Majority of marketers are increasingly embracing programmatic advertising, says a new study.

A new report from Ascend2 says, 66% of marketers expect to see a significant increase in their programmatic advertising budgets in the coming months. As per the State of Programmatic Advertising report, 73% of marketers cited audience targeting as the most effective tactic. The report which is based on a survey of 264 marketing professionals highlights a couple of challenges and opportunities in programmatic advertising, especially during a time when marketers are slashing their budgets.

Some of the biggest challenges faced by marketers were keyword targeting (41%), retargeting (27%), contextual targeting (26%), and geo-targeting (22%). Sixty percent of marketers said return on investment (ROI) is the most important metric they measure, while Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) was more vital for 38% of respondents. Nearly 35%considered click-through- conversion (CTC) as the most important measure. Programmatic advertising has helped marketers to improve the efficiency of online ad buying which is changing during the pandemic.

Audience targeting was the top challenge of nearly half of the marketers surveyed while
executing a programmatic advertising strategy, while 37% cited budget allocation.
Personalization, achieving ROI data quality, ad creative, and AI and machine learning were
some of the other challenges. Additionally, a lack of transparency is a problem for the sector, with the programmatic advertising supply chain between marketers and online publishers. This is largely because about half the money spent by brands going to digital middlemen.

Nearly 85% of marketers have taken their programmatic programs in-house thereby, reflecting a broader trend across brand marketers toward in-housing important capabilities. At present, consumers are spending less owing to the economic condition of the markets. Majority of marketers expect programmatic ads can help them drive sales in the time of crisis. Sales were named as the primary objective for programmatic ads along with lead generation, brand awareness, customer retention, and social engagement.

Increasingly, marketing executives are using programmatic advertising as part of their digital marketing strategy and nearly all are witnessing success to some extent from their efforts.
Voice-activated ads, stronger personalization, 5G, wearables; omnichannel programmatic will be some of the top trends marketers will see in 2020 and beyond.