For The Programmatic Pulse, programmatic business Chango surveyed 232 brand marketers and interviewed key stakeholders in Fortune 500 companies. It found that three quarters (75%) of marketers were already using this buying method, but around one third (31%) had been doing so for less than 12 months.
Accordingly, marketers were described as "bullish" on programmatic's potential: when asked what word described their feelings about its future, the top responses were "optimistic", "exciting" and "promising".
There was none of the anxiety that can sometimes accompany the introduction of new technologies, Chango observed. That was also clear in the finding that many were shifting budgets to support it.
Three quarters anticipated that their programmatic budgets would increase in 2015, with most respondents believing that the greater part of digital buying will be done programmatically in the future.
Looking further ahead, 75% thought that programmatic would expand beyond display with 67% expecting it to embrace television.
The study showed that what marketers valued most about programmatic was the ability to target consumers across devices – this was cited by 80% of respondents. And close behind was the improved performance (78%) it offered.
Having a more complete data set and cost efficiencies (both 72%) were also important factors.
One third (33%) of respondents preferred to bring all their programmatic work in house, while slightly more (39%) opted to leave that side of things entirely to agencies. The remainder (28%) operated a mix of the two.
Amid all this enthusiasm there were, however, some inhibiting factors that were holding back the wider adoption of programmatic. Chief among these were the challenges of measuring the ROI of programmatic campaigns (67%) and the difficulty of integrating data (57%).
Earlier this year Warc published The Programmatic Primer, a guide to the online advertising ecosystem written by digital marketing expert Ted McConnell, which also includes examples of best practice and commentary from the industry's leading thinkers.
Data sourced from Chango; additional content by Warc staff