BOCA RATON: Marketers must be "open to learning" about programmatic advertising given the scale of the opportunity – and change – it could bring to the sector, a leading executive has argued.

Jim Nail, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, told delegates at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2014 Media Leadership Conference that 23% of marketers understood and used programmatic.

Drawing on data from a joint Forrester/ANA survey involving over 150 industry insiders, Nail added that 10% are conversant with this area, but are yet to run related campaigns.

A further 29% were familiar with the term but possessed limited knowledge, and 12% had not heard of programmatic at all. (For more, including data about the main benefits of this approach, read Warc's exclusive report: Preparing for the programmatic future: Insights from the ANA and Forrester.)

The remaining 26% understood the concept but wished to learn more about it before applying the system to campaigns – and this group received particular praise from Nail.

"I want to compliment the honesty of people who said, 'I kind of understand it, but I really need to learn more.' That's the right attitude to have," he said.

Building on this theme, he cited an article on the Wall Street Journal's website looking at some of the research's topline findings, and which carried the headline "Most Marketers Don't Understand Automated Ad Buying."

Although this piece highlighted the fact that 67% of marketers were struggling to get to grips with this subject, Nail advised the Media Leadership Conference attendees to "ignore" any such negative coverage.

"This stuff is very new, and it's going to take a while to change the way we think about media to incorporate this approach," he said.

"So being open to learning, and knowing you need to learn, and going and pursuing that learning: I applaud you for that."

Data sourced from Warc