SOTI-200x200The marketing industry has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. Media buying has evolved from upfront buys and guess-and-check optimization to real-time programmatic campaigns that leverage machine learning to improve ROI. Retargeting was at the center of this shift and became a breakout tactic by solving a clear problem for marketers: how to stay engaged with potential customers who demonstrated purchase intent.

We wanted to understand what was driving massive growth in retargeting budgets and how adoption patterns are poised to evolve over time.  So we partnered with third-party research company, Qualtrics, to survey a diverse group of 1,000 US marketers across a variety of industries and examined AdRoll ad campaign data from over 11,000 US advertisers serving more than 3.7 billion ad impressions a month. The size of this sample makes this report the most in depth look at retargeting adoption to date.

Based on our survey results, 71% of respondents now say that 10-50% of their digital marketing budget goes towards retargeting, up from 53% in 2013. Why this increased investment? We dug deeper to uncover some powerful trends in programmatic marketing.

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Some of the highlights from State of the Industry: A Close Look at Retargeting and the Programmatic Marketer include:

  • 92% of marketers report retargeting performs equal to or better than search, 91% equal to or better than email, and 92% equal to or better than other display.
  • For both B2B and B2C, 1 in 2 marketers say social media is the single hottest topic in retargeting—mobile and cross-device retargeting comes in at #2.
  • 54% of marketers are retargeting on mobile, rapid adoption indicating strong confidence in retargeting’s cross-device performance.
  • Retargeting has expanded up the funnel. 70% of marketers use retargeting for brand awareness, 60% for social engagement, and 58% for customer retention.
  • 91% of marketers consider attribution important or critical to success, but 1 in 3 aren’t clear on how to track it.

It turns out, retargeting is no longer a single tactic solution. Marketers are recognizing the value of their customer data and the power it can have in influencing their programmatic advertising campaigns. They are now looking at how to use this data to drive performance across an array of use cases and throughout the conversion funnel.

As programmatic technology continues to advance and new platforms emerge, we fully expect to see more innovation and the continued expansion of sophisticated, multi-channel, full-funnel retargeting campaigns in 2015 and beyond.

Ready to learn more? Download the full report.