NEW YORK: The growth of programmatic advertising has accelerated the adoption of automation tech, but marketers are still searching for the ideal mix with some using more than 30 different tools on a regular basis, according to a new whitepaper.

The findings of Marketing Data Technology: Cutting Through the Complexity are based on phone, online and in-person surveys of more than 50 advertisers, marketers, publishers, technology developers and marketing service providers carried out by the Winterberry Group for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a trade body.

This report suggested that enterprise marketers are using, on average, a dozen distinct toolsets to support their collection, management and redeployment of customer data, with some working with more than 30.

Asked whether they preferred an integrated, stacked approach to adopting marketing automation technologies or an independent, bespoke tech solution, marketers were split down the middle.

Those opting for an integrated model cited the ability to measure return on investment, the lower cost of purchase and implementation and the speed and ease of implementation.

The independent approach might add day-to-day complexity but its proponents also felt it offered ease of integration with other licensed and proprietary advertising and marketing technologies used within their organisation, as well as with those used by business partners and clients.

More important than either of these, however, was a desire to support best-in-class functionality.

"No single 'one-size-fits-all' technology can address every marketer's need," said Jonathan Margulies, managing director at Winterberry Group, but he added that the research had found a lot of common ground.

"Marketers and publishers share a similar, overarching directive: put audience data to real use.

"And as data sources continue to expand, they expect the platforms powering that deployment will continue to assume a more central role as the centerpiece of their omnichannel marketing practices."

Accordingly, the IAB has announced its intention to develop technical standards to ensure that all digital marketing tools available can work in an integrated fashion.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff