Brands would be willing to boost their spending on online video ads and other forms of content if they could access timely and consistent reporting systems with improved transparency that gave them a complete understanding of how their campaigns are performing.
That conclusion is the major takeaway from a new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council member study titled “Engage at Every Stage: An Investigation of Video Activation,” which found that one-fifth of marketers are now spending less on ads, as they are not satisfied with the transparency of metrics and insights. Seven in ten brand leaders also admit that recent negative stories and headlines about online safety and advertising metrics have had a detrimental impact on their budgets.
The study found that 95% of marketers believe that digital media platforms must finally deliver reliable advertising measurements. The fact that just 3% agree on the “viewability” standards set out by the Media Rating Council highlights the scale of the task.
The lack of transparency has been a hot topic in the industry for a while now, as social giants, such as Facebook, continue to shift the goal posts and admit to making major errors in their recording of metrics. The unhappiness also stems from the fact that even though digital marketing and advertising can potentially have a positive effect on an enterprise’s growth and revenue, unreliable metrics remain a limiting factor.
“The frustration across the marketing ecosystem is palpable, and new headlines that breach trust and showcase systemic carelessness have inflamed the issue,” CMO Council marketing vice president, Liz Miller, said. “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.”
Marketers are eager to glean more from their content investments and want the industry to deliver total transparency for reporting metrics, such as engagement, viewers and traffic. Almost half also want real-time access to intelligence, analytics and customer data, while a similar number want to know exactly how much they must spend to achieve specific performance outcomes.
ViralGains CEO Tod Loofbourrow added: “This research indicates that the timing is right for a massive revolution in digital video. 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.”
While there are growing concerns about transparency, 95% of the 233 senior marketing leaders surveyed said they would increase their investments in online video advertising in 2018, with a quarter planning to boost budgets by up to 25%. Loofbourrow concluded by saying that advanced technology and high-quality storytelling would enable marketers to generate the insights they need to drive more related messaging and improved results in the long term.