Publishing recruitment: programmatic to drive digital jobs boom in 2015

Online publishing businesses in the UK expect to be at the heart of a 2015 recruitment boom driven by the adoption of programmatic advertising systems, according to research released this month.

Data from the annual Association of Online Publishers’ Organisation Census said 71% of online publishers in the UK expect to recruit additional staff in the coming year – the highest percentage seen since the survey began in 2003.

Recruitment and skills development is now a key investment area for online publishers, according to the AOP, as the industry begins, at speed, to adopt the use of programmatic trading.

The results of the AOP Census mark something of a turnaround from last summer when a separate survey found nearly a third of all publishers in the UK – online and offline – hadn’t even heard of programmatic advertising.

That 2014 study was something of a curio, however, as it also said that once publishers were introduced to programmatic technology they quickly become convinced of its usefulness. Of those publishing professionals who took the 2014 survey – and had heard of programmatic technology – 90% believed it was the future of advertising.

Later in 2014, the Wall Street Journal tried to work out why programmatic was so popular amongst those who had heard about it.

Publishers, the Journal suggested, were increasingly using programmatic systems to buy digital ads themselves, rather than paying third parties to do so for them.

A survey from Forrester Research and the Association of National Advertisers suggests a further reason: it said 46% of marketers were concerned about the transparency of agencies tasked to buy online ads. Put simply, when an agency doesn’t reveal how much money its live buying desk spending on ads, and how much it’s taking as a fee, advertisers are choosing to cut them out altogether and deal directly with ad-tech firms to organise their own ad-buying.

This month’s AOP study also said that 70% of online publishers in the UK that cited programmatic as a revenue priority in the next 12 months. Only direct sales – with 77% – was considered a greater priority.

Yet, despite the booming popularity of programmatic trading amongst online publishers, the survey said members of the AOP found programmatic the most difficult area in which to recruit.

Might the time be right for them to talk to a publishing recruitment expert?