacted the agency world. In December of 2015, Kiosked questioned 36 recruiters on behalf of organizations with 100 employees with results suggesting a significant rise in acquiring in-house expertise in programmatic advertising. These results showcase the dramatic shift that programmatic has inflicted on the advertising ecosystem.

The Rise of Programmatic Buying

In recent years, a variety of brand side buyers and publishers have turned to programmatic advertising in order to be more competitive in a highly permeated market. The programmatic approach is a cost-effective way to automate cross-platform buying and selling of digital assets.

With a global network of millions of online publishers, the programmatic approach allows brands to make impressions across multiple sites for a higher audience reach. While traditional media planners analyze 10-20 buying opportunities per week, automated buying allows advertisers to analyze millions of ad buying opportunities a second.

In-house Expertise

With the rise of programmatic in full swing, brands are bringing creative and media expertise in-house. This is a significant change as these roles have traditionally been outsourced. In-house programmatic and creative teams save brands time and money as they don’t have to coordinate buying goals with external agencies. Having programmatic expertise also increases the advertiser’s onsite capabilities.

Brands need to understand this new dynamic environment in order to perform competitively. Zenith Optimedia predicts that by 2019, nearly three quarters (70%) of all digital advertising will be programmatic. This means the traditional role of creative agencies will evolve. Having this talent in-house also gives brands the freedom to take responsibility of their data management and to not outsource it. Effective data management means better automated practices moving forward.

Dismissing “Expert Beliefs” About Programmatic

Kiosked predicts that the advertising ecosystem will be close to fully automated by 2020. As we witnessed with AOL late last year, layoffs have occurred due to the influence of programmatic. One false notion with the influence of programmatic is that creativity will lose its importance. While layoffs do and will occur, having creative talent available is still crucial for messaging and reaching the right audience.

According to the Kiosked research among brand site recruiters, having a firm grasp on the creative process is considered the most important skill. This means that creativity is still a highly valued asset when considering candidates. In addition to ingenuity, experience in creative media work is also valued. One hundred percent of large organizations have hired people with media agency experience in the last three months.

As we watch the influence of programmatic buying pervade the industry, the traditional role of agencies is sure to evolve. It will be interesting to watch the relationship between agencies and brands change as we look to 2016.


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