Today AdRoll published its 2016 State of the Industry Report, a survey of 1,050 global marketers that offers their perspective on the changing advertising and marketing landscape. The in-depth annual report gives unprecedented insight into how marketers see the future of programmatic advertising, retargeting, email marketing and attribution.

The survey was conducted in partnership with third-party research company Qualtrics, and 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. This shows that marketers have fully embraced the programmatic era, citing its time-saving optimization and increased ROI as main factors.

“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.”

AdRoll's State of the Industry report has highlighted trends in marketing and advertising.

AdRoll’s 2016 survey asked over 1,000 marketers about their usage of, and thoughts on, digital marketing and programmatic advertising.

More Than 50 Percent of Marketers’ Budgets Are Spent Through Programmatic

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Adoption of programmatic advertising among marketers has exploded in recent years, growing from a bleeding-edge niche tool to digital advertising staple. AdRoll’s survey shows this trend continuing in 2015, with marketers predicting more growth in 2016. Additionally, we’ve seen the following trends:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Attribution is Growing in Importance, but Still a Challenge for Mobile

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The issue of attribution, or how much credit to give marketing and advertising campaigns when consumers may see multiple campaigns, has grown in prominence among marketers, according to AdRoll’s survey. Additionally, marketers are increasingly savvy in their tracking and analyzing of attribution. Our findings include:

  • 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.

The State of the Industry survey shows an astounding growth in programmatic advertising, and an increasingly sophisticated and tech-savvy marketing workforce. The upswing of adoption of marketing technology will transform the industry and give marketers a more concrete way to measure the reach of their campaigns.

Want to read more in-depth content on the state of the marketing and advertising industry. Check out our Facebook by the Numbers white paper, which contains original research and insights from thousands of advertisers on Facebook’s advertising platform.