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Pathmatics Blog

What's In Your Ad Path? How the Financial Services Category Is Buying

February 16 2016 by Jordan Kramer


We just released our 2015 Digital Buying Report which gives detailed purchase channel insights behind the top ten advertising categories of last year. Let’s start by diving into financial services, a leading category for much of the year, especially on mobile, where it led January through November until Auto emerged in December...a little ad-tech poetry for our avid followers.  

We compiled ad buying data from the category across desktop, mobile and video to illustrate buying trends overall and by device. Only our technology details each partner and intermediary used during the entire creative serving process - aka the ad path.  Read on to see which partners and purchase channels comprised the ad paths for 2015’s top financial services advertisers.



In 2015, 54% of all U.S. desktop impressions from the financial services category were purchased directly, down only 1% from YOY.  Ad network usage dropped 2% YOY, giving share to marginal DSP growth led by DoubleClick Bid Manager. Yahoo.com, msn.com and aol.com were the top 3 desktop sites targeted by the financial services category, primarily through direct buys.

Capital One Financial Corporation was the top desktop advertiser for the category by impression volume, buying almost entirely direct (96%), followed by American Express and Discover Financial Services, both implementing their own direct strategies. Advertising.com and Google AdX + AdSense were the preferred ad network partners by financial advertisers   




On mobile, direct was the preferred purchase channel with 47% of the impression share - almost half of all impressions. On the ad network side, Advertising.com was the top partner with a 16% share of impressions, followed by Google AdX + AdSense (11%) and Yahoo! Advertising (5%). Direct buys slipped 6%, giving share to a 4% increase in programmatic.  Rocket Fuel was the top DSP, with DoubleClick Bid Manager and Turn following.  Yahoo.com was also the top mobile+tablet site targeted by financial advertisers.

Geico, Capital One Financial Corporation and Progressive Insurance were the top mobile+tablet advertisers within the featured category, however, while both Geico and Capital One preferred direct strategies, Progressive Insurance purchased 70% of impressions via ad networks, primarily Advertising.com.




Video continues to be sold primarily through direct buys, accounting for 66% of impressions.  Ad network impression share followed at 20%, with programmatic video buys accounting for 11% of impressions. Overall, Tube Mogul was the #2 purchase channel for the category on video, based upon impression share, overshadowing DoubleClick Bid Manager and The Trade Desk. Ad network impression share was split between Adap.tv, Conversant, Yahoo! Content Network, Google AdX+AdSense, Advertising.com, and BrightRoll.

Geico was also the number one video advertiser by impression volume for the category, accounting for 84% of video impressions purchased directly, targeting youtube.com as their top site - also the top video site for the category. State Farm went with a different strategy, buying 54% of impressions through the ad network Conversant. All State favored programmatic as their top purchase channel, buying 86% of impressions via DSPs.

Download the full 2015 report in its entirety here.

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About Author
Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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