The top minds in programmatic advertising are gathered in New Orleans this week at the Digiday Programmatic Summit to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing them as ad tech evolves. Brands, publishers and agencies are all on hand to dig deep into the focus on quality data and ads, and programmatic’s role beyond display advertising.

We took the opportunity to ask four of them one question: What is the biggest myth about programmatic advertising today? From data to viewability to the human touch, they each offered a different perspective

Jeff Rasp, director of digital strategy, Bayer
You can’t have access to your data. It’s really one of the biggest challenges and one of the biggest myths. In fact, as you start to look at the right partners, data is at your fingertips. And with data you become empowered to be a really smart marketer.

Nichola Perrigo, associate director of digital marketing, RPA
Its biggest myth is that it’s shitty remnant inventory. It can be quality depending on the eye of the beholder.

Evan Adlman, head of programmatic, Condé Nast
The biggest myth about programmatic advertising is that there’s no human intervention needed to get it done. That’s the biggest myth. It’s completely false. Ford used to think that they provided the best product because they were painted by hand. They couldn’t scale that. So they built robots that now paint the cars by hand. But there are still people that need to be hired to operate the robots to paint the cars.

Sarah Greenberg, manager of programmatic marketing, Netflix
Open marketplace only allows advertisers access to remnant inventory on low quality sites. We’ve seen great performance in brand safe environments with high viewability via optimization and whitelisting.

Tony Pribyl, programmatic strategist, eBay
That viewability is measured the same way across various research vendors, publishers, ad agencies. The change in methodology between those three factions is making the important fourth faction — which is clients that haven’t brought their money over to programmatic — very skeptical because it’s not a big mystery what a GRP is. It’s a huge mystery what a viewable ad is. That’s a crime, you can call it a myth, that we spend a lot of time congratulating ourselves for cleaning up non-human traffic and click fraud when the real problem is that we don’t have bigger mid-funnel marketing budgets coming over. I think that’s because we can’t even define our metrics well.

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