Research firm Gartner has released its latest ‘magic quadrant’ report, this time looking at the various ad tech players in the industry.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is a research methodology that classifies technology providers into four categories: Leaders, Visionaries, Niche Players and Challengers.
To rank each technology provider, Gartner assesses it on the ‘completeness of vision’ and ‘ability to execute’.
With 74 per cent of marketers revealing they plan on increasing their investment into advertising technology over the next 12 months, Gartner has ranked 14 big-name ad tech providers in the 2020 quadrant.
To qualify for inclusion, vendors needed to have managed over 10 billion ad impressions in fiscal year 2019 and have a publicly reported revenue exceeding $US2 billion per year.
According to Gartner, a vendor’s sophistication when it comes to a variety of media channels was a major differentiator in the rankings.
“While all vendors in this evaluation have video advertising capabilities and acknowledge the growth of OTT/CTV as a digital channel, the extent to which they support the complex activities of converged media planning and buying varies,” Gartner said in the report.
“More advanced vendors offer self-service planning and buying tools that include media mix modeling and programmatic TV buying, but they can’t remove complexities that require more skills and expertise than basic programmatic display or video.”
With this in mind, it is no shock to see Google and The Trade Desk both found in the upper right-hand side of the quadrant.
Joining these vendors as ‘leaders’ were Amobee, Adobe, MediaMath and AdForm.
Mediaocean and Beeswax were both classed as ‘visionaries’, while Verizon Media and Zeta Global were considered niche players.
Amazon, Criteo, Xandr and Centro were seen as the ‘challengers’.
Beeswax, Centro, Mediaocean and Zeta Global were added to this year’s Magic Quadrant after not being included last year.
No vendors were removed from the quadrant.
With Google set to deprecate third-party cookies in the coming years, privacy controls are now as important as ever for ad tech vendors.
The companies that were considered ‘visionaries’ were those that had privacy controls fully in place, while reliance on cookies is now considered a vulnerability.
“The ad tech market faces unprecedented disruption on several fronts,” said Gartner.
“Privacy laws and deprecation of tracking technologies such as cookies and mobile ad IDs (MAIDs) have dealt a mortal blow to its legacy core foundation of audience targeting: the ability to buy impressions based on each viewer’s behaviour or identity.”
A recent report from the UK’s advertising body found that publishers only receive 51 per cent of programmatic advertising, with 15 per cent of all digital ad spend unaccounted for.
Gartner has called on ad tech vendors to help address these concerns around transparency.
“Marketers will need to double down on verification and performance metrics to ensure their ad investments are reaching real people,” Gartner said.
“Ad tech, as well, has a long way to go to address the many problems that continue to plague its beleaguered innovations.”
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