Razorfish Doubles Down on Exchanges, Cuts Direct Buys

  |  November 9, 2011   |  Comments

As Vivaki agency breaks down its ad spend, the rule is publisher consolidation and more automation.

Razorfish continues to ratchet up its investment in automated media buying. The Publicis-owned agency, which is part of the holding company's Vivaki digital media hub, invested 66 percent more in ad exchange-based buys than it did in 2009. This year the figure will rise another 60 percent - a slightly slower but still aggressive pace of growth.

rzfsh-exchange-growth

The figures were included in Razorfish's Outlook Report, an annual compendium of ad spending trends, which was released this morning.

"Our continued expansion into the auction-based media marketplace has resulted in tremendous benefits for our clients in terms of more effective pricing, better targeting and stronger ROI overall," stated the report.

Even as it has ramped up exchange buying, Razorfish has sharply curtailed the number of publishers it works with directly. Last year it bought from 598 sites. While that may seem a lot, it's less than one third of the 1,832 it bought from in 2007.

publishers-rzfsh

The reduction in media partners may also be chalked up to the rise of Facebook. The social network is now one of the agency's top five partners, and Razorfish noted in its report that its spend is more heavily weighted toward large properties. Fifty-five percent of its total budget goes to its top five properties, and 25 percent goes to the next 32 largest. The remaining 20 percent is divided between 584 smaller partners.

That said, social media advertising still represents a relatively small slice of the agency's total spend - just 4 percent - compared with 36 percent for search, 43 percent for display, and 13 percent for networks and exchanges. But it's bound to be higher next year, state the report's authors. "Our projections for 2011 point to continued growth and show no evidence that the rise of paid media on Facebook will slow down," they said.

rzfsh-pie-chart-2011split

Mobile media spending is also still nascent. At 4 percent of Razorfish's aggregated spend, it attracted slightly less than twice the spend it commanded last year.

Overall, Razorfish estimates its overall media billings for 2011 will come in 25 percent higher than last year.

All charts are courtesy of Razorfish. The company's Digital Outlook report can be downloaded here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

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