Adtech is reaching critical mass in 2019. As of last year, 54% of marketers were incorporating adtech into their strategies, making it the most-used form of martech, according to Walker Sands’ State of Martech 2019 report.
And it’s clear from our report that marketers are warming up to it: Nearly a third (29%) of marketers want their company to invest more in adtech, and 42% said that it’s important in their day-to-day operations.
Outside research confirms digital advertising is a growing line item in marketers’ budgets. Digital ad revenues increased 22% year-over-year last year, reaching $26.2 billion worth in Q3 2018 alone and $75.8 billion during the first three quarters of 2018, according to recent figures released by advertising trade group IAB.
While adtech isn’t without its issues – including bid caching and malvertising – this technology is exceedingly effective in solving for the issues that every marketer struggles with every day: maximizing ROI and providing a closer view of attribution. In fact, the State of Martech report found that 77% of marketers are using programmatic, and 58% of them see ROI from it.
If you’re a marketer whose team has yet to adopt adtech into your budget or who is considering changing providers, be sure to take the following steps instead of diving in head-first:
- Invest in the right solution
There are nearly 250 programmatic advertising solutions currently available to marketers, and that number will only continue to grow. With such a wide range of solutions and platforms now at their disposal, it’s natural that marketers may develop decision fatigue and opt for a solution that over-promises but ultimately under-delivers.
As a marketer, vet your adtech vendors thoroughly. In some ways, adtech is still like the Wild West. There are many solutions out there that offer real, measurable value to marketers, but on the flip side, there are some options that built their business on shoddy technology and empty promises. Marketers can rely on analyst reports like Forrester Waves, Gartner Magic Quadrants, G2 Crowd reviews and LUMAScapes to evaluate vendors on their relative strengths and weaknesses and make a more informed investment.
- Prioritize transparency
With GDPR-like consumer privacy regulations touching down in the U.S. and more sophisticated data protection measures rolling out from major players like Google and Apple, privacy is the name of the game. Not only will marketers need to answer to regulators on how they collect, store and use customer data, but they’ll need to answer to an increasingly privacy-aware customer base.
Be sure to choose an adtech provider who prioritizes transparency and empowers you to communicate your policies and processes around data collection and how you’re using their technology to target consumers.
- Don’t neglect other marketing investments
For marketers prioritizing brand awareness, adtech holds an affordable answer through cost-per-click (CPC) advertising. Until viewers click, it’s free advertising with impressive targeting abilities, making for a strong brand awareness campaign. But efficiency does not always equal engagement, and marketers must be vigilant in aligning their programmatic strategies with their marketing goals to engage consumers and ultimately drive them from awareness to conversion.
Three quarters (75%) of respondents believe their company is investing in the right amount of martech, compared to 63% in 2018. This year’s satisfaction rate is a record high for the State of Martech report, but it also means marketers are at risk of letting their investments and strategies stagnate. While adtech can be a game-changer for marketers when deployed correctly, don’t lose sight of your larger marketing goals and the importance of a holistic marketing strategy.
With the rise of subscription models and ad blocking software that allow consumers to bypass or block ads, getting the content – and context – right is key. Take a customer-first approach in your adtech investments and ensure your strategies are not only driving ROI for your company, but that they are resonating with an increasingly social, mobile and connected consumer.
Is your marketing team struggling with defining its strategy or proving ROI? Get in touch here.
To learn more about how marketers are using adtech, download our State of Marketing Technology 2019 report.