Programmatic advertising: it is easy to forget just how new it really is. The earliest seeds of this industry were planted less than a decade ago and, in recent years, mainstream businesses and media have been the primary adopters. As in all industries driven by disruptive technology, programmatic advertising has changed quickly, bringing with it many challenges, such as how to keep up with the speed of cross-device and cross-platform growth, and how to effectively integrate attribution into your business.
We surveyed more than 200 UK marketers across multiple industries for AdRoll’s State of the Industry UK report, to discover how businesses are adapting to the new marketing opportunities that programmatic advertising is continuously delivering, and how to overcome any obstacles they may face.
Mobile shows room for growth
Our report finds that UK marketers are thinking mobile first, despite persistent challenges around content and engagement. Fifty-four per cent of marketers are already retargeting on mobile. Furthermore, 58% plan to increase their mobile-advertising budget, which speaks to the importance of reaching people where they are spending more and more time: on mobile devices.
But our report also uncovered some of the particular hurdles marketers are still facing. For example, 25% of those surveyed do not have a mobile app and 14% do not have a mobile optimised site. Some UK marketers feel that consumers still do not convert on mobile, with 37% saying that it is mobile advertising’s biggest stumbling block, highlighting the distance the industry needs to go to before mobile reaches its full marketing potential. Hopefully, further investment in mobile budgets, as hinted at by our results, will deliver marketers the answers they are looking for.
Attribution still a dilemma
Although mobile retargeting remains a top priority for UK marketers, attribution is hot on its heels as an issue that needs to be resolved. As we all know, one of the most difficult – and crucial – tasks for a B2B or B2C marketer is trying to solve the attribution riddle. Just how
much influence did a piece of marketing activity have on that successful conversion?
The report finds that this continues to be at the front of marketers’ minds, with 75% of those surveyed asserting that solving attribution is critical or very important to success in marketing. Although many marketers have now adopted an attribution model that tracks multiple customer touchpoints, there are 17% who turn to a single-click method.
Disconcertingly, the report found that 39% of marketers are now attributing only 10% to 24% of conversions to view-throughs, while the number of marketers attributing over 50% of their conversions to view-throughs is a mere 9%. This further highlights that UK marketers do not fully understand the process of attribution in marketing campaigns, perhaps because the ‘right’ way to approach it is becoming increasingly complex.
Marketers are finding ever more sophisticated approaches to programmatic advertising but the unintended consequence of these clever solutions is fragmentation across devices and platforms, making it trickier to measure campaign success. Added to the challenge of device and channel fragmentation is the proliferation of the marketing stack and the multiple schools of thought around the right strategy for marketing attribution.
The good news is this typically taboo topic is finally coming into the open and becoming more important than ever, with our report finding 96% of marketers acknowledged the importance of solving the attribution conundrum.
Attribution has often been described as trying to find a single source of truth for the relative impact of every channel on the customer path to conversion. With that truth comes power in the form of better insights on where and when to invest marketing budgets and better project return on investment.
The proliferation of the marketing stack, advertising channels and user devices has made that search ever more challenging, as have the various schools of thought around the strategy of attribution.
It is against this backdrop that AdRoll has partnered with Econsultancy to produce a report on The State of Marketing Attribution in the UK, France and Germany.
We look in detail at the strategies that agencies and brands across these markets are employing. We find out how well they are leveraging their data to attract, convert and grow their customer base. And we look at the challenges they face in integrating attribution into their marketing. From all of this, the report delivers key and actionable insights that can be applied by businesses in all industries which want to crack attribution modelling.
Where to from here?
AdRoll’s State of the Industry report found that marketers have enthusiastically embraced the programmatic era: an incredible 95% of marketers surveyed plan for programmatic ad budgets to increase or stay the same this year. As further proof of this shift, a solid 61% of marketers say they believe that programmatic ads provide a greater return on investment than traditional media.
With a strong grasp on social – and more ambitious investment in mobile – marketers are showing that their relationship with ad tech is becoming stronger and more competent. With the majority of marketers indicating that they intend to keep raising their investment in programmatic, retargeting and mobile, it promises to bring even more efficiency to the marketer’s working world, benefiting media agencies, their partners and the businesses they deal with every day.