Programmatic is at the heart of ad tech and big data, and is also a key part of the debate around the future of creativity.

This was the topic that attracted most Warc readers interested in programmatic during 2015, according to a new analysis.

The most-read paper on the topic was a chapter of Warc's Toolkit 2015 devoted to the subject: Media in 2015: Programmatic meets creativity.

The paper acknowledged that tech evangelists tend to dominate the debate around programmatic, and added that some in the industry worried that an over-emphasis on data-driven efficiencies would hinder creativity and undermine long-term brand-building.

But creative quality should be part of the programmatic process, it argued, citing a Kellogg executive, who said: "Thirty percent is the media; seventy percent is the creative".

An updated Programmatic Primer was the second most-read on the subject of programmatic. This "marketer's guide to the online advertising ecosystem" features expert commentary from some of the industry's leading thinkers as well as using cases from companies like Kellogg and Telstra, who are successfully using programmatic media to drive performance.

A case study from snack foods giant Mondelez was in third place. How Mondelez uses programmatic to track the customer journey outlined a strategy that seeks to focus on the customer journey, not the process. And since it doesn't own purchase channels it has to create proxies for the end purchase and optimise campaigns accordingly.

That there is an appetite for education on programmatic was emphasised in the fourth and fifth most-read articles. How programmatic and 'always on' strategies can improve performance offered a simplified guide to programmatic buying, while Programmatic buying: A guide for the perplexed, rounding out the top five, addressed marketers' lack of understanding and highlighted key benefits and problems with this method of digital ad buying.

For more details about the most read papers on Warc in 2015 on other topics, visit our Most Read page.

Data sourced from Warc