Job Board Journalist: The State of Programmatic Ad Buying

Peter Weddle

A record crowd some 145 people strong gathered for the third annual TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying in talent acquisition. Held in the beautiful McNamara Alumni Center of the University of Minnesota, the event covered both artificial intelligence in recruiting and Google for Jobs as well as all facets of programmatic ad buying.

The Founding Sponsor of the series – Appcast – did a survey of the participants, which provided some interesting insights on the state of programmatic ad buying in our industry. A webinar on those findings will be presented in a month or so, but in the interim, here’s a summary of what the crowd told us.

Who Was There?
Almost half of the attendees (47.7%) were buyers / advertisers, ranging from Uber and pharma giant Covance to Midwest Dental and Quicken Loans. Just over 40% were either sellers / publishers (job boards, job search engines, aggregators, social media sites, digital media companies) or Intermediaries / platforms (agencies, analytics companies, ad buying technology companies & networks). The remainder described themselves as “observers” or researchers.

What Are They Doing?
Almost six-in-ten (58.7%) said “Our business is substantially better off because of programmatic ad buying.” Slightly more than three-in-ten (30.2%) said “The jury is still out. We’ve tried it, but it’s too early to know how it will affect our business.” None, on the other hand, indicated that their business had been hurt by the technology, while 7.9% reported that they hadn’t yet tried it.

How Are They Doing?
An astonishing 46% of the publishers expect greater than 50% sales growth in their programmatic offerings over the next 12 months.

Buyers’ Expectations
Just under a third (32%) said they expected at least 50% of their budget to be directed toward cost-per-applicant spending within 12 months.

Buyers’ Challenges
When asked what are the biggest inhibitors to the use of programmatic by their organization, buyers said:
• Not enough publishers support programmatic
• Can’t understand or control the “incestuous” networks offering programmatic
• Getting transparent, accurate ROI evaluation / reporting

Sellers’ Expectations
A fifth of the attendees (exactly 20%) said that programmatic technology, tools, products and services would be their #1 investment in 2017/2018.

Sellers’ Challenges
When asked what are the biggest inhibitors to programmatic growth in their organization, publishers said:
• “we need to know eCPA and we need benchmarks”
• “difficulty mixing traditional and programmatic products”

What Buyers Want
• Targeting – it’s time to go beyond blind search results
• Pricing advances – bid recommendations so they know where to begin
• Faster changes – more timely feed refreshes and bid updates

What Sellers Want
• Conversion data – the only way publishers can optimize performance is if buyers tell them what’s happening
• Real talk – “real CPAs” and data-driven decision-making to minimize the influence of emotion, habit and (conscious or unconscious) bias

All-in-all, it was an eye-opening summary of the state of programmatic ad buying in our industry. And, of course, it’s offered here as …

Food for thought,
Peter

The Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle is brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2017 events include:
• April 22-23, 2017 Chicago: The TAtech Spring Congress & Deal Center, with The Business Accelerator has now occurred. See you at next year’s Spring Congress in Las Vegas!
• May 17-19, 2017 Barcelona: RecTech, The TAtech Industry Congress in the EU in partnership with the AIM Group. See you at next year’s RecTech in … Dublin!
• May 31-June 1, 2017 Minneapolis: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying, featuring two tracks: Programmatic Ad Buying Applications & Programmatic Ad Buying Technology. See you at next year’s Programmatic Summit!
• September 27-29, 2017 Denver: The TAtech Fall Congress & Deal Center, with The World Job Board Forum and the 2017 ReSI Awards Gala.

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