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Digital advertisers critical of publishers

Digital advertisers critical of publishers

Most online advertisers and ad agencies in the UK are critical of their online publishers' ability to execute fully.

That’s according to a new independent study by research group GMI on behalf of Operative.

More than half (53 per cent) say they are unconvinced publishers have the appropriate business processes, practices and infrastructure in place to deliver effectively on contracts.

When asked to judge publishers on customer service, ROI/accountability, campaign delivery, accuracy of responses to RFPs and ad trafficking, 70 per cent of advertisers and agencies thought publishers were either average or under par.

Overall, many publishers agreed with their clients' views (67 per cent). All parties agreed that customer service was the most important measurement criteria but only half of the publishers questioned felt it was something they were good at.

Only 18 per cent said they believed they gave better than average to good ROI.

When asked about their three greatest operational challenges over the coming two to three years, 2 in 3 publishers cited the full integration of their current systems and tools, closely followed by improving customer service and streamlining operational processes.

All three of these areas of pain came ahead of staff training and development, and attracting more skilled sales and operational staff. The majority (68 per cent) agreed that operational personnel are currently spending too much time on low value tasks that could be automated.

Nearly all (90 per cent) publishers agreed that operational efficiency is becoming more important to helping them meet client expectations and 75 per cent said they had plans within the next two years to invest in operational enterprise software.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the last 12 months have seen many advertisers dealing with more publishers than before, combined with significant hikes in online ad spend (by up to 25 per cent in most cases during 2006) which they forecast will continue during 2007 at similar rates of increase.

Senior Vice President, Operative, Tullio Siragusa, says, “ "As advertisers increase the spend and number of sites they wish to deal with, it is natural for them to put a publisher's business under scrutiny when it comes to execution and delivery.

"Without doubt, many publishers have key business challenges to address and overcome within the next 6-12 months.  It is pleasing that the majority of publishers are eager to stay ahead of their competition through the implementation of operational improvements and changes.”

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