The digital ad landscape continues to rapidly evolve. Traditional ads and creative previously took centre stage. However, advertisers are now aware of the benefits programmatic advertising offers.

Plenty of data and technology is already available to buy in real-time, and can deliver much more relevant advertising to consumers than is available via conventional means. However, the key to doing this effectively is to employ the right programmatic tools and strategy. We are now at a point where data can be used proactively (in real-time) rather than retroactively within the planning process. We can measure entire consumer journeys rather than just the last touch point. It is an exciting time for any advertiser as they really start to shed light on the messages, campaigns and tactics which work for them, regardless of device or channel.

In partnership with WBR we asked 100 marketers about their feelings on programmatic advertising, including the investment they plan to allocate to it over the next few years, how confident they are in implementing it, and what barriers they face in their organisation.

We asked a variety of questions in order to get a real insight into executive’s view on programmatic. The survey began with questions relating to online vs offline ad spend, along with the reasoning behind using or not using programmatic. We explored whether programmatic is penetrating the marketing industry and if executives are open to exploring the idea if they are not currently doing so.

The results revealed that exactly half of the brands surveyed now have a larger online budget than offline, thus pushing programmatic as an attractive advertising solution. The single factor stopping 24% of brand executives investing in programmatic is still lack of ROI. However, the biggest responded challenge faced by marketers was ‘too much complexity’ with ‘too many layers in the ecosystem. This is a huge challenge, but as programmatic evolve so does tech, which allows us to explore what automated buying can truly offer.

Despite some problems and challenges towards programmatic, it remains that 65% of marketers feel they are ‘getting there’ in terms of executing programmatic campaigns. Overall, it appears a lot of progress has been made around raising the level of understanding around programmatic; however, there’s still more to do – education is key to driving new technology and tools available.

Over time, as consumers look for a better online ad experience, the benefits programmatic advertising provides will prove to be a crucial part of every advertiser’s digital ad strategy. To learn more, download the full report for free here.