Australia’s marketers are becoming more sophisticated in their use of performance advertising and marketing according to AdRoll’s 2017 State of Performance Marketing report. And that trend is driving some significant shifts in cost.

The research, released today, is based on interviews with 350 performance marketers across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Take attribution as an example. Over 70 per cent of marketers are still using a single-click attribution model, but 74 per cent plan on changing their attribution model in the next 12 months.

That’s a big improvement from 2016, says Cat Prestipino, Marketing Director JAPAC.

“Prior to 2016 attribution was not really spoken about much in the Australian market, it was swept under the rug or put in the too hard basket. That really changed last year, AdRoll released three whitepapers on the subject alone!”

“It’s great to see that APAC marketers are really understanding the importance of attribution and are investing in getting it as close to right as possible.”

Follow the money

One of the more surprising results related the the composition of digital advertising budgets. According to the survey, 30 per cent of marketers are now spending the majority of their budget on measurement and 76 per cent of marketers use a third-party attribution partner to measure campaign success.

That figure struck us as a little on the toppy side, so we asked AdRoll to suggest an explanation.

According to Prestipino, “We were surprised by the fact that 30 per cent of Australian marketers are spending over half their budgets on attribution and measurement but it comes back to marketer’s investing their budgets where their hearts are.”

“Marketer’s now clearly understand the importance of measuring the effectiveness of their marketing activities and are investing heavily in education, research and laying the foundations for that big move to a new model,” she said.

Programmatic grows

In 2013, when AdRoll ran its survey in the only US, just seven per cent of marketers dedicated more than half of their budget to programmatic. By In 2015, that had increased to 11 per cent across ANZ and in 2016, 32 per cent of respondents across APAC were spending over 50 per cent of their budget on programmatic.

Source: AdRoll 2017 State of Performance Marketing

Over 80 per cent of marketers state that programmatic advertising results in a greater return on investment (ROI) than traditional media buying. In 2017, 77 per cent of Australian marketers expect their programmatic budget allocation to increase.

One area where there is literally no disagreement is retargeting. Every single company surveyed for the study retargets consumers on the web, according to the authors. “Retargeting stands as one of the most effective ways for marketers to convert their window shoppers into buyers and was the first breakout use case for programmatic advertising since it delivers such clearly measureable ROI. Retargeting leverages behavioural data from your site or app to deliver personalised ad campaigns. While it fits in well with any performance marketing tactic, advertisers reported using retargeting to fulfil multiple campaign objectives.”

As despite total market saturation, retargeting is still set to grow with almost 90 per cent of marketers are planning on either increasing or maintaining their retargeting spend.

Email marketing

The study also suggests that marketers  have graduated from relying on batch and blast emails, adopting campaigns that include dynamic content personalised to the individual user. 80 per cent of marketers surveyed in this year’s report claimed that their email campaigns are dynamic based on user behaviour, expanding their aims beyond traditional batch sends.

This stat puts Australian marketers ahead of their US counterparts, Prestipino says.

“In many cases we’re leading the race when compared our US counterparts. A great example of this is in email marketing, 80 per cent of APAC marketers are sending dynamic emails based on user behaviour, expanding beyond traditional batch sends. Only 70 per cent of US marketers are doing the same.”

“Previously, I think marketers were guilty of abusing email. It was quick, easy, light on resources and light on budget. As a result, marketers sent too many irrelevant emails and too many emails in general. As email technology has advanced and email has developed into a more personalised and creative tool (and we’ve laid off sending too many emails), we’ve seen a real resurge in the channel. With products like AdRoll Email, marketers are able to send customers highly targeted emails based on actions taken on their website, in real time.”

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