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61% of UK marketers say programmatic ads provide greater ROI than traditional media

Yet 41% say they are still unsure how to tackle attribution tracking, according to AdRoll’s State of the Industry UK 2016 report

Adroll, the digital marketing specialists, today released their State of the Industry UK 2016 Report, revealing that 61% of marketers say programmatic ads provide a greater return on investment than traditional media.

The report, which includes the views of more than 200 UK marketers, finds that programmatic continues to dominate UK media consumption. 45% of marketers surveyed say they will raise their programmatic ad budgets this year. In addition, respondents are now buying programmatically on mobile (40%), video (29%) and TV (27%), figures which strongly indicate programmatic’s inherent ability to drive performance.

Yet marketers still face hurdles when it comes to solving the attribution conundrum. 41% of marketers are not sure how to effectively implement or analyse attribution tracking. The attribution gap is at the front of marketers’ minds, with 75% saying solving attribution is important or critical to success. 47% feel that the future of attribution lies with better multi-touch tracking.

Marius Smyth, managing director EMEA, AdRoll, comments: “Our report shows how marketers have enthusiastically embraced the programmatic era and expanded the way they think about retargeting. With more ambitious investment in mobile, marketers are showing that their relationship with ad tech is becoming stronger and more competent, but this does not come without its challenges. As we all know, one of the most difficult — and crucial — tasks for a B2B or B2C marketers is trying to solve the attribution riddle.

“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.

“Marketers need to fully embrace attribution models that track multiple customer touch points to help observe campaign metrics. This is not just to give credit where credit is due, but for marketers to understand the impact of their initiatives so they can continually enhance their strategies.  This is, after all, what we as the ad tech industry exist to do.”

AdRoll’s report also shows how UK marketers are thinking mobile first, with 54% already retargeting through this medium, while 58% of respondents plan to increase their investment this year. This speaks to the importance of reaching people where they’re spending more and more time: on mobile devices.  However, of those surveyed 25% of UK marketers still don’t have a mobile app, 14% say they still don’t have a mobile-optimised site and 37% say consumers still don’t convert on mobile.

This highlights the gap the industry still needs to fill before mobile reaches its full marketing potential.

UK marketers are showing further confidence in their ad tech solutions with 43% spending 10-25% of their entire online ad budget on retargeting, while 36% intend to increase investment in this over the next 12 months. Retargeting also continues to impress marketers with the majority (86%), agreeing that it performs as well as or better when compared to other display ads while 86% agree when compared to email and 87% compared to search.

According to AdRoll’s research, retargeting has moved even further beyond a niche tactic for driving sales, to being a key pillar of overall strategy. Almost three in five UK marketers say that brand awareness is the top marketing objective for retargeting, followed by lead generation (52%) and customer retention (41%).

Social media retargeting comes in as the single hottest topic for its potential to drive performance for 42% of marketers. Over the next three years, 40% of marketers say they would most like to see retargeting on both Instagram and eBay while 36% cited WhatsApp, Yo and Viber.

AdRoll’s report, ‘State of the Industry UK 2016’ can be downloaded here