The Issues and Impacts of Programmatic Advertising in the Financial Sector: An Abstract

  • Weilan Tang
  • Renato Hubner BarcelosEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS)


In the growing digital advertising market, programmatic advertising plays an indispensable role. Thanks to its audience-targeting capabilities, through the collection of big data, programmatic advertising has changed the way of buying advertisement and the relationship between advertisers and publishers. By leveraging algorithmic data analytics, programmatic advertising allows advertisers to target a consumer in the right context and at the right time. However, despite its benefits, there is still limited scientific research about the impacts of programmatic advertising on marketing management. Hence, this study investigated the issues and impacts of the use of programmatic advertising, with a specific focus in the financial sector—one of the main buyers of digital advertising in Canada.

We adopted a qualitative approach due to the recency of the topic and the lack of studies about the issues and impacts of programmatic advertising on marketing management. We opted for a triangulation approach, comprising a journal-based observation inside the marketing department of a large financial company in Canada during a period of 4 months; and a series of five in-depth interviews with experts and managers directly involved with programmatic advertising in the financial sector.

The results of our analysis show that the two main issues of programmatic advertising for marketing management are expertise and transparency. Expertise was a primary issue for the respondents in the creation of an in-house team, while transparency is related to operating cost and placement of advertisements and reflected in traders’ day-to-day tasks. Data were also considered an important issue in connection with measurement indicators. Also, some respondents mentioned the risk of fraud as a significant issue, since it can impact on several elements in the ecosystem (data, inventories, and audience). The main positive impacts of programmatic advertising throughout our observations are flexibility, efficiency, and personalization. The media buying process is simplified due to less human integration, and the results of the marketing investment are measurable. On the other hand, the two most cited disadvantages of programmatic advertising are the lack of transparency about the cost and the loss of control over ad placement. To counteract these problems, the financial company in the study has decided to create an internal team to take charge of programmatic advertising. Not only that decision allowed the company to reduce operating costs and increase transparency (compared to outsourcing programmatic advertising to a digital marketing agency), but it also allowed the team to get more value and better work quality. Finally, the use of a DMP (data management platform) allowed the company to manage its audience in a more refined way, predict audience scenarios in advance, and acquire greater data independence on ad campaigns management and easier data exchange with its partners across sectors.


Programmatic advertising Digital advertising Digital marketing Financial sector 

Copyright information

© The Academy of Marketing Science 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ESG UQAMMontrealCanada

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