CMOs demanding digital platform transparency—media spend depends on it

by | May 10, 2018 | Marketing, Public Relations

In a wake-up call to digital media platforms like Facebook and Google, marketing leaders globally say they will no longer tolerate deficient advertising measurement. Most see a need for more effective data transparency and detailed, timely and reliable reporting systems.

According to a new study from the CMO Council, news coverage about inaccurate, questionable and false digital media reporting measures have already caused 21 percent of marketers to pull back on advertising spend. More than 70 percent of brand leaders admit that negative news headlines have had an impact on budgets.

The new report, Engage at Every Stage: An Investigation of Video Activation, was produced in partnership with video journey company, ViralGains, and reveals that 95 percent of marketing leaders surveyed believe digital media must deliver more reliability.

CMOs have called for an end to the “free ride” for digital media 

In a clear rebuke to the digital media industry, marketers are also calling “viewability” standards into question as only 3 percent of respondents agree on the definition advocated by the Media Rating Council, which defines reasonable viewability as 50 percent of content playing for two consecutive seconds with the sound off. In addition, 30 percent of marketers who agree with this standard admit that they can only approve of it because there isn’t a better metric to embrace.

“The frustration across the marketing ecosystem is palpable, and new headlines that breach trust and showcase systemic carelessness have inflamed the issue,” said Liz Miller, SVP of marketing for the CMO Council, in a news release. “The industry as a whole must align on transparency and reliability. If we don’t live up to these expectations, we will see more accounts up for review and more orders being pulled. That’s not to say all is lost; there is still excitement about the next evolution in digital engagement, especially through online video content.”

This negative outlook of the digital media landscape comes as marketers intend to significantly boost investments in online video advertising—a channel that 28 percent of respondents believe is more important than other media investments and that 40 percent say is growing in importance. In fact, 95 percent of marketers intend to increase investments in 2018, with nearly half increasing spend by up to 25 percent.

Marketers expect more from their investments, demanding total transparency into traffic, viewers and engagement (73 percent), real-time access to customer data and intelligence (45 percent), and fees based on performance outcomes (40 percent). Intelligence is also a core demand when it comes to digital advertising as marketers are looking to learn more about their customers through the in-demand channel.

Analysis web analytics and business development statistics. Modern concept of  business strategy, search information, digital marketing, investment management.

“This research indicates that the timing is right for a massive revolution in digital video,” said ViralGains CEO Tod Loofbourrow, in the release. “Marketers can’t continue to judge success through superficial metrics like impressions when they are increasingly held accountable for driving meaningful, bottom-line results. Unfortunately, current industry solutions and standards are failing to facilitate this change on a number of levels—from antiquated definitions and measurements to massive breaches of data privacy.

“In order to shift the tide, we must blend advanced ad technology with the fundamentally human arts of storytelling and conversation in order to help advertisers generate deeper consumer insights that lead to more relevant messaging and better results. That’s what we do, and our customers are transforming advertising in a way that benefits brands and consumers alike.”

Additional insights around the following are also included in the report:

  • Access to and ability to leverage deeper insights about customer engagement, intent and real-time behavior
  • Outline of the measures and metrics marketers believe they can access to track impact
  • Time to insight assessment as marketers outline how long they must wait to access and act on intelligence from online video engagement

Download the full report and free executive summary here.

The report is based on research conducted by the CMO Council through an online audit that collected insights from 233 senior marketing leaders. Of these, 163 are actively investing in digital video advertising. Some 43 percent of respondents represent companies with revenues greater than $1 billion, and 47 percent hold the title of CMO or senior vice president of marketing for their organizations. 

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter