AdRoll State of the Industry Report Finds 66 Percent of Marketers Plan to Increase Programmatic Ad Spend in 2016

Projections more than double from last year and programmatic ads bring 87 percent higher ROI than traditional media buying, according to survey of 1,050 US marketers

Jan 21, 2016, 08:00 ET from AdRoll

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AdRoll, the performance advertising platform, today published its 2016 State of the Industry Report, a survey of 1,050 US marketers that reviews the marketer's perspective on the changing dynamics of the advertising and marketing landscape. The annual report is the most in-depth of its kind and gives unprecedented insight into how marketers see the future of digital advertising evolving.

To conduct the survey, AdRoll partnered with third-party research company Qualtrics to garner an unbiased view of how marketers are using retargeting, programmatic and performance marketing across their businesses.

The survey found that 66 percent of marketers plan to increase their programmatic ad spend in 2016, more than double the number that had such plans in 2015. While a fairly new practice in terms of years, the research indicates marketers have fully embraced the programmatic era citing its time-saving optimization and increased ROI as main factors. In fact, 87 percent of marketers are seeing greater return through programmatic ads compared to traditional media buying.

"Marketing is becoming an increasingly technology driven discipline, and practitioners are being held to higher standards of measurement and accountability than ever before," said Adam Berke, president and CMO of AdRoll. "It therefore makes sense that marketers and business managers want their advertising efforts to be driven by the same innovations in data science, AI, and automation that have driven advancements in other parts of the modern enterprise. The results from this survey make it clear that 2016 is staged to be a massive year for digital advertising, and programmatic technologies will be the driving force."  

The full report details how programmatic is impacting the advertising world well beyond its roots in display, by capturing conversions on mobile, social and television as well. In addition, marketers report that attribution is critical to their success, but that improvements are still needed. Key findings include:

  • Programmatic is Ready to be Crowned King
    • 66 percent of marketers plan to increase their programmatic ad spend over last year.
    • 87 percent of marketers are seeing greater return through programmatic ads compared to traditional media buying.
    • 32 percent of marketers spent more than 50 percent of their budgets on programmatic in 2015, quadruple the 7 percent who focused on programmatic in 2013 and more than double the 14 percent in 2014.
  • Mobile and Video Enter the Programmatic Era
    • Programmatic buying on social is now 50 percent more popular than programmatic display for B2C marketers, with 75 percent of all B2C marketers using the technique. 
    • On mobile, a third of marketers are now buying programmatically, and retargeting jumped from 54 percent to 82 percent this year, with 87 percent of marketers indicating they plan to increase their mobile retargeting investment in 2016.
    • Programmatic for TV saw its most significant reported increase with a quarter of marketers reporting they are now buying programmatically on TV.
    • 20 percent of marketers reported buying programmatically on online video.
  • Attribution is Growing in Importance, but Still a Challenge for Mobile
    • 84 percent of marketers agree attribution is either critical or very important to marketing success, a 140 percent increase since last reported.
    • 40 percent of marketers are now using a multiple touchpoint attribution model, nearly double that of last year.
    • 41 percent of marketers note attribution transparency is the biggest challenge for mobile advertising.

About AdRoll
AdRoll is a leading performance advertising platform with over 20,000 active advertisers worldwide. To reach beyond existing audiences, we've introduced AdRoll Prospecting to help businesses attract new customers. Our innovative and easy to use marketing platform enables businesses of all sizes to create personalized ad campaigns based on their own website data, driving maximum return on online advertising spend. AdRoll provides a high degree of transparency and reach across the largest display inventory sources, including Google AdX and Facebook Exchange.

The company is backed by leading investors such as Foundation Capital, IVP, Accel Partners, Merus Capital and Peter Thiel. For more information, please visit

Elissa Davis

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